Source: The Food Network Magazine, January 2011 Edition
Makes 28 pretzels SS: I got about 20
1 1/2 tablespoons dry active yeast
1 tablespoon agave nectar
2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 large eggs
ASSORTED FILLING - SAVORY
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
ASSORTED FILLING - SWEET
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- Mix 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 to 115 F), the yeast and agave in a bowl. Set aside 5 minutes.
- In a food processor fitted with the dough blade, pulse the whole-wheat flour, 2 cups all-purpose flour and the sea salt. Add 1 egg and the yeast mixture and pulse in 10-second intervals until the dough comes together, about 3 pulses. Turn out onto a floured board. Knead 10 to 12 times, adding up to 3/4 cup more flour if the dough is too sticky. Cut the dough into 4 equal portions; cover with a clean towel. SS - I don't have this type of food processor, I used a spoon to mix the dry ingredients and two knives for the latter. Also, I waited for one hour after I covered the dough, even though this wasn't specified.
- On a floured board, roll out one piece of dough into a 14-by-11 inch rectangle, 1/4 inch thick, with a shorter side facing you.
- To make plain pretzels, cut the dough rectangle into seven 11-by-12 inch strips. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with kosher salt. (Skip to Step 11)
- To make stuffed pretzels, roll 1 piece of dough into a rectangle; sprinkle your filling across the middle. Fold the bottom third of the dough over the filling.
- Sprinkle more filling over the folded part; fold the top third of the dough over the filling and pinch closed.
- Roll the dough into a 15-by-11 inch rectangle. Cut into seven 2-by-11-inch strips.
- Working with one strip at a time, pinch the long edges together and roll into a 12-inch rope with your hands.
- Shape the pretzels on a baking sheet: Grab the ends of the rope and cross the left end over the right end.
- Cross the left end over the right end again to make a twist in the middle. Brush with beaten egg and top before baking.
- Preheat the oven to 475 F. Bake until browned, 16 to 18 minutes.
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons grated sharp cheddar cheese across the middle of the dough (Step 5); fold the bottom third of the dough over the cheese, then sprinkle another 2 tablespoons cheddar over the folded part. Fold the top third of the dough over the cheese (Step 6). Reroll, cut into strips and twist into pretzels (Steps 7-10). Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, onion flakes and kosher salt; bake (Step 10). SS - I mixed all of the toppings in a small bowl and stirred them up to get a nice even mix of all of the toppings.
SWEET PRETZEL DETAILED DIRECTIONS
Spread 1/4 cup softened Nutella across the middle of the dough; fold the bottom third of the dough over the Nutella. SS - I melted the Nutella in the microwave, if it's cold, it hardens fairly quickly, I would suggest waiting for the Nutella to firm up before covering to refrain from oozing Nutella on the sides. (Step 5) Then sprinkle 1/2 cup coconut over the folded part (Step 6). Fold the top third of the dough over the coconut. Roll out again, cut into strips and twist into pretzels. Brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with a mixture of sugar, ancho chile powder, cinnamon, ground cloves and cayenne (you'll have extra spice mix); bake (Steps 7-10). SS - I added all of the toppings into a bowl and dipped the pretzels in the mix.
So let me say that these pretzels were WORK. Total cooking/prep/wait time was probably 3.5 hours. This does not include clean up. I had nutella over my entire kitchen! I brought the savory pretzels to a friends' place for the Superbowl, and the general sentiment was that they were good. I decided to leave the sweet pretzels at home, because I think I accidentally mixed some of the savory in with it. Like I said, this was messy, at hour 3, just starting the sweet pretzels, I was tired, so I wasn't as meticulous to separate things out. Additionally, adding all that coconut was unrealistic. The sweet pretzels were extremely messy - they were falling apart with the addition of the coconut. THUS, the next time I make these, I will only use the Nutella. I think I will still enjoy the flavor without the coconut.