During our recent trip to South Dakota, we ended up visiting a small shop for Ice creams. They also sold a variety of Fudges and Pretzels. That’s where I came across the Jalapeno Cream Cheese Pretzels for the first time. I have heard about these stuffed Pretzels but never had a chance to try them. I simply loved it. Since then Pretzels have been in my mind. And Aparna posted the recipe for this month’s “We need to Bake” at the right time. It was “HARD PRETZELS” for the month, but she gave us an option of baking the “SOFT PRETZELS” from her blog. I am not a big fan of the hard ones so ended up with the latter. It wasn’t as difficult as I had expected it to be. It took me less than two hours from start to end. Also, it’s very easy if you are thinking of just the plain ones. The stuffed Pretzels can get a little tricky. Few of the ones I made opened up after the water bath. But luckily the cream cheese didn’t ooze out while baking. I still need to work on the shape; though it wasn’t as bad for the first time. I was out of sesame seeds so used Onion seeds(kalonji) and chili flakes. These homemade Pretzels are so flavorful; you don’t even need any dips or sauces to accompany them. The stuffing does all the magic:) They are soft,chewy and yummy! The interesting part of the Pretzels are that it gets cooked twice. First they are shaped and boiled in water + soda bath and then they are baked in the oven. The original recipe is adapted from MyRecipes.
- 2 1/4 teaspoon dried active yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup warm milk
- 3 cups + 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 cups water
- 2 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cornmeal or semolina
- 2 tablespoon milk
- a tablespoon white sesame seeds/onion seeds( kalonji)/chili flakes
- Stuffing : Mix ¼ cup cream cheese + a pinch salt+1 jalapeno, finely chopped+ a teaspoon cilantro,chopped
- In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm milk and allow that to stand for about 5 minutes.
- Add the 3 cups flour and salt to the proofed yeast and stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. The dough will feel slightly sticky, so add a bit of flour as and when necessary while kneading. This should take about 8 minutes.
- Form the dough into a ball and place in a large oiled bowl, turning to coat the dough with oil. Cover and allow the dough to rise for about 40 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)
- Deflate the dough, cover and let it rest 5 minutes. Divide dough into 12 equal portions.
- Work with one portion at a time and cover remaining dough to prevent it drying. Roll each portion into an 14-16-inch long rope with tapered ends. Using a rolling pin roll out the dough and flatten it, spread little bit of the cream cheese mixture along the dough. Seal it by pinching it evenly. Roll again carefully. Don’t roll too much, be careful as the cream cheese will ooze out easily. Cross one end of rope over the other to form a circle, leaving about 4 inches at end of each rope. Twist the rope at the base of the circle. Fold the ends over the circle and into a traditional pretzel shape, pinching gently to seal. Place pretzels on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise 10 minutes (pretzels will rise only slightly).
- Put the 6 cups of water and baking soda in a non-aluminium pan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer. Gently lower a pretzel into the simmering water. Cook on each side for about 15 seconds. The pretzel will swell/ puff up a bit. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and place on a greased wire rack. This will prevent the pretzel from sticking to the rack. Repeat with the remaining pretzels.
- Place the pretzels on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal or semolina. Brush with milk and sprinkle with onion seeds(kalonji)/chili flakes/sesame seeds. Bake at 425F for 12 minutes or until pretzels are deep golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Serve warm with a dip of your choice or just plain. They’re best eaten fresh, and on the same day. This recipe makes 12 Pretzels.
Thanks Aparna for the beautiful recipe. This is surely a keeper!.