That title got you, huh? Just when I think I've made the most amazing thing ever, another one comes along! I can't even tell you how many of these I ate (half the batch). Soft pretzels stuffed with cream cheese, extra sharp cheddar and garlic.
I'm going to go ahead and say that it was purely for research and development purposes. After much research I can report that they are insanely delicious.
Have you ever dipped a pretzel into cream cheese? When I was growing up, that was a thing! The hot pretzel getting a big glob of cold silky smooth cream cheese. It was heaven. My son loves to eat his pretzels that way.
Do you remember my baked soft pretzels and beer cheese dip from a bit ago? These ones.
This recipe is loosely based off a cheeseball my sister-in-law makes for the holidays. The cheddar cheese and cream cheese combined together, it was such a treat! So naturally I decided to stuff a pretzels with it, and some fresh garlic!
My mom was a bit skeptical, "I like to dunk my pretzels in cheese" she told me. But then she had one, then another and was totally convinced. She already has a laundry list of things I should stuff pretzels with next time.
To successfully stuff the pretzels here's some tips. I stretched my dough out to the length of my rolling pin, about 14", then took said rolling pin and rolled it length wise. This flattens it out and gives you enough space to add the filling. You don't need to slather on a ton, I did a line of cheese and it was perfect. You don't want the filling to completely gush out and Im happy to report my filling stayed snugly inside the pretzel.
To close up the pretzel, harness your inner cinnamon roll making skills, bring one end over to the other and pinch it closed, same with the ends, pinch those closed. After it's all closed up, flour your thumbs and in a upward swiping motion pull that pinched edge up off the counter. Now you can sprinkle a tiny bit more flour on the pretzel or on your hands but you'll want to use your palms to roll the dough back and forth, this will fully seal up that seem you made.
Next you just form it into a pretzel! I like to take the two ends and twirl them around each other, then bring them back over the body of the pretzel, pressing them down. I will say the shorter your dough piece, the fatter the pretzel, and I think that looks so fun with a stuffed pretzel.
The baking soda bath is an important part of pretzel making! You want the water to be at a low boil and don't skimp on the baking soda. Dunk the pretzels face up for 15 seconds and use a spoon to splash water on the top. Now removing them can get tricky! Especially if you don't have the fancy tools to do it. You can use a large slotted spoon and a regular spoon to help guide it, try to drain the water before it hits the parchment paper.
If you wind up with too much water on your paper you can always rip off a new sheet and transfer them to it before baking. That way they won't be moist on the bottom. Which is a great tip, if you have really wet pretzels on the bottom after baking, there was probably too much water from the baking soda bath when you put them in the oven.
1 1/2 c water
1 tbsp yeast + a pinch of sugar
4 1/4 c flour
2 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp butter, melted
3 c water
1/3 c baking soda
1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp water, for the egg wash
course salt, plus more if needed
6 oz cream cheese, room temperature
4 oz extra sharp cheddar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 oz parmigiano reggiano
Heat 1 1/2 cups water in the microwave for about 1 minute, the water should be very warm but not burn your finger. Add the yeast and sprinkle a pinch of sugar on top, let sit 5 minutes, the yeast should get foamy
Mix together the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer
Add the melted butter to the yeast and pour that into the flour mixture, mixing together
Knead for 5 minutes on a medium speed.
Remove the dough and shape it into a ball
Set the dough into a greased bowl, cover and let it rise for 45 minutes near a warm area in the kitchen.
tip: I turn my oven on for a few minutes, then turn it off, and set my covered bowl in the oven, it's the perfect amount of warmth!.
Mix together the cream cheese, cheddar, parmigiano and minced garlic
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 425
After the dough has rested cut 12 equal pieces, one by one form them into a 14" strand
Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough, lengthwise
Spread a thin line of cheese mixture on the dough
Press the edges of the dough together to seal in the filling
Use your hands to roll the strand back and forth to fully seal it up
Shape into a pretzel by twisting the two ends around each other then bringing it back down over the body of the pretzel
Bring 3 cups of water and 1/3 cup baking soda to a low boil
Dip each pretzel in the water for 20 seconds, drain excess water after each pretzel
Put the pretzels on the parchment paper lined baking sheet
Brush the pretzels with the egg wash and sprinkle with course salt
Bake until the top starts to turn golden brown, which can vary per oven, for me it was about 13-15 minutes