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Ham and Cheese Pretzel Bites

I am about to leave for a a festival!!! We are gonna be tenting and enjoying the lovely rain and mud and all the filth that a festival comes with :) I can't wait!! I haven't been actually anywhere really this summer so this is a much needed vacation!! So when I started thinking about what might be needed, food was the very first thing that came to my mind! I mean, DUH! What a food blogger would I be if I didn't make some ham and cheese pretzel bites for the road trip? Ham and cheese bites seem like the most appropriate things ever for a road trip. Even more if that road trip is headed to a festival and there will be a few drinks served during our way too long (like 3 hours hahaha) drive! I needed to freeze them since we won't be leaving until Wednesday morning but there's no way I could have managed to cook tomorrow... So frozen bites, here we go! 

But enough about me :) Let's talk about these meaty and cheesy pretzel bites. So it's a lot of fuss to make these, let me tell ya! But they are SO worth the mess! First you need to make the dough, knead the dough, then let it rise. 2 hours fast forward, roll the dough, stuff the dough and roll it back up into long snakes. Cut the dough, cook the bites in boiling water while half the filling comes out and then bake them! If you think you can handle this, I wish you good luck :) But really, these are adorable and taste so cheesy and so so so soft!! Real pretzel-like soft :) I tried making some without cooking them first and they weren't half as good as their cooked cousins. So don't skip that step, it's important! Hmm, about the stuffing that comes out while cooking. I'm not sure what to do, I think I shouldn't have stuffed that much cheese inside. Maybe. :) But have you ever heard anything like too much cheese? Non-sense! There's never too much cheese! :)

Ham and Cheese Pretzel Bites
the lovely recipe is from  Pennies on a Platter

1 package active dry yeast (7 g)
2 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) lukewarm water
1 cup (250 ml) warm milk
2 and 1/2 cup (320 g) flour - to 3 cups
2 teaspoons salt
dried basil if desired
1/2 cup (100 g) chopped hams
2 cups (200 g) shredded cheese- I used gouda
6 cups water
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons butter

Dissolve the yeast and the 1 teaspoon sugar in the lukewarm water with your fingers. Cover it and set aside until foamy.
In another bowl dissolve the remaining sugar in the warm milk.

Measure out the flour and the salt. Add the yeast and milk into it. Stir it until it forms a soft dough, add in more flour, if needed. Knead the dough a few times and then brush the top with oil. Cover the bowl and let it rise for 2 hours.

Turn out the dough onto a bread board. Divide it to 4 parts. Roll one out to a narrow rectangle. With the long side facing you, sprinkle it with 1/4 of the cheese, ham and dried basil.

Roll it up as tightly as possible.

Cut into smaller bits and transfer them to a baking sheet. Repeat the same with the other 3 pieces of dough.

Let them rest for 30 minutes, uncovered.

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add the baking soda and reduce heat to a simmer. Boil the pretzel bites in the water until they come up in the water (about 20 seconds). Use a slotted spoon to transfer them back to the baking sheet. 

Bake for about 8 minutes on 180C or until they are golden brown.

When they are done, brush the bits with the melted butter. Sprinkle it with some sea salt, if desired. Enjoy :)


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