Chilli. Cheese. Pretzels.



All of my favourite foodstuffs together in one place – bread, cheese & chillies.
What’s not to like?

Start with a standard white bread dough but with a little less salt than you normally add (to allow for the salt in the cheese). Finely chop as much fresh chilli as you like. This is one of the few occasions I remove the seeds. I used a bag of three fat mixed chillies from the supermarket.
Now on to the cheese. I used some leftover Emmental & one of those small ‘sausages’ of smoked cheese you find everywhere. Use whatever you like or whatever needs using up.
I worked it out to be about 270g for this batch of dough, which used around 600g of flour, but you can add as much or as little as you need without getting into too much bother. finely dice your cheese & add to the dry ingredients, chilli & a teaspoon of Oregano. Proceed as normal with your bread dough and allow to prove.

After one rise it gets a little more tricky. Knock back your dough and cut it into pieces around the size of a large egg, although size is completely up to you. Roll a piece into a long, thin sausage about a foot long & shape. If you don’t know how to tie a pretzel knot or are a bit rubbish at them, like me, there are tutorials on youtube.

Allow your shaped pretzels to have their second rise (on oiled trays or boards)
while you prepare the next stage.
Take a large cooking pot or frying pan, big enough to take three or four of your pretzels at a time with space between & put it on the heat.
Fill with 3 or 4 inches of boiling water, 1tspn of bicarb & 1 tspn of sugar.

Once all of your doughs are shaped & have had their second rise, carefully drop a few into the boiling water at a time. Cook for 1 minute each, gently splashing the tops with the water as you would with the fat when frying an egg. Carefully scoop them out & place on well oiled baking sheets. Continue in batches until they’re all ready. As they come out of the water they’ll be quite wet & sticky, and this is the best time to top with any seeds, rock salt, crushed pepper etc.

Bake in batches for about 15 – 20 mins at 200 or until they’re a deep golden colour
& cooked through.

You can really add any flavourings you like to these, sweet or savoury, but my favourite are savoury, topped with crunchy rock salt & seeds. The boiling stage is a bit of a pain, as with making bagels, but once you get a little production line going from pan to oven it becomes quite simple.

Enjoy : )



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