Cheddar Pretzel Bites

March 19, 2013


The more I have been cooking lately, I have been examining how I feel as I cook different things.  Sometimes when I’m in the kitchen I’m relaxed, I want to turn on some music and imagine myself in that popular scene from The Big Chill.  Sometimes, I am just going through the steps to get done.  What make me feel so differently from day to day?

I think I figured out that I enjoy cooking the most when it feels like art.  I love to see anything in it’s rawest form come to life.  Baking is as raw as it gets for me.  When you bake something from scratch it’s a little scary.  Will it come out as I planned?  Vision is one thing, but as I am putting all the ingredients together I have a certain picture in my mind what the finished product will look like.  I am not a professional in any sort of way, but when your vision comes true, like it did for me in the above picture, I have a sense of satisfaction that cannot be beat.

On a lighter note, I just got interrupted by my furry friend who made me chase him around the house while he proceeded  to rip an entire roll of toilet paper to shreds!  Never a dull moment around here:)!

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Cheddar Pretzel Bites
  • 1½ cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 package (2¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 4½ cups bread flour
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 10 cups water
  • ⅔ cup baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • cubed cheddar cheese ( I bought Kraft mild cheddar cubes)
  • Kosher salt, for sprinkling
  1. Combine the water, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam.
  2. Add the flour and melted butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl. Remove the dough from the bowl and place it in a clean, oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm area for about 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray with canola oil. Set aside.
  4. Bring 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart pot.
  5. In the meantime, drop dough onto a lightly floured surface.
  6. Twist off golf ball sized pieces of dough and make an indentation in center of dough to place 3 cubes of cheese. With your hands, mold the dough around the cheese and roll between your hand like play dough to smooth out and make round.
  7. Place on prepared pan and continue in the same manner until all dough is gone.
  8. Place cheese filled dough; 8 at a time; into boiling water for 30 seconds, then remove with slotted spoon and place back on baking sheets.
  9. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with Kosher salt.
  10. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown.


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