I was looking through my Guy Fieri "Food" cookbook and saw this recipe for Pepper Jack Pretzels; they sounded pretty darn good to me. My daughters' first response was, "You can make pretzels"? Her second one was, "I don't like pepper Jack cheese". Fine I told her, I'll make two kinds then you can give me your opinion.
College girl and all her gear are back home, and my back is finally settling down from all the moving. Did I mention all the stairs, and that I'm pretty sure there were rocks packed amongst her belongings. Thanks everyone for your well wishes with the move. We are still waiting for a date so I can get the second move going. I've been cleaning like a maniac and just getting everything in order. The biggest hurdle will be my kitchen; yes I do need every one of those 16 frying pans.
Pepper Jack Pretzels
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
1 1/2 tbsp. active dry yeast
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling out)
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
2 large eggs
3 cups grated pepper Jack cheese
2 tbsp. milk
2 tsp. kosher salt
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cover 2 large baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. If you have a pizza stone, preheat it in the oven.
2. In a 2-cup glass measuring cup, combine the warm water and yeast. Stir and let sit 10 minutes, until it foams.
3. In a food processor fitted with the plastic dough blade, pulse the flour, sea salt, sugar, cayenne, and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese for three 5-second intervals. Add 1 egg and the yeast mixture. Pulse for three 10-second intervals, or until the dough comes together.
4. Turn the dough out onto lightly floured cutting board. Knead 10-12 times, adding more flour if sticky. Cut the dough in half and set half aside.
5. Use a rolling pin to roll out 1 dough ball into a 12- by 17-inch rectangle, about 1/8-inch thick. Sprinkle 3/4 cup of the pepper Jack in a strip down the middle (the short way). Fold one-third of the dough over the cheese and sprinkle with another 3/4 cup of the pepper Jack. Fold the last third over and pinch the edges of the dough closed. Roll the dough into an 11- by 15-inch rectangle. Cut the dough into ten 1 1/2- by 15-inch strips.
A note on the quantity of pretzels; I found I got a better size on the pretzels if I cut the rectangle in 8 strips instead of the called for 10.
6. Pinch the cut edges of the strips together. Roll each strip into a cigar shape, 18 inches in length. Form each strip into a pretzel shape and place the pretzels 3 inches apart on a prepared baking sheet.
7. Repeat with the second ball of dough.
For the second ball I substituted a blend of Monterey Jack, Mozzarella and Sharp Cheddar for the Pepper Jack.
8. Beat the remaining egg with the milk. Brush the formed pretzels with the egg wash and then sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan, and the kosher salt.
9. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, until nicely browned. You'll get the best results by putting the baking sheets on a preheated pizza stone, but it isn't necessary.
There were no instructions for letting the pretzels rest on the tray for a few minutes, but I found my second batch to be much lighter, due to the fact they were resting on the tray while the other batch was baking.
10. Let cool and serve warm or room temperature. Store at room temperature, tightly covered.
The girls thought the three cheese pretzels were the winners! Darn, I had to eat all the losers myself.
We curled up on the couch together and enjoyed our pretzels with a movie; it's so nice to have everyone home together again.