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Cheese and Garlic Soft Pretzels

Ingredients

For the Pretzels:

4 cups (560 g) Cup4Cup Multipurpose Flour
3 tablespoons (42 g) brown sugar
1 tablespoon (10 g) active dry yeast
2 teaspoons (5) kosher salt
1 teaspoon (3 g) baking powder
1 ¼ cups warm water
1 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter, softened

For the Water Bath:

2 quarts water
3 tablespoons (36 g) baking soda
1 tablespoon  (12.5 g) granulated sugar

For the Topping:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Kosher salt, for seasoning

Instructions

  1. To make the pretzel dough, use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add 3 ½ cups of the Cup4Cup Multipurpose Flour, brown sugar, yeast, salt and baking powder to the mixer bowl. Add the water, egg and butter to the bowl. Mix on low for about 5 minutes until a dough forms. It will look like a thick cake batter. Add the remaining ½ cup of Cup4Cup Multipurpose Flour and mix on low until it is all just absorbed by the dough. The dough will look like a thick paste.
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and wrap the bowl in plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until it is almost doubled, 60 – 90 minutes. The dough will rise, please be patient.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. For the water bath, combine the water, baking soda and sugar into a medium sized pot. Bring the pot to a boil.
  4. Once the dough has risen, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Dust your hands with flour, and gently deflate the dough mass.  Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 18 inches in length. Be sure to keep your work surface lightly dusted with flour to prevent sticking. If the dough tears, just press it back together. Shape the ropes into 12 pretzels.
  5. Working with one pretzel at a time, carefully drop the pretzel into the water bath and boil it for about 5 seconds. The pretzel will initially sink but will float to the top. Carefully remove it from the water, shaking off as much extra water as possible, and place it onto the prepared sheet trays.
  6. For the topping, combine the melted butter, minced garlic and Italian seasoning in a small bowl. Brush this mixture over the top of each pretzel, and then top each pretzel with about 2 tablespoons of the mozzarella cheese and 1 tablespoon of the parmesan cheese. Lightly sprinkle kosher salt over the top of each pretzel.
  7. Bake until the pretzels are golden brown and cheese has browned, about 18 – 25 minutes.
  8. Cool the pretzels for about 10 minutes before serving. Be sure to enjoy these while they are still hot. If not eating immediately, freeze them and reheat them prior to serving.