Picture this….you’ve been invited to the ultimate Super Bowl Party where everyone brings a delicious snack to share. Should you stick to the old fallback recipe of football shaped cookies? 7-layer dip? Cocktail sausages slathered in BBQ Sauce? No way! You want to bring something that stands out from the rest. Twist things up a bit with delicious, savory Parmesan Garlic Pretzels! These soft pretzels are just as good with or without dipping sauce!
Our Young Chefs have tons of fun making these pretzels. There’s a lot of science happening behind-the-scenes when making a yeast dough. During class, we talk about how different ingredients cause specific reactions when brought together during the making of this simple recipe. It’s like a crazy science experiment happening without you even realizing it! It’s really kind of amazing!
For instance, we teach how yeast is a living plant which breathes and grows (sounds like a scary movie, right!?). It thrives on the sugar added to dough which produces a gas that stretches the dough and causes it to rise, and how certain proteins form gluten when mixed with a liquid which gives an elastic quality to the dough. But, we’ll skip the whole science lesson from here and move onto the recipe!
Check out the recipe and tips below!
(We brought in a couple of our test kitchen teens to show their stuff!)
Parmesan Garlic Pretzels
- 1 ¾ cup warm water, divided
- ½ tsp. plus a pinch of dry yeast
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ cup bread flour
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. baking soda
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- Pepperoni slices (optional)
- ½ tsp. dried, minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp. sweet butter
- Pizza sauce for dipping (optional)
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Wooden spoons
- Baking sheet
- Cooking spray
- Pastry brush
- In a mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast onto ¾ cup warm water; stir to dissolve. Add sugar and salt; stir until dissolved. Stir in both flours and knead dough until smooth and elastic*. Cover the bowl with a warm, damp towel and let rise ½ hour.
- Place cheese into a pie pan. Set aside.
- It’s time to start twisting! After dough has risen, cut strips of dough that measure 1 ½” x 8”. Shape each strip of dough into a cigar shape and then use the palms of your hands to roll the dough back and forth against the counter. Start in the middle of strip. Work from the middle of the dough and press outward as you roll to lengthen the rope. Roll each piece into a rope ½” x 24” (about the thickness of your finger). Do not over-roll the rope. Shape into a pretzel.
- Prepare a baking soda water bath by mixing baking soda with 1 cup warm water. Stir water bath often. (Note: If the soda does not fizz, it’s not fresh!)
- Dip pretzels into soda solution, place on towel to drain excess. Dip the face of each pretzel in cheese mixture and place on greased baking sheet. If using pepperoni, place approximately 6 pepperonis on each pretzel. Let rest again for 25 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees while pretzels rest.
- Melt butter in the microwave, then add the garlic. Let sit while pretzels bake.
- Bake pretzels for 5 minutes on the center rack. After 5 minutes, use oven mitts to rotate the tray 180 degrees and bake an additional 4-5 minute or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush tops with melted butter mixture. Serve with pizza sauce or use any remaining garlic butter for dipping. Makes 6 large (5-6”) pretzels.
- It’s important to use warm water here as it allows the yeast to activate and start to grow so the dough will rise.
- Not sure if your kneaded long enough? *Try the “Poke” test to make sure the kneading process is complete after about 4-10 minutes, or when the dough is smooth, satiny and elastic. You’ll know it’s ready when you give it a little “poke” and the dough springs back!
- If your rope starts to shrink back a bit, roll it partway, let it rest and then roll it out the rest of the way!