Pretzel Pizza Twists
The last few times we've gone to Sea World in Florida on vacation with the kids, I've made it a point to stop at a particular eatery. At the moment, the name of the place is gone from my brain, but the food is most definitely not. They were known for their pretzel meals. Now, I know it may be strange to be reminiscing about theme park food, but once you try this out for yourself, you'll understand. The few times I have gone to this place, I ordered pretzel pizza. It was a large pretzel baked with cheese and pepperoni on the top. Something about that combination is out of this world. I have been determined, ever since, to remake it at home. This winter, I finally got around to trying it out. I, and the rest of my family, were not disappointed in the least.
Homemade soft pretzels are killer to begin with, but once you add some mozzarella cheese and pepperoni, it just takes it the next level. You wouldn't think that such a simple addition would make something so amazing. Seriously, my mouth is just watering thinking about them. This particular recipe is a new family favorite. The kids love helping me shape the pretzels, and of course adding the cheese and pepperoni. These would be great to make for a party, (you could even experiment with going through the whole process, freezing, then placing in the oven before serving), or a great pizza night alternative.
Pretzel Pizza Twists
Yield: 12 pretzel pizzas
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 (2 1/4 teaspoons) package active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
2-3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the water, sugar and kosher salt. Sprinkle the yeast on top and allow it to sit for 5 minutes or until it begins to froth.
Add the flour and butter to the bowl and mix on low until the ingredients are combined. Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, about 4-5 minutes. Place the dough in a large, greased bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise, in a warm place, for about 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside.
In a large pot, stir together the 10 cups of water and the baking soda. Bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, turn the dough onto a clean work surface, and divide it into 12 equal pieces. (Weighing ensures equal size pieces.)
Roll out each piece of dough into an 18- to 20-inch rope. Fold in half, twisting the two pieces around one another and pressing the ends together. Twist the bottom end around the top, feeding it through the top hole and pressing to secure. Place the twists on the cookie sheet.
Once the water mixture is boiling, carefully place the pretzel twists (don't crowd them) into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove each twist from the water using a large slotted spoon and return it to the cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining twists.
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over each boiled twist and top with mini pepperonis.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown and the cheese is bubbly. Serve hot with dipping sauce, if desired.
Source: Pretzel twists from Just a taste