- for the pretzel dough:
- warm water – 1 cup
- sugar – 1 tbsp
- salt – 2 tsp
- active dry yeast – 1 package
- beer – 1/2 cup
- all purpose flour – 4 1/2 cups
- butter – 4 tbsp, melted
- for the filling:
- Italian sausage – 1 pound, browned
- cheddar cheese – 1 pound, shredded
- for the water bath:
- water – 10 cups
- baking soda – 2/3 cup
- for the wash:
- egg yolk – 1
- water – 1 tbsp
- pretzel salt
- In a small bowl combine the water, sugar, salt, and yeast, then set aside until the yeast foams. Stir in the beer.
- Put the flour in a larger bowl, then add the yeast mixture and butter and use an electric mixer with a dough hook attached. Mix on low speed until combined.
- Increase the speed to medium, and mix until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl – about 5 minutes. (If you don’t have a dough mixer attachment, you can put the dough on a floured surface, and knead it for about 10 minutes, until it comes together and becomes elastic.)
- Form the dough into a ball and put it back in the bowl – drizzle a little oil over it and roll it around well, oiling the ball of dough and the inside of the bowl.
- Cover with a damp kitchen towel, and leave in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
fill pretzel balls:
- Punch the dough down and roll it out into a large rectangle. Use a biscuit cutter to cut 3″ circles out of the dough.
- Take a circle in your hand, spoon some cheese on it, then some cooked sausage.
- Pull up all sides of the circle to make a pouch, then twist and pinch off the end, making sure it’s a tight seal.
- Repeat until all the dough has been used.
cook pretzel balls:
- Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a boil in a large pot.
- Pre heat the oven to 450°F.
- Line two baking sheets with baking paper, and grease the paper.
- Gently place each pretzel ball into the boiling water, three or four at a time, and boil for about 30 seconds, then remove carefully with a slotted spoon. Place on the prepared baking sheets.
- Use a fork to mix the egg yolk and tablespoon of water together in a small bowl, then brush each ball well with the mix.
- Sprinkle the balls with pretzel salt (I couldn’t find any pretzel salt, so I used fleur de sel, and it worked great) and bake in the oven for about 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Serve warm with spicy deli or German mustard on the side.