So eons ago I gave you an 8-day series of how to make your own Sourdough Starter from scratch that, if given a little TLC periodically, could last generations. Remember? Of course you do as I get emails and tweets daily asking what other types of breads you can make with it. The biggest question I get regarding sourdough starter is what to do with the discard when it’s time to feed it. You can turn it into tons of dishes – pizza, waffles, pancakes, pretzels, cake and so forth. Or you can be generous and give it to a friend and let them create their own ‘mother’. Well I’ve had my original ‘mother’ for years and then I created a new one for the 8-day series to share with you all. That being said I had 2 jars of starter in my fridge and it was taking up precious space. So I took the most recent starter and opted to treat it as discard. Since I just made 972 Belgian Waffles, I didn’t want to see another waffle for a while. I had my roofers here working I opted for pretzels – it was easy, they could eat them on the go. Plus I didn’t have to worry about dishes or the like.
Now my go-to Sourdough Pretzel recipe is this one here that I absolutely LOVE! Since I wanted to give them “Manly Pretzels” I tweaked that recipe just a smidge and then incorporated cheese and pepperoni. Seriously, is there anything better than that? Well okay.. maybe bacon but that bacon in addition to the cheese and pepperoni!
I took the jar of mother out of the fridge. Now if you’ve never made sourdough starter (um.. what’cha waiting for anyway? Dude, it’s simple and AMAZING!) after a while it could have greenish liquid on top; hooch if you will. This is totally normal! So unscrewed the cap and just as I went to stick my wooden spoon in it to mix it up, Mr. Fantabulous walked in from outside and stopped dead in his tracks. The look of confusion was precious. He didn’t speak but I knew what he was thinking. Something like “woman have you lost your damn mind? It’s green so it’s no good. Pitch it.” I just said “Honey I have to mix in the hooch as that’s where the flavor is and then I’m making stuffed pretzels out of this.
The look then got even more confusing and again I was reading his mind.. “Say what? I’m not eating that crap. You trying to poison me? Ha! I’ll feed it to that damn rooster next door and if it croaks.. BONUS but I’m not eating that… It’s GREEN! Green is BAD!” LOL I simply said to him “Honey, I’m not trying to poison you. You love these pretzels. This is completely normal now go up on the roof and hammer something.” LOL
To mix up the dough is pretty simple and even letting it rise is pretty fast in comparison to other breads. As the dough was proofing I got that “Oh Crap!” thought as I wasn’t sure if I had pretzel salt. I dug high and low in my cabinets and pantry… nuffin’! However I wasn’t going to let that stop me as I could have easily used sea salt or kosher salt. Well it was nearing the end the proofing time when I opened up my freezer to get something and there, on the bottom shelf, in a plastic container marked “pretzel salt” there it was. Now folks I have no clue how it got in there nor do I ever remember marking it. For the life of me I can’t remember buying it (though apparently I must have because I know Mr. Fantabulous would have no clue what the difference is between iodized, kosher, sea, pink, pretzel salts). So yeah I lucked out on this one.
Now I do know finding Pretzel Salt in a regular grocery store is really tough; at least it is where I live. Gotta love country living. If you can’t find it in your store, then get it online. I actually like this salt a lot! But as I said if you don’t have it, you can improvise and use the other. I just wouldn’t use iodized. It’s too fine of a grain and you could easily put too much on. Trust me on this.. as I *may or may not have tried this years ago and ended up with a salt lick*.
Actually it tasted like one of those salted bread rolls. I HATE those things but have a girlfriend that absolutely loves them. I mean like she loves them like it’s her job. I can still remember the first time I ever had one. It was our first wedding anniversary and Mr. Fantabulous pulled out all the bells and whistles to celebrate. We went to this super uppity restaurant here in Pittsburgh that is ridiculously expensive, has the best view of the city and all that jazz. Now I will be totally honest, the food was absolutely amazing and I was completely fine spending several hundreds of dollars on 2 meals, appetizers and desserts. This is one of those “special occasion” restaurants… well that is unless you have like Oprah money. haha
Anyway, prior to even our salads arriving, they brought us a basket of ‘fancy’ bread with our waters… that came from a glass bottle (yeah, we’re talking total class here.. hoity toity! LOL). Now this bread was all homemade in-house and really, REALLY good. Mini brioche rolls, Gruyère popovers, this, that and these funny crescent-shaped ‘salt’ bread sticks. Since I had all of the other breads before I went for that one to expand my taste buds. Oh dear GOD! I wanted to die after the first bite! Literally parents – forget washing your child’s mouth with soap. Stick one of these suckers in their mouth and they will never EVER sass again! My eyes got as big as silver dollars and it was all I could do not to spit out my bite. But then that would be classless.. right? LOL
How in the word do people eat these… ON PURPOSE???
Yeah so back to salt on pretzels – if you can swing it/find it use that on these. Now it’s funny when I make pretzels at home. We both like a good bit on the pretzels when you bake them but as soon as they come out of the oven, we’re scraping half of it off. Yeah I know, wasting it. But I love the flavor it imparts in the cooking process but I cannot stand bite into a chunk of salt. A few bits, sure but when it’s coating your pretzel like frosting… um no. *shudder*
Finally the dough was ready to be formed into pretzels, the oven was heating up and I had my cheese, pepperoni and stuff on deck to kick this pretzel-palooza off with a bang. I initially wanted to go with simple pretzel sticks as they were easy to do and well, simple like I said. But for these boys I wanted to do something more “manly”; something their man paws could grab on to without fear of it ripping or breaking apart. Yeah, these men needed MAN-SIZED pretzel… um… pretzel um… OH! Pretzelthingamabobs.
Pretzelthingamabobs? Yeah no.. not a TKW recipe name. Yeah I know I’m cutsie with my own TKW language and words I make up but I’m not a thingamabob kinda girl.
After I cut the dough up into pieces I then got a bright idea of making these into savory rolls – kind of like a cinnamon roll but only in a pretzel formation. And instead of it being slathered with brown sugar, cinnamon and butter topped with creamy cream cheese frosting I opted to go with tons of mozzarella cheese, spicy pepperoni and pretzel salt.
So I patted out each piece of dough into a rectangle, place some cheese (okay lots of cheese) and pepperoni and then rolled it up like a jelly roll. I then pressed down on it to flatten it somewhat and then rolled it up like an individual pinwheel/cinnamon roll. Pretty cool, huh? I figured they would puff up while they bake, like normal pretzels do.
As you can see, these definitely puffed up and were Man-Paw sized. These things were big, manly and just oozing with all kinds of awesomeness… like Mr. Fantabulous *wink* LOL
Well just like most guys I know, they tend to show up out of nowhere when food is done. I literally had just pulled these out of the oven when I heard a knock at the door and a “Hey, Lor… um, what’s that smell and can I have whatever it is?” Seriously you have no idea the sense of pride I get when that happens. I mean when just the smell of a dish I create can cause that type of reaction. It’s priceless and genuine. That’s obviously impossible to do via the Internet (so c’mon all you 12-year-old ‘puter nerds – invent Smell-O-Net already!) so I have to go another route. I have to visually draw you in with my photos. Now granted I am no where near professional status but comparing from some of my original posts to today’s postings I think they’ve gone leaps and bounds photo-wise.
I told the roofer to come in and when he saw these bad boys on the pan he got all googly-eyed and literally went “My GOD your husband is the luckiest man EVER! Can we discuss renting you or hell, can I just move in???” LOL Fortunately he’s a great friend of both of ours who is also thinks I’m the cats meow … I mean duh, that makes sense as I am that awesometastic! LOLPrint
- 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbl warm water
- 1 cup unfed sourdough starter, straight from the refrigerator
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1/4 cup dry milk powder (Baker’s Special Dry Milk is what I use) or nonfat dry milk
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 2 Tbl non-diastatic malt powder or 1 Tbl sugar
- 1 Tbl butter, unsalted
- 1 1/2 tsp table salt
- 3/4 pound sandwich pepperoni slices (can use smaller sized)
- 3–4 cups shredded mozzarella (or about 1 pound sliced mozzarella)
- Pretzel Salt
- 1 egg plus 1 Tbl water
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add in the following order the water, sourdough starter, bread flour, milk powder, yeast, malt powder, butter and salt.
- Start the mixer out on low just to combine ~2-3 minutes.
- Slowly turn the mixer up to medium and mix until well combined and the dough is slightly sticky. It’ll be tacky to the touch and just barely stick to your finger when touched. If it seems dry, knead in an additional tablespoon or two of water.
- Lightly spray a larger bowl lightly with cooking spray and place the dough in it.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest for 45 minutes. It will rise minimally.
- Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F with the rack in the middle.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper. – you may need two depending on the size of your tray/rolls.
- Lightly spray your work surface with cooking spray, NOT FLOUR.
- Empty the dough out on it and gently fold over in half, patting to deflate.
- Turn the dough 90 degrees, folding in half, turn and fold again.
- Divide the dough into 8 evenly sized pieces.
- Pat each piece into a 7-8” long rectangle by 4-5” wide.
- Evenly divide the cheese amongst the 8 rectangles spreading out to 1/2” from the ends with the widest side closest to you.
- Evenly diving up the pepperoni, place that along top of the cheese, spreading out to 1/2” from the ends.
- Starting at the side closest to you (long side) roll up the dough like a jelly roll ensuring the cheese and pepperoni stay put while you roll.
- When you get to the end, gently pinch the edges together sealing it all in.
- Starting at one end roll the dough into itself (like a snake coiled up).
- Place the coil on the pan.
- Repeat for the remaining rolls. *Note: when placing on the pan you need to leave about 2” space between each one as they will rise and spread. You don’t want them to touch when they bake.
- In a small bowl whisk together the egg and Tbl of water until frothy.
- With a pastry brush, brush the egg mixture on pretzel.
- Sprinkle with pretzel salt.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until they’re a light golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
- Best when eaten the same day. If not, allow to cool completely and place in the fridge in a paper bag.