• Print
  • E-Mail
  • Feeds
  • Share This

2000s Recipes + Menus

Country Ham and Cheddar Pretzel Bites with Jalapeño Mustard

Makes4 dozen hors d’oeuvres or snacks
  • Active time:1 hr
  • Start to finish:4 hr
October 2009
Simultaneously salty, sharp, spicy, and sweet (in other words, completely irresistible), these nuggets are chef Edward Lee’s way of saying, “You can have a casual meal without compromising true culinary endeavor.” The tradition of serving mustard with a soft pretzel is strictly an American one; Lee makes his own honey mustard, jazzing it up with chiles. View more of our favorite recipes from this issue.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon packed light brown sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110–115ºF)
  • 1 cup warm milk (110–115ºF)
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped country ham (3 oz; preferably Newsom’s or Benton’s), divided
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped sharp Cheddar, divided
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped seeded fresh jalapeños
  • 1 tablespoon mild honey
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons pretzel salt or coarse salt
  • Stir together yeast, 1 tsp brown sugar, and warm water in a large bowl and let stand until foamy, 5 to 8 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, start over with new yeast.) In a separate bowl, stir remaining 2 Tbsp brown sugar into warm milk until dissolved.
  • Add 2 1/2 cups flour and milk mixture to yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until a soft dough forms, adding up to 1/2 cup additional flour, a little at a time, if necessary. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead a few times to form a smooth ball. Transfer to a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled and bubbles appear on surface, about 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 400ºF with rack in upper and lower thirds. Line two 4-sided sheet pans with parchment paper.
  • Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut into 4 equal pieces. Lightly dust your hands with flour, then gently roll and stretch 1 piece of dough to form a 12-inch-long rope. Flatten dough and arrange so a long side is nearest you, then roll out to a roughly 12- by 4-inch rectangle with a lightly floured rolling pin. Gently press one fourth of ham and cheese into lower third of rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch border along bottom edge. Stretch bottom edge of dough up over filling and press tightly to seal, then roll up as tightly as possible to form a rope. Cut rope into 12 pieces and transfer to a sheet pan. Make 3 more ropes with remaining dough, ham, and cheese and cut into pieces, transferring to sheet pans. Let rest at room temperature, uncovered, 30 minutes (dough will rise slightly).
  • Bring water (6 cups) to a boil in a 4- to 5-qt saucepan. Reduce heat and stir in baking soda. Cook pretzel bites in batches in gently simmering water, turning once, until slightly puffed, about 20 seconds. Transfer with a slotted spoon to sheet pans.
  • Bake until puffed and golden-brown, about 15 minutes (cheese may ooze slightly).
  • Meanwhile, stir together mustard, jalapeños, and honey.
  • Brush warm pretzel bites with butter and sprinkle with pretzel salt. Serve warm or at room temperature with jalapeņo mustard for dipping.
cooks’ notes:
    Jalapeño mustard can be made 1 day ahead and chilled.
  • Pretzels can be made 2 weeks ahead and frozen (once cooled). Thaw 30 minutes, then reheat in a 400°F oven about 10 minutes.
Keywords
pork,
dairy,
edward lee
  • Print
  • E-Mail
  • Feeds
  • Share This
Subscribe to Gourmet