Ham and Cheese Stuffed Pretzel Rolls Recipe
Christy, Sinkology’s food-loving recipe blogger, is here to share some recipes she has created for the Sinkology blog that reflect our view of a copper sink: simple, timeless, affordable, and beautifully rustic.
If there is one food item I’m well known for with my family and friends, it would be my ham and cheese stuffed pretzel rolls. Well, I’m also well known for my cupcakes, too, but I will save that for another time. I have made thousands of pretzel rolls and that is literally not an exaggeration. I know the recipe by heart and can whip these out in my sleep in no time at all – after all, I’ve had a lot of practice!
After making soft pretzels in the traditional pretzel shape time and again, I realized I could easily shape them into pretzel rolls and then elevate them even more by stuffing inside all kinds of yumminess! Hence, ham and cheese stuffed pretzel rolls were created and way before they popped up on Pinterest. My freezer is always stocked with them. I can’t stress how convenient they are for my family since they reheat in the microwave very well. My girls love having them for their lunch at school.
I love working with yeasted dough and I do it all by hand – no fancy Kitchenaid mixer or bread machine is required. I love the feel of the pliable dough and honestly, the best way to learn how to work with dough is by using your hands. There is something therapeutic about working with dough and realizing the end result will be hot and delicious fresh bread. I don’t know about you, but homemade bread is my weakness especially paired with salted butter.
If you have never made yeasted bread before, don’t be intimidated. It really is very simple. This soft pretzel dough is very forgiving and easy to work with. It is also a very versatile dough; I’ve made the traditional soft pretzel, all kinds of pretzel stuffed rolls, cinnamon sugar pretzel bites, plain pretzel rolls which can also be used as slider buns. One of our favorites is a slider buffalo burger on a pretzel bun with pepper jack – yum!
First, melt a half stick of unsalted butter and set aside to cool. Measure the flour by the scoop and sweep method and set aside. In a large bowl, combine 1½-cup lukewarm water, 2 tbsp. honey (or brown sugar), and 2 tsp. kosher salt then sprinkle 2¼ tsp. yeast on top. Wait a few minutes until foamy. If the yeast doesn’t foam after 10 minutes, then the yeast is bad. Throw away and start over with fresher yeast.
When the yeast is foamy, add the melted butter and 4½ cups flour. Either you can do this in your mixer with dough hook attachment or use a Danish dough hand whisk like I do. It is my Holy Grail tool for mixing dough by hand and I highly recommend it. Mix (or stir) until well combined. If using dough hook mixer, change to medium speed and knead until dough is smooth and pulls away from the bowl. If mixing by hand, use your hands to knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until smooth and not tacky. Form into a ball.
Wipe bowl clean and lightly oil it before placing dough back inside. Cover with plastic wrap and place in warm area (inside oven with light on, on top of dryer if you’re doing laundry, or if your oven like mine has a “proof-bread” setting). Let double in size – usually an hour.
When dough has doubled, gather the stuffing ingredients, kosher salt for sprinkling, prepared egg wash, and ½ cup baking soda. Preheat oven to 425 degrees (don’t forget to take out the dough bowl if inside the oven first). Line two half-sheets with parchment paper (I forgot to line mine but mine are non-stick). In a large pot, bring about 2 quarts of water and ½ cup baking soda to a boil.
Meanwhile. punch the dough in the middle to deflate. Remove the dough and divide in half. Again divide each piece into halves. Continue to divide in halves until you have 12 slightly bigger golf ball sized dough. Cover with clean dishtowel to prevent dough from drying out as you work on each one.
Now, the best part – stuffing them! Take one piece of dough and create a “bowl” in your palm by pressing in the middle to create a dent. Take a big pinch of each shredded cheese and ham and push in the middle. Draw the sides up to cover the contents and pinch seams to completely seal. Place the stuffed dough ball, seam-side down, on un-floured surface and palm the dough with slightly cupped hand. Pushing down on the dough ball, roll it around and round under your palm using the cupped sides of the hand to keep the ball centered under your palm. This will create surface tension and close the bottom seams together. Don’t worry if it seems strange at first and the balls aren’t perfectly round. The more you practice, the easier it is and faster it goes. YouTube videos are a tremendous help to have a visual. Place the ball on the baking sheet and repeat for the remaining dough.
Place 2-3 stuffed balls in the boiling water for 30 seconds and scoop out using a slotted spatula to drain water. Return to the baking sheet. Repeat for the remaining stuffed balls.
Brush the tops with egg wash, score two lines with a razor or sharp knife, and sprinkle salt on the tops. Bake for 12-14 minutes until dark golden brown.
Let cool and enjoy! These are easily freezable. Let completely cool and transfer to a freezer Ziploc bag or container. Defrost in the microwave for 45 seconds or heated through. My girls will pop them in the microwave first thing in the morning so they will cool down enough before they put them in their lunch container for school.
- 1½ cups warm water
- 2 tbsp. honey or brown sugar
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 package (or 2 ¼ tsp.) yeast
- 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 8 cups water
- ½ cup baking soda
- Extra kosher salt for sprinkling
- 1 egg yolk beaten with one tbsp. water for egg wash
- 2 cups cooked ham, diced into ½ inch pieces
- 2 cups (8 oz.) freshly shredded low-moisture mozzarella cheese
- Prepare the ham by dicing into ½ inch pieces. Cook in a skillet over medium heat until the moisture from the ham has evaporated and the ham starts to caramelize. Remove and cool before using. This can be made in one or two days in advance and refrigerated.
- Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and melted butter and using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, about 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, wipe clean the bowl and then lightly oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Bring 8 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in large stock pan. In the meantime, remove the dough onto work surface and divide in half. Again divide each piece into halves. Continue to divide in halves until have 12 slightly bigger golf ball sized dough. Cover with clean dishtowel. Line two half-sheet baking pans with parchment paper.
- Take one piece of dough and create a “bowl” in your palm by pressing in the middle to create a dent. Take a big pinch of each shredded cheese and ham and push in the middle. Draw the sides up to cover the contents and pinch seams to completely seal. Place the stuffed dough ball, seam-side down, on un-floured surface and palm the dough with slightly cupped hand. Pushing down on the dough ball, roll it around and round under your palm using the cupped sides of the hand to keep the ball centered under your palm. This will create surface tension and close the bottom seams together. Place the finished pretzel ball on parchment covered half-sheet baking pan. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Place 2 pretzels at a time into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large slotted spatula. Return to the baking pan. Repeat for all remaining balls.
- Brush the top of each pretzel ball with the egg wash, score 2 lines across the top with a sharp razor or knife then sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12-14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack. Makes 12 pretzel rolls.