Thursday, 8 August 2013

Parmesan and Black Pepper Pretzels

Yes, you read correctly - Cakeyboi delves into the world of savoury again!
It’s another recipe inspired by something I had on our trip to New York (which seems like a lifetime ago now!). One of the first places we pitched up when we got to Times Square was Starbucks. Not surprisingly really, Disneyboi and I are huge fans of the coffee chain, as you may know.

The food in the US ‘bucks is a lot different to the range of eats available in the UK. Disneyboi went for a Raspberry Swirl coffee cake, whilst I was in a savoury mood and plumped for an asiago and parmesan pretzel. A big dough pretzel with lots of cheese, it was delicious and chewy, very good to go with my grande filter, with cinnamon dolce syrup and soymilk.

The other day I was craving the taste of that cheesy pretzel again, and we are lucky to even get salted pretzels here in Scotland, so I was going to have to try and make my own. Asiago was a no-no, I couldn’t find it, although there is a cheese shop in Dundee I should have tried,….I digress. I went for full on parmesan and black pepper. A great taste combination that I love. The creamy umami taste of the parmesan with the deep spice of the fresh cracked pepper, work very well together.

I was looking for a pretzel recipe online, thinking it would be very complicated with boiling the dough etc. But, I came across a very easy pretzel recipe at Sally’s Baking Addiction blog. Easy 30-minute pretzels that I could adapt into cheesy knots of delight. Although yeast is involved in the making of these, there is no proving time, and you have warm delicious treats in no time. Here’s how I made them:

Yield: 10-12 pretzels

375 ml warm water
1 sachet of fast-acting dry active yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
I teaspoon ground black pepper
200 grams plain flour
300 grams wholemeal flour
100 grams, grated parmesan cheese
1 egg

Preheat your oven to 220oC. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper or a silicon sheet.

In a bowl mix the water and yeast. Add the pepper, sugar and salt and stir until the mixtures starts to bubble a little bit. Add the plain flour, mix until combined, then add the wholemeal flour and mix until a non-sticky dough forms. Add a tad more plain flour if it seems too sticky. Add 50 grams of the parmesan then begin kneading it through.

Knead for 2 minute then add 25 grams more of the parmesan and knead for 3 minutes more. Next, take balls of dough, about 85 grams in weight each, and roll into snakes with your hands. Mines were about 40cm in length. Twist the ‘snake’ into a pretzel shape – it gets better with practice but take a look below to get an idea on what to achieve.

Place the egg in a bowl and mix with a fork. Dunk each pretzel in the egg on both sides and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each knot with the remaining parmesan and grind more black pepper onto each one. I also grinded some sea-salt onto each one, as well.

Pop into the oven for 10 minutes and then knock the heat back to 200oC, bake for 5 minutes more. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool. Although they are good eaten warm, they are just as good eaten cold. I put a bit of mustard on mine like Sally did in her recipe when devouring. Delish!! Enjoy :0)

Note: Don't grate the parmesan fine, big flakes are best, else they melt away too much.


  1. Oh lovely! These look great, I think I can smell them!

    1. Thanks Fanny - they do make a kitchen smell enticing!

  2. I tend to get cravings for various forms of parmesan biscuit but I'd never thought about pretzels. Great idea for a nibble.

    1. I love parmesan crisps - so easy to make!

  3. I made pretzels ages ago and now I really want them again! These look so yummy, love the idea of flavouring with cheese. Sweet pretzels are also a great treat!

    1. I love sweet pretzels Kat! Smothered with cinnamon sugar and butter - mmmmmmm!!


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