Before I started this blog, I knew that I wanted to post these pretzels. I first made them about a year ago after I received a copy of Food Network Magazine with a spread on soft pretzels. I knew “M” a lover of all things pepperoni would love the pepperoni pizza stuffed pretzels. I think I even made them just a few days after I received the magazine which is so not like me. I usually book mark recipes and then never come back to them. Anyway, “M” loved them. And I made them many times before we moved, I even brought them to parties and get togethers and they were always a hit.
I swore as soon as we moved into our villa that stuffed pretzels were top on my list of things to make. But, as frequently happens, life got busy and the thought of making the dough, stuffing the pretzels, and baking them off just seemed like more work than it was worth. Well I finally got around to making them, and now I’m thinking what the heck took me so long. I had previously used the recipe featured in the magazine by Guy Fieri, but I always thought the pretzels came out a bit tough. This time I decided to switch recipes and try Alton Brown’s method. Well, Alton, you have yet to steer me wrong! Making the dough took less time than I anticipated (not including the time to let it rise, but that was just enough time for me and the kids to build a train track around and under the dining room table.) And for some reason, I remembered stuffing the pretzels to be very tedious, but it went fairly quickly. I will be making more pretzels again soon. Now that I have a great go-to recipe (and I usually have all of the ingredients on hand) my head is buzzing with other ideas for stuffings/dips/etc for them!
Pepperoni Pizza Pretzels
*Adapted from Alton Brown’s Homemade Soft Pretzels
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 4
tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup mini pepperonis
1 cup shredded Italian blend cheese
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water 2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Sesame seeds to garnish
Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and 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. Remove the dough from the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately about one hour or until it doubles in size (mine sat for about 2 hours…we were really into building our train tracks so I lost track of time.)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
Once the dough has doubled, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface. I find it’s easiest to work with a quarter of the dough at a time. Roll dough into a long rectangle. Using a pizza cutter, slice dough into one inch rectangles. Divide the pepperoni and cheese evenly among each rectangle. Fold the rectangle over to enclose the filling, making sure to pinch the seams. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan. Repeat with all of the remaining dough (keep the formed pretzels covered with a towel to prevent them from drying out. Bring the 10 cups of water and baking soda to a rolling boil. Once the water boils, place pretzels into the water (carefully!) for 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon to the prepared baking sheets. Brush with egg mixture and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Continue with the remaining pretzels. Bake for 11-14 minutes, or until the pretzels are golden brown.
Serve warm with marinara sauce for dipping.
Filed under: Snacks | Tags: Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pepperoni, Pizza, Popcorn, tomato powder
Pepperoni pizza popcorn, pepperoni pizza popcorn, pepperoni pizza popcorn. Try saying that ten times fast!
For my husband’s birthday last weekend, he wanted nothing more than to lay around the house, watch movies as a family and play bored games. He also wanted to order pizza from a new spot nearby. I’d been eating lasagna and birthday cake, so I didn’t want to splurge on the fat and calories in a pepperoni pizza. However, I couldn’t let everyone else have all the fun, so I thought I’d try to recreate pizza in the form of popcorn.
I should preface this recipe with the fact that this was my first time making popcorn that didn’t involve a bag and a microwave. Yes, that’s right, I made popcorn on the stove and it was pretty easy (I only burnt half of the first batch!) I have to say that the methodology of this recipe may take some tweaking to get the pepperoni/cheese/spice mixture to stick to the popcorn better, but it really did taste like a pepperoni pizza and popcorn had a love child.
Before I made this, I did a Google search to see if this had been done before, and what method was used. The only results I got were seasoning popcorn with oregano for a “pizza flavor” but I wanted the full experience, the tomato, the cheese, and the spices. I found a recipe (or rather a method) for making tomato powder here but I’m sure such a thing could be found online or at a gourmet store. I used freshly grated parmesan cheese because I don’t like the powdered stuff (but if you do, it would probably work better here.)
I wrote the recipe as I made it, but I think if I would have tossed the hot popcorn with more melted butter and the topping immediately, it would have stuck better.
Pepperoni Pizza Popcorn
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons tomato powder
1 tablespoon each, oregano and basil
1/4 cup mini pepperoni
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (optional)
To make the popcorn seasoning: Mix the tomato powder, spices, pepperoni, and parmesan cheese. Set aside.
To pop the popcorn: Place oil in a wide, heavy bottomed pot with a tight fitting lid. Heat on medium-high heat. Add one or two kernels of popcorn. When they pop, you know the oil is hot enough to add the rest of the kernels. Place the lid on immediately (unless you want popcorn all over your kitchen.) Pop for 3-5 minutes, or until the kernels pop only every 2-3 seconds. Remove from heat and toss with butter, then spice and cheese mixture. Serve immediately.