If you are vegetarian and stuck in a mall in the US for hours because you piled up all your shopping for that day, and the smell of cinnamon or anything remotely sweet is going to make you sick, Pretzels are just the things for you. If a very generous sprinkling of Pretzel salt is not your thing, then pick the Jalapeno and Cheese versions to satisfy those rooted in India spice cravings! Yup! That’s exactly how I was introduced to the Jalapeno and Cheese Pretzels on my first visit to the US. When I tried to seek these out on my next visit to the US, in a mall, the teenaged girl manning the counter, wasn’t certain they were vegetarian fare. So she she got a lesson on the difference between Vegan and Vegetarian food that day. I also loved the Jalapeno and Cheese Bagels at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf stores I would frequent on my way to work. So Jalapeno and Cheese is one of my favorite flavor combinations.
Lately, I am back on a a bread-baking spree and for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been marking one kind of bread to try every week. I began with what has so far been a scary and forbidding bread, the croissants, despite making a few mistakes and goofing up a bit they turned out terrific. Encouraged, I made another version of those (part-wholewheat) croissants the next week along with some Jalapeno and Cheese Pretzel Buns and invited some friends over for a brunch. I even woke up at 7.30 on a Sunday morning to make all the stuff. The guests landed at 1.30 pm!!! By which time I was famished! I added a potato, onion, mint and cheese Fritata to the meal to add the protein element, threw in the Lemon tart I had made earlier and our brunch turned into a complete party meal. And I forget, but I made 4-5 Pain Au Chocolates with the trimmings from the croissant dough. Add some beer and coffee to it and the stuff kept us going till 7 in the night. The Jalapeno Buns vanished in no time. We ate the croissants with Apple and Strawberry Jam and some folks ate the Jalapeno and Cheese buns with mustard sauce. The Cheese and Jalapeno rolls were the star of the evening.
Here’s How I made the Jalapeno and Cheese Pretzel Rolls (Makes Nine)
recipe adapted slightly from here
You will need
For the Dough
- 3.5 cups All purpose flour
- 7 teaspoons Whole Wheat Vital Gluten* (the original recipe called for Bread Flour, since I had All-purpose, I added Gluten to it, you can skip it if you don’t have it)
- 11/2 cup lukewarm water
- 2 teaspoons – Active Dry Instant Yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 11/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
For the filling
- 11/4 cup – Grated Cheddar Cheese
- 1 Jalapeno deseeded and chopped finely (You can vary this amount based on how much heat you can tolerate
- 8 cups of water
- 1/4 cup – Baking Soda
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon water
- Some sea salt to sprinkle
How I made it:
1. In the lukewarm water, add the sugar and yeast and set aside for 5-10 minutes, till the water froths up
2. In a large mixing bowl combine the salt and flour, whole wheat vital gluten and butter, add the yeast after it froths up and knead till it comes together into a soft ball.
3. Grease a large bowl and place the dough in it, cling-film it and set aside for an hour till it doubles in size.
4. Meanwhile ready your filling.
5. Once the dough has doubled, press it with the heel of your palm to let the air out and divide into 9 equal portions.
6. Take one portion, flatten it by rolling in your palm, add a tablespoon of the filling ensuring that you have a border around the dough. Now pull the sides over the filling on top and pinch them together to seal. Roll a little to make into a call
7. Place on a greased baking sheet with the pinched side down. Repeat with the rest of the pieces.
8. Cover with a clingfilm of moist kitchen towel and set aside for 30 minutes until doubled in size (about 30 minutes)
9. Heat the water with the baking soda till it begins to simmer
10. Pre-heat oven to 180 degree C
11. After the rolls have doubled, take one and gently lower it pinched side down in the water. After 20 seconds use a slotted spoon to turn upside down and let the side rest in the water for 20 seconds.
12. Once done, drain the roll of water and place it back on the baking sheet with the pinched side down, Repeat for all the rolls
13. Mix the water with the egg white and brush over the rolls. Sprinkle with sea-salt and bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a rack till they are cooler and dig in.