KY Ham and Cheddar Pretzel Bites with Jalapeno Mustard - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Friday, April 23rd

KY Ham and Cheddar Pretzel Bites with Jalapeno Mustard

KY Ham and Cheddar Pretzel Bites with Jalapeno Mustard

* see attached recipe below      
 This recipe makes about 40 pretzels             

Country Ham and Cheddar Pretzel Bites served with Jalapeno Mustard

½ cup finely diced KY Country Ham
1/3 cup finely diced sharp cheddar

1 ½  teaspoon of active dry yeast
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 cup of warm water        

1/6 cup brown sugar
1 cup warm milk

2 ½ cups of flour

4 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups hot water

Pretzel Salt

¼ cup melted butter

½ cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons finely diced jalapeno peppers, flesh only, seeds discarded

Mix the yeast, 1 tspn of brown sugar and the warm water (110 – 115 degrees F) in a cup and let it activate, about 5 – 8 minutes.  In a separate cup, mix 1/6 cup brown sugar and the warm milk.  Keep both of these handy.

If using a mixer, add the flour to the bowl and use the hook attachment.  On low speed, add the yeast and the milk mixture to the flour at the same time.  Gently raise the speed until a loose ball of dough is formed.  This can also be done by hand in a large mixing bowl but take care not to knead or overwork the dough.  A gentle hand is what is needed here.

Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover with cling wrap and let the dough rise in a warm environment for about two hours.

In the meantime, make your jalapeno mustard by finely dicing jalapeno peppers, discarding the seeds, until you reach about 2 tablespoons.  Fold this into your Dijon mustard.  If you like life a little sweeter, feel free to add a few teaspoons of honey.

Once the dough has risen, transfer it to a work surface and cut the dough into 4 rough balls.  Working with your fingers and as gently as you can, roll out a long rope of dough about a ¾ of an inch in diameter.  Flatten with a rolling pin, then press the country ham and cheddar evenly into the lower half of the dough. 

Roll up the dough and shape it with your fingers to reform the rope of dough.  Cut with a pastry blade at one inch intervals and lay out on a sheet pan.  Now let this dough rest again for about 30 minutes. 

For the baking soda bath, mix the baking soda and the water in a pot.  Bring to barely a simmer.  Dunk the pretzel bites about five at a time into this bath for exactly 20 seconds using a large slotted spoon.  Immediately transfer to another sheet pan.  Repeat with the remaining pretzel bites.

Sprinkle the pretzel salt over the bites, and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 8 – 12 minutes or until golden brown and nicely puffed.  The cheese will be slightly oozing out the sides at this point. 

Remove from the oven, brush with a little melted butter and serve while still hot alongside the jalapeno mustard.

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