- 1 1/2 cups warm water (between 110-115 degrees F)
- 1 package instant yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
- 2 small Jalapeños, minced (use only one for a less spicy pretzel)
- 8 cups water
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 12 strips bacon, cooked until crispy and roughly chopped
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
- Extra cheese, bacon, and slivered jalapenos (optional)
For the dough:
- Combine water, yeast, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until mixture begins to foam.
- Add in the flour, butter, and jalapenos; knead on medium-speed for 10 minutes.
- Cover dough with a warm damp cloth and place in a warm area of your house to rise for an hour, or until dough has doubled in size.
Assembly and Cooking:
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
- Add water and baking soda to a large pot of dutch oven and bring to a boil.
- Divide dough into 8 equal rounds.
- Roll each round out into a 16″ rope.
- Roll each rope out so it’s 4 inches wide.
- In a small bowl combine bacon and cheese. Add 3 tablespoons of filling evenly along the rope.
- Tightly roll the dough back into rope, jelly roll style, pinching the edges tightly together.
- Make a U shape with each rope of dough, holding the ends.
- Cross the ends over each other, pinching ends onto the bottom of the dough.
- Place pretzels – one at a time – into the boiling cooking liquid. Cook for 30 seconds each.
- Transfer cooked pretzels to prepared baking sheet.
- Once all of the pretzels have been cooked, brush the tops of each with egg wash, then sprinkle with additional bacon, cheese, and jalapeno, if using.
- Place pan in the oven and bake for 17-18 minutes, or until golden brown and firm.
- Eat warm, or transfer to a rack to cool.