Delicious smoky, crunchy, cheesy pockets of goodness are baked into these homemade Bacon Cheddar Soft Pretzels. To Alton Brown’s excellent recipe for homemade soft pretzels, we add cooked and crumbled bacon and shredded Cheddar. If you have a stand mixer with a dough hook, these delicious pretzels are so easy to make you might feel a little guilty with all the accolades you’ll receive. Choose a bacon that has a robust smoky flavor that packs a punch, really amps up the flavor volume so it isn’t lost in the hearty dough of the pretzel. We used Beer Belly Bacon which is smoky and has plenty of flavor. Considering beer and pretzels go together like pigs and slop, it seemed like a natural and we found it to be an excellent choice.
- 2-4 slices premium bacon, cooked, cooled and crumbled
- 1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 1/2 c warm water (between 110 to 115° F)
- 1 Tbs sugar
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 4 1/2 c all purpose flour
- 2 oz unsalted butter, melted
- Vegetable oil or cooking spray for pans
- parchment paper
- 10 c water
- 2/3 c baking soda
- 1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 Tbs water
- Coarse pretzel salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the 1 1/2 c hot water water, sugar and kosher salt. Sprinkle the contents of 1 package of active dry yeast on top of the water and wait 5 minutes, the mixture should by then begin to foam.
Add the flour and the melted butter to the mixer bowl and begin to mix on low speed with a dough hook. Once the ingredients are well mixed, turn the mixer up to medium and allow dough hook to work the dough for about 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove the dough from the bowl, wipe it clean then spray or coat with cooking oil before returning the dough ball to the bowl and covering with cellophane. Place the covered dough in a warm place for about 50 minutes; dough should be doubled in size.
Fill a large pot with 10 cups of water and 2/3 cup baking soda and heat to a boil.
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and lightly coat with cooking oil.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and flatten it into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Sprinkle the bacon crumbles and the shredded cheese down the middle, length-wise, of the rectangle. Then use a pastry cutter to cut the dough into 8 sections.
Once the water is boiling and the oven is preheated, roll, individually, each of the eight sections, beginning at the top (the long side of the rectangle) to the bottom and you will have 8 sushi-roll shaped dough balls.
Then roll each dough ball into a 24 inch long rope. Take each rope shaped piece of dough and make a U with it. Taking the ends of the U, cross them over each other then pick up and fold over the bottom of the U twisting and pinching slightly when in the classic pretzel shape you want.
Place each pretzel, one by one, into a 30 second boiling bath, using a flat spatula like device to carefully place them in and take them out of the boiling water.
Once the par-boiled dough is back on the parchment lined baking sheet, brush each one with the egg wash then sprinkle with the coarse salt.
Put into oven and bake for about 14 minutes, checking progress around 10 minutes.
Optional: smear each hot pretzel lightly with butter
Dough section rolled from top of original rectangle to bottom