- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 package fast-acting dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 to 1 1/4 cups very warm water (120°F to 130°F)
- 3/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (3 oz)
- 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese (2 oz)
- 2 oz cream cheese (one-fourth of 8-oz package), softened
- Dash ground red pepper (cayenne)
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon coarse (kosher or sea) salt, if desired
How It’s Made:
In large bowl, stir flour, yeast, salt and sugar with whisk. Add 1 cup warm water; stir to combine, slowly adding additional water as necessary to make dough easy to handle.
Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. Grease large bowl with oil. Place dough bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray; let rise in warm place about 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together all of the filling ingredients.
Heat oven to 425°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with cooking parchment paper. Gently push fist into dough to deflate. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Using floured rolling pin, roll to 16×12-inch rectangle. Using pizza cutter, cut dough crosswise into 8 (2- x 12-inch) strips. Spoon cheese mixture down center of each dough strip. Press dough over filling, pinching edges and ends to seal. Gently press or roll each rope to 15-inch length.
To make pretzel shape, form each rope into U shape. Twist ends twice. Overlap twisted ends to form X shape; press together where dough touches. Pick ends up and place on rounded portion of U shape. Tuck one end under dough; place other end on top of dough.
In medium microwavable bowl, microwave 2 cups water on High 2 minutes or until hot. Add baking soda; stir until dissolved. Dip each pretzel, one at a time, into water mixture. Immediately remove from water with large pancake turner; place on cooling rack. Let stand at room temperature, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir egg and 1 tablespoon water with fork. Brush pretzels with egg mixture; sprinkle with sea salt. Carefully transfer to cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on cooling rack, about 10 minutes. Serve warm or cool completely.