This month’s Pre-Made Our Way Challenge was to make soft pretzels. As with many of the other challenges this month (Daring Bakers, not to mention any names), I waited until the last minute to make these pretzels. It wasn’t that I wasn’t interested, I just never seemed to get around to it.
The original challenge includes a recipe for Alton Brown’s soft pretzels. Since I have the utmost respect for Alton’s abilities in the kitchen, I did follow the pretzel portion of the recipe pretty closely (except I used part whole wheat flour instead of using only all purpose).
I was not the least bit surprised that the pretzels turned out beautifully – it’s an Alton Brown recipe, after all. Of all of the chefs on TV, he is one of the ones that I respect the most. I like to watch cooking/food shows where I will learn something new, and I always learn new things when watching Alton.
Ok – now on to the pretzel making process…
The dough can be prepared easily in your stand mixer. I mixed up the dough at lunchtime and made the pretzels around dinner time, so the dough had plenty of time to rise. I divided the dough into eight equal portions (working with four at a time).
I made four “traditionally” shaped pretzels (to be utilized for my buffalo chicken pretzels… stay tuned), and four pretzel twists (for snacking).
Once the pretzels were shaped, they were plunged into boiling water with baking soda for 30 seconds, one at a time. After the dip in the hot water, the pretzels were baked in a 450° oven for 14 minutes.
In order to add my own twist (get it? pretzel… twist… I know, really bad pun) I decided to turn the soft pretzels into dinner by making buffalo chicken pretzels. These pretzels were inspired by one of my favorite appetizers at a local restaurant, Dukes – the Maryland crab pretzel. They also have a buffalo chicken pretzel on the menu, but I have never tried it. I intended to make the Maryland crab pretzel, but I didn’t have any crab in the house. Since I have pretty much used up my budget for the Penny Pinching Pantry Raid, I decided to make the buffalo chicken pretzel instead.
Buffalo Chicken Pretzels
- 2 soft pretzels (recipe here)
- 1 cup chicken breast, shredded
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- 1/4 cup monterey jack cheese
In a small bowl, combine the chicken breast, celery, light mayonnaise, and hot sauce. Divide the mixture evenly between the two pretzels, spreading to coat the top of the pretzel. This is easier if your pretzels don’t have giant holes in them. Top with the monterey jack cheese, and broil for 4-5 minutes, until the chicken mixture is warmed through and the cheese is bubbly and golden.
You still have time to join this month’s PMOW challenge! Click on the image above for details. Special thanks to Natalie for hosting the challenge each month!