Ham and Cheese Sandwich on Soft Pretzel Buns?

The other day I was in the supermarket and I saw frozen soft pretzels in the freezer case. Being a native New Yorker living in Florida I was brought back to memories of the vendors selling pretzels on the street in front of Penn Station. Warm, doughy and salty. Slathered with mustard or cheese. So I bought a package of frozen pretzels and oh what a disappointment, yuck. So I decided to try making my own.  As I was twisting the pretzels another idea hit me. I said to myself why not make pretzel buns and fill them with ham and cheese then squeeze on some yellow mustard. Ham, cheese, mustard on a soft pretzel sounds good to me… when they came out of the oven I knew that my energies were not wasted and I should have made a double batch.

1 cup warm water (110 – 115 degrees)
1 tbsp sugar
1 packet active dry yeast (¼ ounce)
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cups all-purpose flour – additional flour for kneading
1 tsp salt
10 cups water
½ cup baking soda
1 large egg
½ tsp water
Coarse sea salt for topping
Sliced ham
Swiss cheese
Yellow mustard

Place water, sugar and yeast in measuring cup. Allow yeast mixture to proof for 10 minutes, mixture should be foamy on top. Add olive oil to cup – do not stir.
Meanwhile put flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and turn on for 10 seconds at low-speed to combine. After yeast mixture is proofed turn on mixer to low-speed and slowly drizzle yeast mixture into bowl. Mix for 2 minutes. Dough will be sticky at this point.

Remove dough from bowl onto a floured surface and knead for 3 minutes adding more flour as needed to keep dough from sticking to surface.

Place dough into an oiled bowl and cover with a damp towel for 1 ½ hours or until doubled. Punch down dough and roll to 12” by 15“ rectangle.

Then cut 12 – 1” strips.

Separate strips and allow them to rise under a damp towel for 15 minutes. Cover a baking pan with oiled parchment paper. In a large sauce pan bring 10 cups of water to a boil. Twist dough strips into desired shape (braid or traditional pretzel twist). They can be frozen at this point and finished at a later time.

Cover with damp towel and allow to rise an additional 15 minutes. Add baking soda to pot. Place one pretzel at a time into pot for 20 seconds, then flip and boil for an additional 20 seconds. Remove pretzel from pot and place on oiled parchment paper. Repeat process for remaining pretzels leaving 1“ between pretzels. Brush pretzels with egg wash and sprinkle lightly with coarse sea salt. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Bake for 12 minutes then  remove from oven and cool on a baking rack. Makes 12 pretzels. Split pretzels in half and fill with ham, cheese and mustard.
Note: The pretzels should be eaten the same day they are baked or they will get soggy. I haven’t solved that problem yet. Please let me know if you have a solution.


About Renee Lalane
I was born and raised in New York. Later in life I moved to Central Florida. I am of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Puerto Rican and Cuban decent. I have been working in the restaurant business for most of my life and have owned five along the way. Recently I became aware of the fact that as my elders passed away their recipes passed with them. I call these recipes "Heirloom Recipes" I am dedicating this site to saving recipes from extinction. Not only recipes from my family but from yours. Do you have a unique recipe that needs saving? Send it to me along with a name and picture of your relative and I will review it and possibly post it as an Heirloom Recipe.

One Response to Ham and Cheese Sandwich on Soft Pretzel Buns?

  1. Pingback: Betty’s Ham and Cheese Party Sandwiches « The Cooking Channel

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