Cheddar Pretzel Sticks
Soft pretzels flavored with cheddar and sprinkled with pretzel salt and poppy, mustard, or sesame seeds are easy to serve in vases filled partway with salt and seeds.
- Yield: Makes 9 dozen
Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Winter 2002
- 1 quarter-ounce package dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
- 2 cups milk, scalded and cooled
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for bowl
- 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 15 ounces (4 cups) sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated
- 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Coarse pretzel salt
- Poppy, mustard, and sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)
- Vegetable-oil cooking spray
In the bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve yeast in the warm water; let it rest 5 minutes. Add sugar, table salt, milk, and oil. Gradually stir in 3 cups flour. Cover, and let rise in a warm place 40 minutes.
Place bowl on mixer stand; attach dough hook. Gradually add 3 remaining cups flour and baking powder, mixing until combined. One handful at a time, add 3 1/2 cups grated cheese, mixing until completely incorporated. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a little more flour if necessary, knead to form a smooth, elastic dough that is no longer sticky. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl; cover. Let rise again until doubled, about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray baking sheets with cooking spray. Gently punch down dough, and divide into four equal pieces. Remove one piece of dough; cover the rest. Divide the piece of dough into approximately twenty-six 1-inch balls, and roll the balls into sticks about 12 inches long. Transfer to prepared pans, placing sticks 1 inch apart, curling ends if desired. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with salt, seeds, or remaining cheese as desired. Bake until dark brown, about 20 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough. Store in an airtight container up to 3 days.