It’s an obvious fact that January is a month saturated with extreme diets, obnoxious detox regimes; (guilty) And drinking pretty much nothing but bottled water and green tea in the sincere, devastatingly bittersweet hope that we can solely endure a dry run throughout January without tippling a few shandies;
PUT THE BOTTLE DOWN – However, Saturday turned my house mate and very good friend a year older, so typically; we drank, we laughed, we had fun… And I played chef for our party guests.
Mozarella; the holy grail of melted cheese. The soft, stringy, stretchy texture naturally goes hand in hand with baked foods and I can’t say I’ve ever become accustomed to a Pretzel that endorsed it, thus the mozarella pretzel was born. The idea of biting into a spicy, savoury pretzel filled with mozarella was an arousing prospect, and as expected, they tasted delicious.
STEP #1: THE DOUGH – One of the most delightful facts about dough making is you can throw in pretty much any ingredient that takes your fancy into it to shape and flavour your typical dough into a work of art. For these pretzels I used chopped red chilli peppers and a generous helping of sundried tomato pesto; I found that these two characters gave a beautiful colour and flavour to the dough.
STEP #2 – MOZARELLA ROPES – This (surprisingly) was the hardest part. I warmed up the mozarella in the microwave initially so I could begin to mould it into ropes, you want them to be about two and a half feet long so they match the length of the pretzel. After beginning the rope creating process I quickly discovered that there is a bit of an art to making these delicate mozzarella ropes, DON’T STRETCH THEM – They will tear and you will have to start again – You have to squeeze them to length, leaving the weight of the mozzarella to do the stretching.
STEP #3 – MOZARELLA INSERTION – You want to roll your dough into ropes, much like the mozarella and then flatten the dough, forming a bed for the mozarella. Brush some egg-wash across the surface of the dough, add the mozarella rope and roll, completely covering the mozarella.
STEP #4 – BAKE – Once you have moulded them into shape you want to dip them into a formula of water and baking soda before baking, this is essential to achieve that perfect pretzel crust sheen.