January 23, 2009

Cheddar Cheese And Onion Pretzel Bread


After doing a lot of baking last month, I had given my oven (and myself) a two week baking break. It wasn't easy to ignore the way my oven seemed to be asking me when I was going to get back to keeping it company. So I finally gave in and baked some Grissini, and that was it.
However, the looming deadline for Bread Baking Day this month (how could I miss that?) got me back to thinking about this month's BBD theme which is "Bread with Cheese". I chanced on a recipe for Cheddar Cheese Pretzel Bread on a discussion forum and it sounded perfect to me.





There are two ways of making pretzel bread, it seems. One way is to make them like pretzels by making pretzel shaped rolls putting them into boiling water to which baking soda has been added and then taking them out to bake them like bread.
The other way, which I have used here, is to shape the dough into a big pretzel and then bake it. It would also be difficult to follow the pretzel making method here because of the size of this bread.





I halved the original recipe and made a few additions and subtractions to suit our tastes. This includes leaving out the egg, adding some crushed black pepper and substituting one and quarter cups of flour with whole wheat flour. I am reproducing the halved recipe below.
Cheddar Cheese And Onion Pretzel Bread
 
(Adapted from here)
 

Ingredients:


1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 1/2 tsp butter

2 tsp dry active yeast

1 1/2 tsp sugar

3/4 cup warm water

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 tsp dried Italian herbs, crushed

1 1/2 tsp crushed black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp coarse salt or some white sesame seeds (optional)



Method:


In a pan, sauté the onions in butter till soft but not brown. Keep aside to cool a bit.
Add the sugar and yeast to the warm water, stir and allow to prove. In a mixing bowl (or processor bowl), put the sautéed onion, cheese, flours, Italian herbs and salt. Mix (or pulse) a couple of times and add the yeast mixture.

Knead very well, adding more water if necessary, till a moderately stiff dough which is smooth and elastic is obtained.
Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl, coating the ball with oil by turning it round in the bowl. Cover and allow the dough to double in volume (about an hour or so).


 

Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, letting it rest for 10 minutes. Roll the dough out into a 24" long smooth rope. Place it on a greased baking sheet and shape into a large pretzel shape. Moisten the ends of the pretzel and tuck them underneath to seal.
Cover and allow to rise till almost double (about half an hour). Brush the top of the bread with cold milk and sprinkle coarse salt or white sesame seeds if preferred.

Bake at 190C for about 40 minutes till golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped. If the bread is browning too much, cover it loosely with aluminium foil during the last 20 minutes in the oven. Cool completely on a rack.
The original recipe says this should make 10 servings. I wasn't counting and all I know is that we finished the bread off between the three of us!

It is important to use a sharp cheddar cheese to make this bread for the flavour of the cheese to really come through in this bread. Baking this bread not only guarantees a bread full of flavour but an added bonus of heavenly aroma of warm cheese and bread baking in your oven.

This bread goes to Temperance of High on the Hog who is hosting BBD #16 and to Susan for YeastSpotting.


37 comments:

Raaga said...

it is too cold here to make any yeasty stuff... for later... :) this looks lovely. Can't you send stuff through the courier?

Happy cook said...

Wowo the pretzel look beautiful and so yummy delicous. I have never made them.
Should try them once as itlooks so yummy delicous.

SMN said...

Aparna looks delioucs and just feel like grabing it :)

pigpigscorner said...

Delicious! I really have to try baking bread!

HoneyB said...

It is beautiful and delicious I am sure!

sra said...

It looks so nice and symmetrical. Love the many sesame seeds sprinkled on top.

Asha said...

Making Pretzel shaped bread is a great idea, looks perfect and yummy! :))

Maya said...

That looks too good to eat! I am sure it tasted wonderful!

Sunshinemom said...

I had read about huge pretzels and now I have the recipe and it looks good too!

Soma said...

One wonder after another Aparna:-)

Ashwini Kenchanna said...

lovely bread. Very tempting to eat that..Nice pretzel shape tooo

Yasmeen said...

Wonderful! Pretzel bread was not known to me,the onion and cheddar does make it very flavorful.I have a bread in mind for BBD,hopefully I'll bake it before the deadline

Smitha said...

That is a show stopper!

Kumudha said...

Bread looks great!

Panchrathan dal looks so delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Curry Leaf said...

Wow and wow.I was waiting for your Cheese bread .I love all the breads you make Aparna.You seem so effortless baker.For me,I love baking,but the waiting for doubling and the actual baking time is spent in nail biting.Well I made something for BBD.Will be posting it next week.

Jamie said...

Aparna, this looks so good. I could eat this for a meal! Happy Belated 2009!

Arundathi said...

looks gorgeous, aparna!

Cham said...

This one is a huge Pretzel! Looks so good the shape and bread!

Maya said...

Thats very neat, a pretzel shaped bread..Looks nice and yummy..

sunita said...

BEBeautiful entry, Aparna :-)

Rachel said...

Its shaped so well and the end result looks gorgeous....will get back to ours very soon :)

Passionate About Baking said...

Aparna, these are torturing me & the weather is till too cold & the yeast will not rise. Beautiful bread. Am so glad you are taking advantage of good Goa weather!

FoodyGuru (Srimathi) said...

Hi aparna,

How are you doing? Its been a while since I really looked at blogs. Nice looking bread. I am amazed at the bread that you bake all the time. Wonderful.

Aparna said...

Thanks. I had some anxious moments when the shaping the bread initially. Its one thing to shape small pretzels and another to do it with bread dough! But it worked out on the third attempt.:)

Raaga, if they accept food, I'd be more than happy to send you a parcel.

Yasmeen and Sweatha, I'll wait to see your BBD bread.

Thank you, Jamie and same to you.

Arundathi, I'm waiting to see you back at baking.

Looking forward to that Rachel.:)

I've been seeing how cold it is in Delhi, on the TV, Deeba.
Yes, it is quite cool and very pleasant here.

Fine Srimathi. Thanks, its been quite a while. Looks like you've been very busy.

Bharti said...

A beautiful job Aparna. It seriously looks amazing.

PG said...

Beautiful! Like always. And I like the "knot" you have made.
A very interesting recipe. But, there is one thing I wanted to tell you about the bakig soda. It is actually caustic soda (NaOH), yes it really is! That is what makes "bretzel" bretzel. That is what gives it this dark colour. It is dipped into the diluted solution of the lye. I looked up a link, here at Wiki.

PG said...

I just read the link myself, and you are actually right too. :D
Traditionally one used lye and, I guess, now a days to make it less dangerous baking soda is used. So, I also learnt something. :)

veggie belly said...

Thats some seriously gorgeous bread. I love bread with lots of flavor added, especially cheese :)

Aparna said...

Yes PG, you are right.
I have made pretzels (just never posted it!) and since lye can be dangerous to work with, baking soda is the acceptable option.:)

karuna said...

I love pretzels. this one looks so fluffy. I Just want to take a bite into it. def will try this one out.

Jude said...

Need to try making this... Haven't tried a pretzel recipe with a good amount of ww flour.

Susan/Wild Yeast said...

I loe loe the shape of that loaf!

Susan/Wild Yeast said...

Oops, that's loVe loVe

My V is broken :(

Eva said...

That looks just wonderful - your photo is so well lit! And it reminds me that I'm out of bread and - being a bit sick - I won't be able to bake...however, that looks just like the right thing to nourish me!

gine said...

Aparna, that looks delicous, compliments! :-)

Sara said...

This looks great. I also made pretzels for this challenge. I love this sound of this recipe, it is going on my to do list.

scraps said...

This bread looks very beautiful! I should try this one.