When the holidays come around, I like to make my dishes with specific family members in mind. Now, I don’t know about your family gatherings, but I can tell you, the snacks laid out before dinner aren’t always the most exciting (ahem, grocery crudite) and when you’re mingling and hanging out for hours before dinner, you end up eating anything and everything you can find.
Well, being that my grandma is the coolest lady ever, and because year after year I look forward to lingering around my aunt’s aromatically delicious kitchen with her looking for exciting pre-dinner tastes, bites, scraps of any and everything. I made this Mezzetta Olive stuffed pretzels recipe for her.
This got me to thinking about Christmas—as a Jew, this is big! If I’m not mistaken, people string popcorn and cranberries around their tree, I’m thinking, hang these pretzels on the tree too and make it entirely edible. How cute would it be to get a Chanukah bush (ahem, mini Christmas tree) and place it on your coffee table decorated with yummy treats for friends and family to pick at? I’m totally doing this!!!
Thanks Mezzetta Olives and grandma for inspiring this recipe and for making me reminisce about those holidays past! What holiday memories do you have? No, really, share them with me and Mezzetta on their holiday website for a chance to win a delicious holiday memories sharing pack! So fun!
Servings: 10 Pretzels
Prep Time: 20 Minutes, Divided
Cool Time: 1 Hour
Cook Time: 5 Minutes
Bake Time: 14 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 39 Minutes
Warm Water (1 1/2 cups)
Salt (2 tsp)
White Sugar (1 tbsp)
Active Dry Yeast (1/4 oz—if you’re using the small packets, you would use one of them)
All-Purpose Flour (4 1/2 cups)
Unsalted Butter (4 tbsp, melted)
Mezzetta Kalamata Olives (1/2 cup chopped, divided)
Pecorino Romano (1/4 cup shredded)
Fresh Rosemary (3 sprigs, finely chopped, divided)
Coarse Sea Salt
Large Mixing Bowl
Flat Metal Spatula
1. TO MAKE YOUR DOUGH. mix together your water, salt and sugar in your large mixing bowl.
Once fully dissolved, sprinkle your yeast over it—don’t mix.
Let it sit untouched for 5 minutes.
Add in your flour and butter.
Using your rubber spatula, fold together your mixture until you have a dough.
Using your hands, kneed your dough for 5 minutes.
Transfer your dough onto a plate.
Clean your mixing bowl and then coat it with vegetable oil.
Transfer your dough back into your bowl.
Cover your bowl with plastic wrap.
Put your bowl in a warm place and let your dough sit for an hour.
During this relax time, your dough will grow and double in size.
2. TO MAKE YOUR PRETZELS. preheat your oven to 450°.
Fill your saucepan with water and bring it to a rolling boil.
Line your baking sheet with your baking mat.
Rip off a handful of your dough—ultimately you will have 10 of these.
Hold it in one hand and stick your thumb in its center to make a well.
Add in a pinch of your chopped Mezzetta Olives, cheese and rosemary—save some of your rosemary and olives for topping.
Fold your dough around your filling.
Roll your dough into a 12 inch rope.
Hold it in the air by the ends with both hands, so that it hangs in a U shape. Then, twist your two ends across one another pinching them down in the center of the U.
If that’s confusing or too difficult, try laying your dough rope in a U shape on your work surface. Fold the ends over each other, like an X, and then pinch down the ends at the base of your U.
Drop your now pretzel into your boiling water for 30 seconds.
Use your metal spatula to fish it out and lay it on your baking sheet.
Repeat this process until you have gone through all of your dough.
In your pinch bowl, beat together your egg with a tbsp of water.
Use your brush to coat the fronts of your pretzels with your egg wash.
Sprinkle them with your coarse sea salt, remaining rosemary and press in your remaining chopped Mezzetta Olives.
Bake for 14 minutes.
Let cool for 5 minutes.