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Ask a Chef reveals the secrets of those superb dishes you ate in cafes and restaurants and wanted to try yourself.
Mozzarella-stuffed rosemary and parmesan soft pretzels
1400ml tepid water
40g dried yeast
1 Tbsp salt
2.7kg flour3-4 stalks rosemary or thyme, chopped finely
360g butter at room temperature
salami and grated mozzarella
½ cup baking soda
egg for glazing
Combine water, yeast, salt and sugar in a bowl and stir together. Let stand for 10-15 minutes until it starts to foam.
Add flour, butter and rosemary and mix with the dough hook in an electric mixer until elastic and smooth - about 15 minutes.
To test if gluten has developed enough, pinch a small ball of dough off and start pulling it from the centre out. If it’s ready, you will be making a thin membrane without tearing, that is transparent to look through.
Spray a large bowl with oil, place your dough in to prove, and cover.
Leave in a warm place for about 30 to 45 minutes until almost double in size.
Cut dough in half and return half to the bowl and cover.
Portion the remaining dough into 185-190g pieces and roll them out roughly in the shape of a small baguette and cover with a clean damp cloth.
Roll out the dough portions; flatten with a rolling pin so it is longer and wider to accommodate cheese in middle. Wet a finger with water and dampen around the ends.
Place the salami and cheese and roll tightly closed, folding the ends.
Now fold the pretzel into a knot and place it on a tray, seam side down.
Allow six pretzels per tray and cover with cling wrap.
The dough makes 24 pretzels and you can freeze 12 at this stage, then refrigerate the remaining 12 overnight allowing them to prove slowly.
The next morning, remove from fridge and allow to come to room temperature.
Bring a large pot of water to simmer with a quarter cup of baking soda.
Poach three pretzels at a time for 40 to 50 seconds.
Finish by brushing with egg wash and a sprinkle of rock salt.
Bake in a combi steam oven at 150degC or heat a small metal dish in oven. After you have put the pretzels in the oven, fill the dish with water and close the door.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.
- Recipe requested by Kelli Thompson. Recipe provided by Marbecks, Dunedin.
• If you have enjoyed a dish in an Otago café or restaurant and would like the recipe, write to Ask a Chef, Features, Otago Daily Times, PO Box 517, Dunedin, fax 474-7422, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, including your name, address and a daytime telephone number, and we will request it.