Pillow soft inside, crispy, buttery and cheesy on the outside, these asiago cheese soft pretzels come together in 30 minutes.
Goodness gracious. I’ve spent this whole week a day behind. I thought yesterday was Wednesday, but I was so rudely roused from that delusion at bedtime, discovering that it was really Thursday. And here I was feeling so proud because I’d felt like I’d gotten so much accomplished. Do you ever have weeks like those?
Throughout the summer, I try to minimize the amount of time that I use my oven. It must be a throwback to the time in my childhood when turning on the oven ensured that the rest of the house would get hot as a sauna, making us sweaty and miserable for the rest of the evening. But I miss it, sometimes, baking as much as I’d like.
The smell of yeast dough rising is some of the best stress relieving aromatherapy there is. Soft pretzels are a good summer bake. You get that “gotta knead and punch some dough around” feeling worked out and they can be cranked in and out of the oven in less than 15 minutes. So, if you’re like me, and hate having your oven on for long periods in summer, these fit the bill. Or you know, if you just like quick and easy things, like me, these fit the bill. Or, if you’re craving crisp edged, pillow soft centered, buttery and salty, cheesy baked carbs, these fit the bill.
These asiago soft pretzels are fun to make. Because of the quick, yet hands on prep, they are a great recipe to get little people involved in. My youngest son had a blast rolling out the dough out into “snakes,” twisting the dough into the pretzel shapes, dunking them into the baking soda bath, heaping on the asiago cheese, and “painting” the pretzels with butter. He also requested them for his birthday dinner, so I think that he thought they were pretty yummy. We took a platter of these asiago soft pretzels to a party this week and they disappeared super fast. I know I had my share. But with their crispy, buttery, garlic and cheesy tops they are hard to resist.
Asiago Cheese Soft Pretzels
- 1 and 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 and 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast or active dry yeast (1 packet)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3/4 cup shredded asiago cheese , divided
- Approximately 4 cups of all purpose flour
- 4 cups of very hot water
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- coarse kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or with parchment paper.
In a medium sized bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Mix it together with a whisk, stirring until most of the clumps are gone. Add in the sugar, salt, and ¼ cup shredded asiago cheese, mixing well. Slowly add 3 cups of flour, one cup at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon. Add about ¾ cup more flour or until the dough no longer feels sticky. Poke the dough and see if it bounces back. If so, it is ready to knead.
Turn your dough out onto a floured surface. Knead with a push turn method for around 3-5 minutes adding flour when necessary to prevent it from sticking. The dough won’t be entirely smooth because of the cheese, but will be fairly smooth and pliable when done. Shape into a ball. Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears, cut the dough in half. Then into quarters. Take each quarter and cut into 3 even pieces to have a total of a dozen mostly equal pieces of dough.
Shape each piece of dough into a long ropes, even in diameter. Shorter ropes of dough will make thicker smaller pretzels. Longer ropes of dough will make skinny bigger pretzels.
Take the two ends of dough and bring them together in a U shape. Twist them together 2-3 times. Flip the twisted ends back to make the pretzel shape. Pictures are featured above to help with this process.
After the pretzels are shaped. Mix 4 cups of very hot water with ¼ cup baking soda. Dip each pretzel into the baking soda wash. While still wet, sprinkle the pretzels with the remaining ½ cup shredded asiago cheese.
Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees. Remove from the oven. Turn the oven to broil. Place each pan under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until the pretzels are browned and the cheese is melted. Watch closely to prevent burning.
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Mix in ¼ teaspoon garlic powder. Brush over the tops of warm pretzels and sprinkle with coarse kosher salt.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.