Monday, April 1, 2013

Mini Pretzel Sliders

Mini Pretzel Sliders
I have no energy to make any April Fool's treats today, but for some ideas, you can see my sidebar to the right.  :)  We're all sweeted out over here anyway, with Easter just yesterday.  I don't want/need to make anymore sweets right now!  And now we're working on ham leftovers.  If you have some too, try these mini pretzel sliders with your ham; I made these a few weeks ago and just used deli ham, but leftover Easter ham would be amazing!  The dough for these comes together very nicely and it's always fun boiling and then baking pretzels.  The way they brown and take on that pretzel taste is just...... awesome. 
Mini Pretzel Sliders
The dough is basically the same recipe I used for these pretzel rolls a while ago.  I left some plain (not made into sandwiches) for any of my kids who would rather not eat them as sandwiches.  They are SO good with the ham, cheese, and spicy mustard, though!

Mini Pretzel Sliders
adapted from Seeded at the Table

4 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for topping
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees F)
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) yeast
22 ounces (about 4 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil (nonstick) spray, for pan and bowl
10-12 cups water
2/3 cups baking soda
1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 Tablespoon water (for egg wash) (I skipped this)
Kosher or large-crystal sea salt
Thinly sliced deli ham or leftover ham
Thinly sliced deli cheese (I used Swiss)
Mustard (use your favorite; fancy is better)
Optional: unsalted butter and garlic salt

1.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, sugar, salt and 1 1/2 cups warm water. Sprinkle the yeast on top. Add the flour and mix with the dough hook attachment on low speed. Once the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix for another 4 to 5 minutes (adding bits of flour as necessary), until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Remove the dough from the bowl, wipe the bowl and then spray with the vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, turning once to cover both sides with the oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for approximately 45-50 minutes, or until doubled in size.
2.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray with vegetable oil; set aside.
3.  Bring the 10-12 cups of water to a boil in a large sauce pan or stock pot, then add the baking soda.
Meanwhile, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface or pastry mat. Divide into 24 equal large pieces (about 1.5 oz each). Shape each into a ball, then place onto the parchment lined baking sheets.
4.  Working with six pretzels at a time, boil each pretzel for 30 seconds. Use a large slotted spoon or spatula to remove from the water and return to the pan. Brush the top of each pretzel with the egg wash (optional) then sprinkle with kosher or sea salt (I just sprinkled salt on the wet dough). Use a sharp knife to gently score a vertical line in the center of each dough ball.
5.  Bake in the preheated oven until dark golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes.
6.  Preheat oven to broil. Slice each pretzel roll in half and place open-faced on a baking sheet. Lightly butter the top side and sprinkle with garlic salt (optional). On the bottom half, layer a small thin slice of ham and top with a small thin slice of cheese. Repeat with as many of the pretzel rolls you can fit on a baking sheet. Broil, open-faced, for about 2 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the edges of the pretzels are crispy. Remove from oven, let cool until able to handle then spread a little bit of mustard on each top roll and close the sandwiches. Place on serving platter. Repeat with remaining rolls. Serve immediately.

Mini Pretzel Sliders
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