These pretzel balls are really the perfect appetizer or party food. They’re super easy to pass around and delicious to eat. There’s some effort involved in making the dough, but trust me – it’s worth it. The dough comes out crispy on the outside and chewy in the center, just like a good German pretzel. The recipe for this dough is adapted slightly from my Authentic German Pretzel recipe, so if you also want to try to make a traditional pretzel, be sure to check that out.
You can be creative with fillings for these too – just use a different kind of cheese or meat. I think they’d be really good stuffed with pepperoni and mozzarella and served with a good tomato sauce. Yum!
Sausage and Cheddar Stuffed Pretzel Balls
for the pretzel dough:
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 package dry yeast active
- ½ cup beer
- 4 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 4 tbsp butter - melted
for the filling:
- 1 pound Italian sausage - browned
- 1 pound cheddar cheese - shredded
for the water bath:
- 10 cups water
- ⅔ cup baking soda
for the wash:
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp water
- pretzel salt
for the pretzel dough:
- In a small bowl combine the water, sugar, salt, and yeast, then set aside until the yeast foams. Stir in the beer.
- Put the flour in a larger bowl, then add the yeast mixture and butter and use an electric mixer with a dough hook attached. Mix on low speed until combined.
- Increase the speed to medium, and mix until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl - about 5 minutes. (If you don't have a dough mixer attachment, you can put the dough on a floured surface, and knead it for about 10 minutes, until it comes together and becomes elastic.)
- Form the dough into a ball and put it back in the bowl - drizzle a little oil over it and roll it around well, oiling the ball of dough and the inside of the bowl.
- Cover with a damp kitchen towel, and leave in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
fill pretzel balls:
- Punch the dough down and roll it out into a large rectangle. Use a biscuit cutter to cut 3" circles out of the dough.
- Take a circle in your hand, spoon some cheese on it, then some cooked sausage.
- Pull up all sides of the circle to make a pouch, then twist and pinch off the end, making sure it's a tight seal.
- Repeat until all the dough has been used.
cook pretzel balls:
- Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a boil in a large pot.
- Pre heat the oven to 450°F.
- Line two baking sheets with baking paper, and grease the paper.
- Gently place each pretzel ball into the boiling water, three or four at a time, and boil for about 30 seconds, then remove carefully with a slotted spoon. Place on the prepared baking sheets.
- Use a fork to mix the egg yolk and tablespoon of water together in a small bowl, then brush each ball well with the mix.
- Sprinkle the balls with pretzel salt (I couldn't find any pretzel salt, so I used fleur de sel, and it worked great) and bake in the oven for about 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Serve warm with spicy deli or German mustard on the side.