3½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoons pure cane sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2¼ teaspoons instant yeast
2 ounces melted butter
1¼ cup warm water
6 slices cooked bacon, finely chopped
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature
⅔ cup baking soda
1 egg yolk, beaten
coarse sea or pretzel salt
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook combine the flour, sugar, salt and instant yeast. Mix on low to combine.
Add the melted butter and turn the mixer on low speed pouring in the warm water. The dough should start to come together and form into a ball. Increase the speed to medium. If the dough is still dry, start to add more water about 1 teaspoon at a time.
Knead the dough on medium speed for about 3-4 minutes. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl and be elastic and smooth.
Remove from the bowl and form into a ball. Coat the mixing bowl with oil and add the dough ball back in. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a draft free warm spot for an hour or until it doubles in size.
While the dough is rising, in a small bowl mix together the bacon, shredded cheese and cream cheese. Set aside.
Once the dough is risen, punch it down and place on a well floured surface.
Using a bench scraper, cut off about ⅛ section of the dough and roll into a rope 6 inches long. Using the bench scraper cut the rope into 6, 1 inch pieces.
Roll each pieces into a ball and press an indent in the center with your thumb, place 1 teaspoon of cheese mix in the center of the ball, seal it up and roll it into sealed round with the palms of your hands. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Continue with remaining dough.
While making the pretzels bring a large pot of water to boil with ⅔ cup of baking soda.
If you want to make large pretzels instead of pretzel bites, take the 6 inch rope of dough and press it flat, fill it with cheese and then fold over to seal close. Form a U with the rope and then bring the ends over to make the pretzel shape.
Once the water has come to a boil, drop the pretzels in (no more than 4 at a time for the small ones and 1-2 for the large ones) and boil for 30 seconds.
Heat the oven to 450 degrees and brush the tops of each pretzel with a beaten egg yolk. Sprinkle sea or pretzel salt on top.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the pretzels are golden brown.
There's a chance some cheese might explode and spill out but you can just push it back in or serve it with the cheese bubbling out.