Game day eats are FUN! It’s time to take a little break and remember that everything in moderation is A-OK. Meaning it’s time to enjoy ourselves some cheesy, spicy, DELICIOUS pieces of warm pretzel bread straight out of the oven…
I definitely mentioned how much I love, love, love anything pretzel back when I shared my first pretzel bread post. I think that was a ‘need I say more?’ type explanation if I remember correctly. I certainly can go on and on about soft pretzels….don’t mind me. These pretzel sticks are kind of a tradition in our house on Super Bowl Sunday. It’s something that I in particular look forward to, especially after super clean eating all January. And also, let’s be honest, Super Bowl Sunday is the most perfect excuse to make tailgate inspired pub style food and munch away the afternoon. Usually we cut these guys up into bite size pieces so that they are more eater-friendly, and so there are plenty to go around. When I made these the other day though, they were an afternoon snack for the kids. So I kept them whole and let my little ones just pick them up and go.
I’m partial to the Aidells Andouille Sausages that you can get, wait for it…at Costco. You’ll hear me shout out about Costco often and there’s a reason. I go there once a month, or once every 2 months and stock up on all my staples because they offer a TON of organic options at extremely reasonable prices. So between there and Whole Foods, I can literally get everything I need for my pantry and freezer, and then just fill in with produce each week as needed. It saves me both money and time…2 things that I appreciate having more of.
So the Aidells sausages became a favorite of mine over the years. There’s lots of different flavor options and I think the first kind I bought was a spinach and feta version that became a regular in pasta and on salad. They’re already pre-cooked which makes them a super quick and easy dinner addition. For these pretzels, though, I like the spiciness of the andouille. Especially paired with the sharpness in the cheddar. My littlest guy Ethan loves spice, so he eats these just as is. For Sophia and Kolton I usually go with an Applegate hot dog instead to keep it on the mild side. Either way you go, you can’t beat the combination. ENJOY!
Andouille and Sharp Cheddar Pretzel Sticks
- 1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 1/2 cups very warm water
- 1/3 cup baking soda
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 2 fully cooked andouille sausages
- 4 sharp cheddar cheese sticks, sliced in half vertically
- spicy mustard for serving
- Whisk the water and the honey together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast overtop and allow to dissolve until beginning to froth.
- Add in the flour and salt and use the dough hook to mix together on low speed until the ingredients begin to come together. Continue to knead until a smooth ball forms, around 5 minutes. If the dough is sticking too much to the sides of the bowl, add in one teaspoon of flour at a time until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 2 minutes longer.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a warm area and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Punch the dough down and allow to rise again for another 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan or stockpot. Add in the baking soda and stir to dissolve.
- Meanwhile, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and flatten slightly. Slice each sausage into 4 thin pieces vertically. Place one piece of the sausage and cheese into the center of each of the flattened dough pieces, and bring up the sides of the dough, pinching to seal tightly.
- Boil the sticks four at a time without crowding the pan, for 20 seconds on each side. Remove from the pan and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Continue until all of the sticks have been boiled.
- Brush each stick with a little bit of the egg wash. Sprinkle a little bit of kosher salt and sesame seeds over top of each, if desired.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until puffy and golden brown. Remove from oven and serve with spicy mustard. ENJOY!