Many have seen and made the popular pizza bites (we call them blobs) but I wanted something slightly different. I happened upon pretzel bites, very similar but made with pretzel dough. I found this recipe and decided to swap the ham for uncured Canadian bacon which contains less sodium and fat and fewer calories than an equivalent serving of ham.
Canadian bacon as I am using the term is a lean cut of pork loin from the back of the pig. Outside of the US Canadian bacon is slightly different, being cured in sweet pickle with a crust of cornmeal. That is not this. It's also not bacon. As stated, it's lean.
I also found it easier to use cubes of cheese rather than shredded cheese as originally called for. This makes it easier to assemble and seal the dough around the filling. I also chose to leave out the extra salt topping. The pretzel cooking method of boiling the dough in water with baking soda as well as brushing the top of the finished dough supplies enough saltiness for my taste, even in my 6 month pregnant condition.
These were salty goodness in a small bundle. Trust me.
Pretzel Bites with Canadian Bacon and Cheese
based on recipe from Pennies on a Platter
2 1/2 tsp active yeast
2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp brown sugar, divided
1/4 c warm water
1 c warm milk
3 c flour
6-8 pieces Canadian bacon, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 lb Monterey jack cheese, cubed (about 32 cubes)
6 c water
4 tsp baking soda
4 tbsp butter, melted
1. Combine the yeast, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, and warm water in a bowl. Set aside until foamy. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar and warm milk.
2. Add 2 cups flour and the milk mixture to the yeast mixture. Mix until blended well. Add the last cup of flour and mix dough in mixer with dough hook until soft dough forms.
3. Apply oil to the inside of a large bowl. Place dough in bowl and turn dough to coat with oil. Cover and allow to rise in a warm, draft free spot for about 2 hours, until dough has doubled in size and bubbles appear on the surface.
4. Divide into 4 equal pieces. Working on a floured surface, roll a piece of dough into a square. Divide into 8 smaller squares. Using a fourth of the bacon and cheese, top each square. Fold dough over filling and press to seal. Place seam down on a greased cookie sheet. Allow dough to rest for 30 minutes, uncovered.
5. Preheat oven to 400F. Place water in a pot and bring to a boil. Add baking soda. Lower heat to keep a gentle simmer in water. Add pretzel dough, working in small batches. Allow each batch to cook for 20 seconds, turning once while cooking. Place boiled dough on greased cookie sheet.
6. Baked pretzel bites in 400F oven for 10-15 minutes until browned. Brush with melted butter.