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Pretzel Chicken and bacon sandwiches

Though this does require some prep time, this tasty treat is a lot easier to do than most people will believe.

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Pretzel Chicken and bacon sandwiches

by zirbirt

Not too long ago, I got a craving for bakery fresh soft pretzels. Unfortunately, there just weren't any to be found locally, so I decided to try to figure out how to do it myself. I played around with a couple of pretzel recipes and techniques until I figured out which version really worked, then modified it slightly to get what I was looking for.

Well, while experimenting I discovered something interesting about pretzel making. Much like cinnamon rolls, the real trick to getting what you want texture-wise is in how much you let it rise. For good classic pretzels, you don't let them rise a whole lot, this keeps the inside nice an dense... but.. in my experimenting, I let them rise almost to maximum at one point, and found myself eating what was essentially a very yummy roll with a chewy pretzel outside. I knew at some point, this would become a sandwich.

Since the pretzels do require a little time to rise, and prep.. you may want to make these in advance. If you do, just cook em to brown, then reheat in a 350 degree oven, when you are ready to make the sandwiches.

STEP 1: Pretzel bread

Ingredient:

1 1/2 cups - warm water
1 Tbs - Sugar
2 tsp - Kosher Salt
2 1/2 tsp (or 1 pkg) - Active Dry yeast
4 1/2 cups - flour
2 Tbs - butter (melted)

Combine water, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl.. then sprinkle yeast over it, and let it sit for about 5 mins. It should start to foam.

Add flour and butter and mix with a dough hook, or mix till you cant and transfer it to a counter and knead it.

ball it up, spray your bowl with cooking spray and put the ball in there.. cover and let rest/rise for about an hour.

You now have the dough. Cut it into 12 equal balls... then shape as desired. For rolls just flatten the ball and place it on a wax paper square. For pretzels roll it into a 2' rope, then fold it like a pretzel and put in on a wax paper square. You can make some of both in one batch.

Next, put 2 cups boiling water in pan at the bottom of a cold oven. Then put your pretzels in the over to rise... For pretzels about 10-20 mins, for Rolls about an hour.

Letting the pretzels rise to about 3 times their size in the oven, will ensure a nice bready pretzel. Which is the real trick to making pretzel rolls (as opposed to just pretzels).

Next we take 10cups of water and put them in a large pot. Add 3/4 cup of baking soda to the pot and heat it on medium high heat.. until boiling (note baking soda will try to trick you. It will bubble like its boiling but it actually isn't, that is just the baking soda playing games.. wait for a fully rolling boil before continuing.)

Once the baking soda water is fully boiling, drop in your first pretzel. Let it float there for about 20 seconds, then flip it over for another 15 seconds. Remove it with a spatula and place it on a prepared cookie sheet (either parchment paper or lightly oiled).

Once you have done all the pretzels, take 1 egg yolk and 2 Tbs water and whisk them together.. using a brush apply this concoction to the pretzels.. Then just sprinkle with sea salt or whatever salt you like (table salt might work, but I think you will be very disappointed).

Then toss them in the oven and bake at 425 for about 20 mins.. once they get a nice dark brown, they are ready to come out:

(note, I made mine lighter than normal because I had intended to reheat them, so these actually could have stayed in for a few more minutes)

That's it.. you now have pretzel rolls.. so lets put something on those bad boys.

STEP 2: Chicken & bacon

Grab a couple of boneless skinless chicken breasts. One for each sandwich you will be making. Slice the breasts in half.. then flatten them out with a meat hammer, or can of veggis.. or whatever is handy. Add marinade (I used teriyaki) and let hang out it the fridge for about 30 mins.

Heat oven to 350. line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil (trust me).. and place the bacon slices side by side on the cookie sheet (baking rack works better if you have one, but aluminum foil works fine). Cook for about 10 mins, You are looking for it to look cooked, but not crisp (it will cook a bit more when you pull it out of the oven). Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lines plates and let it just take a little nap.

Heat a skillet over medium heat on the stove.. and slap your chicken on there.. Since it is thin, it will cook pretty quick (3-4 mins per side) but pay attention, to make sure your not serving undercooked chicken.

STEP 3: Put it together

Slice the pretzel rolls the same way you would slice any other sandwich roll.. (you can toast them in the toaster, oven, grill the insides in the skillet, or just go au 'natural)... apply honey Dijon to both sides of the bread and spead evenly. Add chicken, bacon and top with baby spinach (clean it and remove the stems).

I wrap mine in foil to make them easier to manage...

That's it...

zirbirt
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