- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 envelope Quick Rise (Rapid Rise) Yeast
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons Canola (or vegetable) oil
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 8 ounces Challenge Cream Cheese, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon dry ranch seasoning
- 2 heaping tablespoons real bacon bits
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, divided
- In the bowl of your stand mixer stir together 3 cups of flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.
- In a separate microwave-safe bowl combine the milk, water and oil. Heat in 30 second increments until the mixture is very warm (between 120°-130°F). Pour this into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour, a few tablespoons at a time, until the dough is smooth and slightly tacky. Attach the dough hook to the mixer and mix on medium speed for 4 minutes until the dough is elastic. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, create your filling by combining the cream cheese, ranch seasoning, bacon bits and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese by hand or with your mixer and paddle attachment, if you have a clean bowl.
- Transfer this mixture into a heavy duty zip-top bag with the corner cut off, or piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into 8, equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 20- inch long rope. Flatten each rope and pipe the cheese mixture into the center of each. Pinch the edges closed tightly and form each rope into a pretzel. Place 4 pretzels on each prepared baking sheet. Cover the pretzels with a clean towel and allow to rise slightly, about 10 minutes.
- Brush each pretzel with the egg. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, brush again with the egg and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Continue baking for 15 more minutes or until the pretzels are golden brown.
- Allow to cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature.
To make in advance make and bake the pretzels as directed. Allow the pretzels to cool completely. Place cooled pretzels in an airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month.
To reheat place frozen pretzels on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 6-8 minutes until warm.