These double-wide pretzel sticks are authentically dipped in a real lye solution, then topped with diced bacon and gruyère cheese before baking. They're an addictive treat as a snack or to enjoy alongside a German dinner.
Bacon-Cheese Pretzel Sticks
About this Recipe
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We all know about American fast food. It's the kind you drive through. The only drive throughs that exist in Germany are for American fast food restaurants after all (okay and the car wash). It seems funny now, but as kids, I didn't mind them at all. It was so fun to drive through somewhere, talk to a machine about what I want and then magically receive those things at the next window. My kids don't get nearly as excited about drive throughs. German fast food however you pick up at train stations and various points scattered throughout the city centers and pedestrian zones. It's the food you pick up while quite literally on the run. One of my very favorite German fast foods are Döner invented in Berlin (and you should make Döner yourself! They're phenomenal!). One of my other favorite places is called Ditsch (go ahead, visit their website and drool) and serves pretzels 100 or so different ways like pretzel croissants, pretzel bites and pretzel pizzas. One of my. favorite pretzel treat there was a double pretzel stick covered in cheese and smoked, cured ham called Katenschinken, which is basically trimmed bacon. It's the perfect combination of pretzel, crusty cheese edges and gooey cheese middle and salty bacon. So I decided: craving no more! Let me make a copycat version of Ditsch's Schinken-Käse Brezelstangen! These pretzel sticks are so addictive, you'll want to eat them all in one sitting. However, if you do have any left over, they're perfect again the next day when you follow my reheating instructions!
Get creative and add even more or completely different toppings (I'll add some onions next time for sure), use a cheese other than gruyère (smoked gouda would be really good!), and even leave the bacon off for a vegetarian version! You could either serve these for savory breakfast, a quick lunch, snack or along with a grilled dinner (maybe cut them up for dinner or make single sticks). You get the point. These bacon-cheese pretzel sticks are great ANY time of day! 😀 So what are you waiting for? It's time to get to making these!
Scroll on down for the recipe, now in printable version.
Bacon-Cheese Pretzel Stick Essentials
Grapefruit Lavender Martini
Let's be honest. My green thumb is still a bit pale green. My homegrown lavender plant never really gained much strength and looks more like a delicate trailing plant. Still pretty, but not really lavender 😀 So I ran out to a local plant nursery (I've been to Family Tree Nursery at least once a week this last month!) to buy not just one, but two lavender plants (because I couldn't decide between Spanish and French!). Which then inspired me to make this Grapefruit Lavender Martini that just screams Spring! Using Finland's cleanest vodka from Koskenkorva of course! This is the perfect Spring happy hour drink to enjoy while you snack on a savory Schinken-Käse Brezelstange!
First make the lavender simple syrup by combining 3 ounces or 100 grams of each sugar and water and 1 Tablespoon of dried or fresh lavender buds. Bring to a boil in a small saucepan, stir for one minute while boiling, then remove from heat and allow the lavender to steep in the syrup for 30 minutes before straining the buds out. Now mix your cocktail (the syrup makes enough for 10, which you could then store in this beautiful and super inexpensive beaker pitcher.
- 40 ml / 1.6 oz good vodka (such as Koskenkorva)
- 10 ml / .4 oz dry vermouth
- 20 ml / .8 oz grapefruit juice
- 10 ml / .4 oz fresh lemon juice
- 15 ml / .6 oz lavender simple syrup
- lavender and/or lemon twist (I just recently got a tool to make lemon twists!) for garnish
more German Pretzel Recipes
Pretzel Beer Bubble Bread
Spargel Cordon Bleu
Spargel season ends when asparagus starts growing out of your ears I say! Make sure to subscribe to my blog now, so you're not missing out when this new German Spargel recipe goes live!
Schinken-Käse Brezelstangen: Bacon-Cheese Pretzel Sticks
- 500 ml cold water
- 50 g lye
- 100 g gruyère cheese shredded - gouda or just simple Swiss cheese would work great, or even white cheddar!
- 150 g bacon trimmed off any excess fat
- To make your pretzel dough, combine brown sugar, dry yeast and warm water and allow to sit for 5 minutes until the yeast starts to activate and bubble. In a large bowl, combine sifted flour, salt, room temperature butter (heat for a few seconds in microwave if too cold) with the yeast mixture. Knead for 8 to 10 minutes or until you achieve a smooth, elastic dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel and place in a warm spot. Allow to rise for 1 to 2 hours or until doubled in size. You can also prepare the dough the night before and keep it in the fridge.
- When ready to start working with the dough, preheat your oven to 420 degrees Fahrenheit or 220 degrees Celsius. Prep two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place your dough on a flour dusted surface and divide it up into 16 equal pieces (easiest to use a kitchen scale if you have one). The roll each piece out to 15 inch long logs, tapering towards both ends. Place 2 logs next to each other on the parchment paper covered baking sheets to make 8 double log pretzel sticks (view photo). Cover and allow to rest in a warm spot for 20 minutes.
- Prepare your lye solution by carefully whisking the lye into the cold water, not the other way around. Carefull and ideally wearing rubber gloves and a steel skimmer, submerge one pretzel stick at a time in the lye solution for about 10 seconds, then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Top with the shredded cheese and small diced, trimmed bacon. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes on the middle rack. Serve warm or cooled.
- Store leftovers in your fridge in tupperware or a plastic bag for up to 3 days. When ready to reheat, run some water of the pretzel sticks, then bake for 5 to 8 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
I received compensation from Niche Import Co. in exchange for writing this post. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions, thoughts and recipes are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may be compensated if you click certain links.