ham & cheddar stuffed pretzel calzones
YOU GUYS. I did it. I really did it. For the past few weeks I’d been devising a secret plan to figure out how to stuff a sandwich into a pretzel, or how to make a pretzel-covered corn dog, or how to put pizza fillings inside a pretzel stick, or how to make a pizza crust that tasted like a pretzel… and I couldn’t do it.
No matter how hard my brain muscles worked and I squinted at myself in the mirror so as to inspire some sort of magical stuffed pretzel-making revelation, I only ended up with a headache and more eye wrinkles. Or crow’s feet. Whatever they call them.
Then it hit me. “What if I made a calzone, only I put it in a bath of boiling baking soda water (which always sounds gross) and then sprinkled it with salt and baked it and it was all stuffed with cheese and veggies and ham and gooey GOOEY GOODNESS?!” I said. Then I laughed maniacally and my eyes widened through my goggles and it started lightning and thundering and my hair stood on end and I woke up from my dream that was strikingly similar to “Young Frankenstein” and got to making these pretzel calzones for all ya’ll.
I can’t even to begin to describe the deliciousness that is this recipe. It’s everything I dreamed it would be and more. Salty pieces of ham are snuggled up alongside crisp roasted broccoli and melted sharp cheddar cheese inside a pocket of soft pretzel heaven. It tastes like the best calzone plus the best stuffed pretzel you’ll ever eat in your life. I do not exaggerate. And they’re very, very easy to make, as if you’re getting ready to make a calzone and then plop! you accidentally drop it in a bath of boiling baking soda water (yep, still sounds gross), toss a handful of salt on top and it magically becomes a pretzel in the oven. It’s one seriously tasty mad scientist creation.
Ham & Cheddar Stuffed Pretzel Calzones
A Girl Versus Dough original
Yields: 8 calzones
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons salt
1 bunch broccoli, heads trimmed and cut into smaller heads
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1 1/2 cups chopped deli ham
1 large egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water
kosher or pretzel salt for topping calzones
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine water, sugar and yeast. Allow to sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add in melted butter, flour and salt and, using the dough hook attachment, knead for about 5 minutes or until dough is slightly sticky and has completely pulled away from the sides of the bowl.
Shape dough into a ball and place in a large lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, roast the broccoli: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss broccoli with olive oil, salt and pepper and place in a roasting pan. Roast until lightly brown and slightly crunchy, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Keep oven on at 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
When dough is nearly doubled, prepare the water bath: Bring water and baking soda to a boil in a large stockpot.
When dough is doubled, remove from bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Flatten each ball into an 8-inch long circle. Place some cheddar, then some ham, then some broccoli in the center. Fold one end of the circle over to the other end to form a half moon; pinch ends tightly to seal. Repeat with each piece of dough.
Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower one calzone at a time into hot water bath and boil for 30 seconds, flipping over halfway through. Remove from water bath and place on prepared baking sheets.
Repeat with each calzone. Brush calzones with egg wash and sprinkle with salt. Bake 12-15 minutes or until calzones are a deep golden brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving.
Holy cow!!!!! Steph these look incredible!!!!!! My mouth = watering and slightly depressed that I’m not eating this RIGHT NOW!
Ashley — Thanks, dear 🙂
These sound delicious! I love pretzels, and of course nothing is better than ham and cheese. Can’t wait to try this out!
Elizabeth — I know, right? Ham + cheese + pretzels = best thing ever. Thanks for the comment!
You are brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!!
Pam — Just doing my duty of passing on delicious things to others. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!
…whoa. Looks amazing.
Arthur — Thanks!
Sounds fab. What do you think about freezing these, and what stage would you do it at? Dough, after boiling or after baking? I would want to do a big batch at once I think 🙂
Katie — I’d freeze them after they’re baked. Just wrap them individually, and tightly, in plastic wrap and then in foil, and they should keep in the freezer for up to a month. Happy baking!
Why have I never seen pretzel calzones before?! These look amazing and I love the pairing of pretzel with ham and cheese. Just inspired. I am featuring this post in today’s Friday Food Fetish roundup (with a link-back and attribution), but please let me know if you have any objections. As always, it’s a pleasure to be following your creations…
Javelin — Thanks for the comment! I’m happy to share if you use a link-back and attribution. Happy Friday 🙂
These look. AMAZING.
Um, that was your sis-in-law Natalie, just FYI….man, I wish I could have one of these for lunch right now!!!!
Natalie — Tee hee, I know. 🙂 Thanks for the comment, dear (will have to experiment with a GF version for you sometime)!
I made a no-ham version of these for our friends on Friday, and they were great! We took the leftovers with us on a picnic the next day, and they were still tasty straight from the cooler. These are definitely on our list to make again. Thanks for the recipe!
Brittany — Thanks for the comment! So glad you liked them 🙂
I can’t wait to try these! Probably without the ham though, but they look delicious. I showed this post to my fiancé and he has reminded me at least twice a week that we need to make the calzones. Sounds like a yummy plan for this weekend!
Nikki — Thanks for the comment! I hope you and your fiance like them!
Hello! Great recipe! I made these twice, now. Once with ham and cheese and another with pizza fillings…so good! Quick question, after freezing these, how would you reheat them? Thaw them out first or just put them in the oven frozen? Thanks!
Jodi — Thank you! The pizza one sounds SO GOOD. If you’re reheating frozen calzones, my best suggestion is to put them in the oven frozen, otherwise they might get soggy.
I first want to tell you how much I enjoy your site…and second – these are KILLER!! I made a slightly adapted version (pockets instead of calzones…not too much change) and they are a new favorite of everybody at my house. Thanks so much!! http://www.girlichef.com/2012/09/HamCheeseBroccoliPretzelPockets.html 🙂
Heather — Thanks so much for the comment, but thanks even more for trying my recipe and sharing it on your site! Your version looks amazing. I’m glad you and your family like them! 🙂
I made these, and everyone LOVED them. I love this recipe it is so easy and the dough turned out perfect. Instead of ham, cheese and broccoli, I made them with ham, Swiss cheese, roasted red peppers and Dijon mustard. They were awesome!!!!! Thanx for the recipe. I love your blog.
Anastasia — So good to hear! Your version sounds AMAZING. I’m going to have to try that myself! Thanks for the comment 🙂
Just wanted to say we love these so much it’s become a regular in our house! Thanks so much!!