Gruyere & Pancetta Pretzel Bites by Richard Burr

  • Total Time

    2h 23m
    • Prep Time

      2h 10m
    • Bake Time

  • Serves


  • Skill Level

  • Dietary Needs

    • Nut free
  • 1 Review

    5 star rating

"Saturday night with a few friends? An afternoon in front of the rugby with your mates? These pretzel bites are the perfect munch. They go great with a beer, just make sure you save a few behind when you’re doling them out because they’ll get scoffed sooo quickly! Fill them with cheese or pack in some chillies – my wife has them with chunks of frankfurters inside. These gruyere and pancetta ones are a fantastic combination. Make them, share them, then kick back and relax!” Richard Burr Finalist of The Great British Bake Off series 5


  1. Measure out the flour, sugar, yeast and salt into a bowl, and mix the dry ingredients with a spoon.

  2. Add the 240ml warm water and continue to mix, with a spoon and then your hands, until all the flour has come away from the sides of the bowl.

  3. Tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

  4. Lightly oil the bowl with a few drops of oil, return the dough to the bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for 1-2 hours until at least doubled in size.

  5. Fry off the pancetta in vegetable oil and set aside.

  6. Select 32 handsome-shaped parsley leaves and set aside.

  7. Grate the gruyere into a saucepan, add the corn flour and stir through so that the cheese is covered evenly. Add the 60ml water and melt together over a medium heat, stirring constantly. Once melted, stir through the pancetta and leave to cool.

  8. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface, and knock the air out by gently folding it in on itself three or four times. Divide into 32 equal sized pieces.

  9. Make the bites by rolling each piece of dough out into a round disc. Dollop about a tea spoon of cheese / pancetta mixture into the centre of the disc. Bring the edges of the dough around the cheese and pinch together into a ball shape encasing the cheese.

  10. Repeat this until all 32 dough balls are made.

  11. Fill a large pan with 3.5 litres of boiling water. Add the bicarbonate of soda, and line a baking tray with baking parchment.

  12. Using a fish slice or a slotted spoon, gently dip each pretzel bites, four at a time, into the boiling water for 10 seconds, placing each one on the baking tray as they come out. Put a parsley leaf on the top of each ball while they are still wet. Repeat with the rest of the pretzel bites.

  13. Preheat the oven to 200°C fan and pour 100ml of water into the oven reservoir of the SteamBake oven or place a baking tin half-filled with water in the base of the oven, five minutes before you are ready to bake. When the oven is at heat, bake the pretzel bites for 13 minutes until a deep brown.

  14. Take out and eat as soon as they’re cool enough to touch as they’re flipping delicious!

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  1. 5 star rating

    First attempt at these and it was a success. Very very tasty bits and would be perfect for a lunch nibble or a starter. The only thing I changed was I used normal back bacon and not pancetta but the flavour was great and come through very well. I will do these again very soon.

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