Ben’s German Inspired Sharing Board

For the pretzels

500g strong bread flour 15g caster sugar
30g lard, room temperature 10g sea salt

5g active dry yeast 275ml water, lukewarm

100g bicarbonate of soda 2ltrs water
Coarse sea salt / kosher salt

For the raisin and smoked ham beignets

50g raisins, soaked in white wine overnight 100g smoked ham, shredded
15g parsley, finely chopped
200g baked potato flesh

200g choux pastry
1⁄2 tsp ground nutmeg

For the pickled grapes

100g green grapes 100g red grapes

250ml white wine
100ml white wine vinegar 50g sugar

For the mustard

250ml water
125ml white wine
125ml white wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
180g yellow mustard seeds

For the vine leaf cheese

10ea vine leaves in brine 300g Cambozola cheese

BASF – Ben’s German Inspired Sharing Board

For the pretzels

Using a stand mixer with a dough hook: put all the ingredients into the bowl, switch the mixer on to low and mix for 2 minutes, then turn the mixer up to a medium speed and mix for a further 5 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Remove the bowl from the machine, cover and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Line two large baking trays with baking paper.

Once rested, on a lightly floured surface, portion the dough into 10 x 80g balls. Keeping the remainder covered, roll out one of the pieces into a sausage shape about 35cm long. Form the sausage into a circle, crossing the two ends at the top, then twist them round each other again. Bring the top of the circle down over the twist and stick down firmly.

Place the shaped pretzel on the prepared baking tray and repeat with the remaining dough. Cover and leave at room temperature for 40 minutes and then gently re-stretch. (This is to allow the dough to relax and then help reform the desired shape and size)

Refrigerate or freeze them for 30 minutes.

For the beignets

Drain any excess moisture from the raisins and then add to a large mixing bowl along with the shredded ham, parsley, potato and choux pastry. Grate in the nutmeg and then season generously with salt and pepper. Beat everything together until evenly combined.

Preheat a deep fryer to 170°C. Line a baking sheet with kitchen paper.
Spoon small balls of the mixture into the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Drain

on the kitchen paper lined tray. Reheat in the oven when ready to serve.

For the pickled grapes

Place the grapes in a large saucepan and add the wine, vinegar and sugar. Bring to a simmer and then remove from the heat and allow to cool.

For the mustard

In a medium saucepan bring the water, wine, vinegar, salt and sugar to boil and then add in the mustard seeds. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit overnight. Transfer to a high powered blender and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

To blanch and bake the pretzels

Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Bring the bicarbonate of soda and water to a boil in a large pan. Drop 1-2 pretzels at a time into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Using a slotted spatula, lift the pretzels out of the water and allow as much of the excess water to drip off. Place the pretzels back on the prepared baking trays. Sprinkle each with coarse sea salt. Repeat with the remaining pretzels.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until deep golden brown.

For the vine leaf cheese

Drain the vine leaves from their brine and lay out on a clean chopping board. Cover with kitchen paper to blot off any excess moisture. Place 30g of cheese on each leaf and form into a 5-6cm wide cigar shape. Wrap the leaf around the cheese and roll into a tight cylinder, tucking in the edges as you would do a spring roll.

To serve

Fill ramekins with the mustard and pickled grapes, load the pretzels onto a serving board along with the vine leaf wrapped cheese and warmed beignets.