Improv Cooking Challenge: Garlic Rosemary Pretzel Bombs

It’s Improv Challenge time again! The two ingredients for August are garlic and rosemary.

Since 2011, the Improv Cooking Challenge has challenged the participants to improvise a recipe using the two chosen ingredients. If you would like to join us, check out the rules here and then request to join our Facebook group.

We recently just started a group Pinterest board. Check out what we’ve made!

Garlic and rosemary are such common ingredients for me. I always have garlic on hand in the fridge and I grow rosemary in my little indoor herb garden. I’m constantly including both of the ingredients in recipes, mainly over roasted potatoes, so I knew it would be easy to use them, but I wanted to make them the star of the recipe.

I haven’t done any baking with yeast in quite some time but when I found a soft pretzel recipe using the ingredients, I knew it was perfect.

You simply can’t go wrong with the combination of garlic, rosemary, soft pretzels and cheese.

Garlic Rosemary Pretzel Bombs
Inspired by: Baker by Nature
Servings: 40+ pretzel bombs
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    • 1 ½ cups rapid rise yeast
    • 1 ½ tbsp sugar
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 1 ½ cups warm water (110 degrees F)
    • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
    • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, very soft
    • 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 10 cups water
    • ¾ cup baking soda
    • 5-6 oz. fresh mozzarella, diced
    • 4-6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
    • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
    • 2 tbsp kosher salt
    • 1 tsp garlic powder

1. Start the dough by combining the yeast, sugar, salt and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Let stand for 10 minutes or until foamy.
2. Add the rosemary and butter and the flour ½ cup at a time, mixing on low speed. Once all of the flour is combined, increase the speed to medium and allow the mixer to knead the dough for 12 minutes.
3. If the dough is still sticky, add additional flour ¼ cup at a time until it is tacky and has pulled away from the side of the bowl.
4. Grease a large bowl and place the dough inside, flipping the dough over once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour or until it has doubled in size.
5. While the dough is rising, dice the mozzarella into cubes and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in the freezer until ready to use.
6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Fill a large pot with the water and bring to a boil.
7. Meanwhile, divide the dough into ¼ cup sized balls. Use your thumb to make an indent in the dough and place a cube of mozzarella cheese inside. Fold the dough over the cheese and pinch the seams until they’re closed. Place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until each ball of dough is filled with cheese.
7. Once the water is boiling, add the baking soda carefully. It will foam up. Working in batches of six dough balls or less, use a slotted spoon to drop the dough into the boiling water.
8. Cook for 30 seconds then remove from the water, draining the excess water before placing the dough back onto the prepared baking sheets. Repeat until all pretzel bombs have been cooked in the water for 30 seconds.
9. Combine the melted butter, fresh rosemary and garlic powder in a small bowl. Brush over the tops of the pretzel bombs and dust with the kosher salt.
10. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the pretzels are golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the baking sheet. Serve immediately.

As you can see from the pictures I had some issues with keeping the cheese inside of the pretzel bombs, which is likely because I didn’t have my cheese frozen nearly as long as I could have. I didn’t make the decision to stuff the pretzels until more than halfway through the rising process and by the time I got all of the mozzarella diced, it was in the freezer for maybe 15 minutes before I started putting it in the pretzels.

But cheese oozing from pretzels is never a bad thing, at least in my world. These little bombs of cheesy, garlic-y, rosemary goodness are too easy to gobble up by the handful. I found that they’re even delicious when microwaved for 10 seconds the next day. It melts the cheese again and brings back the soft doughy texture of the pretzel that can turn chewier the longer it sits.


  1. What a great name for this recipe Nichole, these little pretzel bites ARE the bomb!!!

  2. Thanks for being our leader! And these look fantastic. I just need to figure out how to make them gluten-free.

  3. Oooooooh! I big ol' salty heart pretzel bites! But wrapped around some fresh mozzarella… I.Die!

  4. Those are simply beautiful! I want to eat them RIGHT NOW.

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