January 29, 2014

Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites

I love soft pretzels.  They remind me of playing soccer, amusement parks, and movie theaters. I almost never turn down a soft pretzel.  Especially with nacho cheese sauce!

I decided to make soft pretzels at home, and they turned out so well.  They're soft and fluffy, with that delicious brown pretzel crust. The pretzels are a little time consuming to make, but they make a lot of bites and are perfect for sharing.

These soft pretzel bites would be perfect for a Superbowl party this weekend. They are best the day they're made, though you can totally freeze them once all the way cooked.  Just heat them back up in a 300 degree oven for 10ish minutes.

p.s. Don't store fully cooked pretzels in an airtight container--they'll get mushy.  Throw them in a paper bag, or better yet, just eat them all ;)

Soft Pretzel Bites
makes about 60 pretzel bites

1 ½ cup warm water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
4 ½ cups all purpose flour, plus more if needed

1 splash vegetable oil

3 quarts of water
¾ cup of baking soda

1 egg
1 tablespoon cold water
course sea salt

  1. Add warm water and yeast to bowl of stand mixer.  Stir together.
  2. Add brown sugar and butter to bowl and mix to combine.  Let stand for 5 minutes until yeast is foamy.
  3. Add flour and salt and mix on low.  Stop mixer and scrape down the sides. Mix on low until everything is combined.  If the dough is too wet add extra flour one tablespoon at a time.
  4. Turn mixer to medium and knead the dough for 3-4 minutes.  The dough should be smooth and shiny. 
  5. Splash some vegetable oil into a bowl and rub around to coat.
  6. Remove dough from mixer and knead into a ball.  Put in the oiled bowl and cover with a towel.  Set in a warm spot for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size.
  7. Bring the water to a bowl in a large pot.  Add the baking soda.
  8. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  9. Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into eight pieces. Keep four out and cover the other four with plastic wrap. 
  10. Roll the dough into long snakes about a half inch in diameter.  Cut the snakes into pieces about 1 inch long. 
  11. Add a few pretzels to the boiling water-as many that fit without getting crowded.  Boil for approximately  30 seconds stirring to keep pieces moving.  The pieces should puff up and turn slightly yellow. Remove with a slotted spoon or spatula. Put pretzels on baking sheets.
  12. Beat egg and water together to make an egg wash.  Brush onto each pretzel top and sprinkle with coarse salt.
  13. Bake pretzels in oven for 15-18 minutes until they're golden brown.  You may need to rotate your baking sheet if they're cooking unevenly.
  14. Repeat steps 10-13 with other half of dough. 
  15. Remove from oven to a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Eat with your favorite mustard dip, nacho cheese, or all alone!
Pretzels adapted from Bobby Flay

Pretzel bites are delicious and easy to make.  There are a few steps involved, but you quickly get into a rhythm while making them. The pretzel bites are a great afternoon snack for kids,  while staying home and watching a movie, or during any big sporting event--especially the Superbowl. 

Do you have any favorite game day snacks?  What do you like to stuff your face with while cheering on your favorite team?

linked to Sweet Bella Roos

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