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Easy Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites
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Skip the freezer aisle and whip up a warm batch of Easy Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites with this tried and tested recipe.
Easing our way into the fall food season means we’ve got pumpkin and apples on the brain. And for those of us with a certain carb affinity, the falling leaves and cooler temps signal a very fortuitous chain of events. Follow along with me here…
Fall→ October → Oktoberfest → Pretzels → Soft Pretzel Bites
How’s that for rationalizing just one more reason to enjoy hot, salty, chewy carbs?
While I certainly won’t be making the trek to Germany this year (or let’s be honest, in the next 15 years) due to two other deliciously chewable nuggets, that doesn’t mean my taste buds have to miss the carbs on carbs (#beer) par-tay.
Before you read the word “yeast” in the recipe below and go running for the hills (or perhaps your local grocery store’s freezer aisle), allow me to calm any fears or previous frustrations when it comes to this sometimes tricky ingredient.
This recipe is fool-proof. I repeat: Anyone and everyone can make soft pretzel bites. There is no fancy twisting. There is no hard-to-pronounce chemical bath to get that glossy brown exterior. There is no kneading by hand.
There are just some good ol’ pantry items and a few simple tricks to whipping up the easiest homemade soft pretzel bites to ever hit your lips. Your biggest dilemma, in fact, will be whether you dunk these bites in mustard or cheese sauce. And that is one predicament I’d be happy to find myself in.
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Easy Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites
- 1 1/2 cups warm (110-115°F) water
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for topping
- 1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Vegetable oil
- 10 cups water
- 2/3 cup baking soda
- 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 Tablespoon water
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the water, sugar and kosher salt. Sprinkle the yeast on top and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
Add the flour and butter to the bowl and mix on low until the ingredients are combined.
Increase the speed to medium and knead the dough until it is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, about 3 minutes.
Remove the dough from the bowl. Clean the bowl, grease it with vegetable oil and return the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm, dark place until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 450°F and position the oven racks in the middle two positions in your oven.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper then lightly oil the paper.
In a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot, stir together the 10 cups of water and the baking soda then bring the mixture to a rolling boil.
Turn the dough onto your work surface and divide it into 6 pieces. (Do not flour your work surface.)
Roll each piece into a rope roughly 1-inch in diameter then cut each rope into 1-inch pieces to form the pretzel bites.
In batches, add the bites to the boiling baking soda mixture for 30 seconds then use a slotted spoon to remove them onto the oiled baking sheets.
Brush the bites with the egg wash and sprinkle them with kosher salt.
Bake the bites until golden brown in color, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pans (between racks and turning to rotate pans) halfway through.
Remove the soft pretzel bites from the oven and serve.
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Recipe adapted from Alton Brown.
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