Who doesn’t like a soft baked pretzel? Well I guess if you have a gluten allergy or cannot eat solid food you can be spared.
You may be thinking to yourself. Amy totally posted a way awesome soft pretzel recipe before, I remember it! And…you would be correct but what you didn’t know is a few weeks ago when I was checking out snack foods for the big football game (that was seriously disappointing) and stumbled unto Two Peas and Their Pod!
The blog owners, Maria & Josh are a total inspiration and I first came about their site from a post on FoodGawker for Roasted Grape, Blue Cheese Honey Crostini which I have yet to try but still drool about. They more recently inspired me to turn my pretzels into pretzel bites and serve with a beer cheese sauce. I decided instead of using my own recipe I’d follow theirs and it turned out fabulous. I didn’t end up making a cheddar beer sauce as the beer was urgently needed at the time. Maybe next time. My pretzel bites were not as attractive and I had to photograph them under horrendous lighting conditions before they got devoured, but they were super delicious!
Bite-Sized Soft Pretzels
adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tbsp demerara sugar or honey
2 1/2 tsp yeast
3 tbsp melted butter
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
3 quarts water
1/2 cup baking soda
Coarse sea salt (for sprinkling)
Turn on your oven to the lowest setting.
Add water, sugar, yeast, butter and salt to a large oven safe bowl. Mix well well and let stand for 5 minutes.
Slowly add in flour 1/2 cup at a time until all flour is blended until the dough is smooth. You can start with a strong wooden spoon but as you add the flour you will need to start working it with your hands. .Continue to kneed by hand for an additional 3-5 minutes.
Turn off oven. Remove the dough from the bowl and wash and oil the bowl. Add the dough back tot he bowl coating well with oil. Cover with r plastic wrap and a tea towel and place in the warmed oven. If you think your oven has gotten too hot leave it open for a mintue or took before adding the dough. You don’t want to cook it, just help it rise.
Let stand for an hour.
Remove dough from the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium to large pot, combine water and baking soda and bring to a boil.
Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into a long rope measuring about then length of your arm, dough should be about the circumference of a dime. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into one inch pieces to make the pretzel bites.
Add the cut pretzel bites to the water in small batches approximately 15-20 a batch. We did about 15 bites at a time. Boil for about 30 seconds to a minute. You will need to remove them with a large slotted spoon and place them first in a smaller bowl and season liberally with the coarse sea salt. Dump onto baking sheet and place into the oven. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown. I had to turn half way through and because I wanted to omit the egg-wash they browned a little uneven. Mine definitely didn’t turn out as pretty however they were still tender, salt, chewy and really, really tasty.