Appetizers / Bread / Comfort Food / Party Food / See Hatsie Cook

Cook: Homemade Pretzel Bites

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Is there anything more satisfying than successfully making bread from scratch?  It makes me feel like a superhero.  Like a master of science, make something from nothing, superhero.  I love to watch the yeast bloom, and the dough rise.  I love to feel a shaggy dough come together in my hands as I knead.  I love the smell (obviously).

I made these pretzel bites for the Super Bowl and wrote on Instagram that they were my crowning achievement.  That’s not hyperbole.

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The dough came together with ease.  Kneading it was a breeze.  Cutting and boiling and baking was actually fun.  K even helped!  I’m telling you.  Bread making = superhero.

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By far the best part of making bread on your own is eating the bread.  These little beauties were no exception, although they were so pretty I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t want to.  We served them with spicy mustard and cheese dip (nothing fancy, just queso made with a yellow box–no shame) and got over the prettiness real quick.

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Carve yourself out some time this weekend and feel like a superhero.  It’s like magic.

Here’s the recipe.

Homemade Pretzel Bites (adapted from Beantown Baker)

Ingredients

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter, slightly cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water
  • Course salt for topping
  • Mustard or cheese sauce for serving

Method

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, or large mixing bowl with a spoon, mix together the yeast, brown sugar, melted butter, and warm water.  Let stand for about 5 minutes, until the yeast is puffy.
  2. Add the salt and then the flour gradually.  Mix until the dough comes together and pulls away from the bowl.  Turn the dough out onto a clean and lightly floured surface and knead for 3-5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Form the dough into a ball by tucking it under itself until the top is smooth.  Place it in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
  3. Once the dough has risen, flip it onto a clean surface and cut it into 8 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a long rope, a little less than an inch in diameter.  Cut the rope into 1 1/2 inch pieces.  You should be able to get 11-12 pieces out of each rope.  Place each piece on a clean plate and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.  Mix the egg and water together and set aside.
  5.  Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil, then add the baking soda gradually.  Careful!  It will bubble up.  Using a slotted spoon, carefully drop the dough pieces into the baking soda mixture, depending on the size of your pot, about 10-12 pieces at at a time.  Let cook for 35-40 seconds, then remove with same spoon, let most of the water drip off, and then place them onto the prepared baking sheets, about an inch apart.
  6. Brush each piece with the egg wash and then immediately sprinkle with coarse salt.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until deeply golden brown.  If you’re using two pans, you may need to rotate them halfway through.  I had to bake them in batches because I didn’t have enough pans.
  7. Once done, remove from the oven and let cool slightly.  Serve immediately with desired dipping sauces.  Any that you don’t eat should be stored in a resealable bag.

Enjoy, you superhero!

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