I have a confession to make! Hope you would not be seeing me differently after I confess saying that ‘I do not like Shopping’. When I need something for myself or my family, I go to that particular shops or shops, get what we need and I am done. I still go to the mall as I just love seeing the crowd and most importantly to get a whiff from the pretzel stall in the mall. Everyone in my family love pretzels. I am talking about the soft, doughy pretzel that are made fresh. We all have our different choices that we pick like for example, my husband would always get the jalapeno pretzel and my older one would get the garlic pretzel. My little one however, always gets the pretzel bites. He never gets the large ones and always gets the bite sized cup.
That is what made me come up with this post for today. I wanted to make the bite size pretzel with the exact same flavors of the shaped pretzel. I have talked about this when I had made the Bretzel rolls, that the pretzel gets its pretzel flavor and texture only if it gets into the Baking Soda Bath. For newbie baker, this process could be a little overwhelming. It sure was for me when I made the bagels, but as we keep making them, it gets a lot easier. So much easier, that yesterday when I made these Pretzel Bites, I did not boil over my soda bath and did not have the messy clean up afterwards.
The dough for the pretzel bites is just a simple yeast dough. The unique texture of the pretzel which is the crusty, chewy exterior and a soft interior is attained by immersing the dough into the soda bath for about 30 seconds prior to baking, This also gives the unique deep brown color of the crust. Once the dough is made and given the soda bath, it can be topped as you like. I have kept it very simple by just using some sea salt on top, but you could go ahead and use garlic salt, or make it a dessert by dipping them into butter and cinnamon sugar after they come out of the oven.
I am back to blogging after about 3 long months with this amazing Pretzel Bites recipe. It is so exciting to be baking again with my #BreadBakers buddies and I loved the theme for this month which is International Breads. Wendy, who blogs at A Day in the life on the Farm is the host for this month. I chose this recipe to represent the Germany as they are famous for their Pretzels.
Preparation time – 20 minutes plus 1 hour of resting period
Baking time – 15 minutes
Difficulty level – Intermediate
Ingredients to make Pretzel Bites – Makes about 40 bite size pieces
To make the Dough –
- All purpose flour – 2 cups + 1/4 cup more if needed
- Active dry yeast – 1 1/4 tsp
- Brown sugar – 2 tbsp
- Salt – 1 1/4 tsp
- Warm Water – 1/2 cup (plus about 2 to 3 tbsp more, if needed)
- Warm Milk – 1/4 cup
- Butter – 2 tbsp + 2 tbsp more to brush on the pretzel bites when they come out of the oven
- Pretzel salt or crystal salt – to sprinkle on the pretzel bites
To make the Baking Soda Bath –
- Water – 2 liters / 1/2 Gallon
- Baking soda – 1/4 cup
Procedure to make Pretzel Bites –
To make the dough –
- In the bowl of the stand mixer, add the warm water, brown sugar and yeast. Mix it well and let it sit for 10 minutes until the yeast becomes frothy.
- Once the yeast proves, add the milk, butter, salt and all purpose flour. Attach the hook attachment to the mixer and start mixing the dough.
- Once the mixtures comes together, turn the mixer on medium speed and let it knead the dough for 7 to 8 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add a little bit more of the flour. If the dough is too dry, add a little more of warm water or milk.
- The dough should be soft and elastic and should not be sticky.
- Place the dough in a oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and then a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise for about an hour or until it has doubled in volume.
To make the Baking Soda Bath –
- When the dough is ready to be shaped, place a large pot with 2 liters of water. Let the water come to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat and then slowly add the baking soda. DO NOT ADD the entire soda at once. This will cause the entire water to boil over. I have been there and done that when making my Bretzel Rolls.
To Shape the Pretzel Bites –
- I shaped my dough once I kept the pot of water to heat.
- Place the proved dough on floured work surface. Gently pat it down and then divide into 5 parts.
- Stretch each part into a thin rectangle / tube. I did not roll the pieces into a cylinder as I don’t see them in that shape in the stores. I simply stretched my dough into a thin long rectangle.
- Dived each stretched piece into bit size piece (about 1 inch long).
- Cover with a kitchen towel until they are ready to go into the baking soda bath.
Baking the Pretzel Bites –
- Preheat the oven to 425 F. I preheated the oven before starting the baking soda bath. That way I had enough time to get it warmed up.
- Line a baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper or grease the baking sheet to avoid sticking.
- Place the shaped bites into the baking soda bath and swirl it around for 20 to 30 seconds. I placed about 10 pieces at a time in the bath.
- Remove the pieces with a slotted spoon and place them on the prepared sheets, making sure that they are not touching each other.
- Sprinkle with the crystal salt or pretzel salt.
- Repeat the same with the rest of the pieces.
- Bake them in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes. I would keep an eye from 12 minutes on and also would rotate the tray half way through the baking process for even browning. Mine were ready in about 13 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter when they are still warm.
Storing the leftover Pretzel Bites –
- Pretzels do not store very well when they are kept in air tight boxes. I have talked about this in my Bretzel Rolls post as well. All the extra salt in the pretzel top makes the pretzel soggy when kept in air tight container. I usually store mine right on the tray on the counter top just loosely covered with a kitchen cloth. I did not any left this time as I had made just enough to feed my hungry boys, but if I had any left, I would have done exactly this and would have tried to use it up the next day.
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#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to [email protected].