I'm warning you now, these are pure evil! They are so addicting and hard to keep your hands off them! One of my online mom's friends shared this recipe with our board and I had already planned to make soft pretzel sticks but didn't have the rye flour to make them. I had just about everything for this recipe and needed to fill up a Sunday afternoon and it just worked out. Also growing up with near Philadelphia, these pretzel bites are pretty close to the real thing!
This was my second try at using yeast and it worked well once again! I definitely will be making more breads and other baked goods with yeast. It's really easy to work with and there's no reason to be scared anymore!
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1 package active dry yeast
3 oz unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
3 quarts water
3/4 cup baking soda
1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp cold water
Coarse sea salt (or in my case, sesame seeds)
Combine the water, sugar, yeast and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with a dough hook until well combined. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Add the salt and flour to the yeast mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears to be too wet, add additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time. I ended up using 4 1/2 cups of flour and it was perfect. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.
Oil a bowl with the vegetable oil, add the dough and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, set aside. In a large stock pot, bring the 3 quarts of water to a boil. Add the baking soda.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces about 4 to 4.5 ounces each. Roll each piece into a long rope measuring 22 inches and shape. Cut the dough into one inch pieces to make the pretzel bites. Boil the pretzel bites in the water solution in batches for about 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoo and place pretzel bites on the prepped baking sheet. Make sure they are not touching.
Brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with the coarse salt (or sesame seeds). Place in the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack to rest for 5 minutes. ENJOY! :)
Recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod