Thursday, March 22, 2012

Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites

My children and I love soft pretzles. I've wanted to try to make them for a long time, but since I'm not good with yeast, I hadn't until last week. I just have a little hand mixer so mixing bread isn't as easy as turning on a stand mixer and watching it mix while you clean up. Since I don't have much experience, kneading by hand didn't work like it should have and we didn't get a smooth dough like you see at the mall. The kids helped cut the bites. They are kinda lumpy and inconsistent, but they tasted good.

I found the recipe at Maria and Josh's Two Peas and Their Pod. I didn't try the cheese sauce or the cinnamon-sugar variation, but they both sound good.   

Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites 
1 1/2 c. warm water
2 T. light brown sugar
1 package active dry yeast
3 oz. unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 t. kosher salt
4 1/2 to 5 c. all-purpose flour
Canola oil
3 qt. water
3/4 c. baking soda
1 whole egg, beaten with 1 T. cold water
Coarse sea salt

Cheese sauce: ½ T. unsalted butter
½ T. all-purpose flour
½ c. milk
8 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated

Combine the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Add the salt and flour 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 too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.

Oil a bowl with 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°.

Bring the water to a boil in a small roasting pan over high heat and 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 1/4 to 4 1/2 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. We did about 15 bites at a time. Boil for about 30 seconds. Remove with a large slotted spoon. Place pretzel bites on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Make sure they are not touching. Brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with the salt. Place into the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown.

Remove to a baking rack and let rest 5 minutes before eating. Serve with cheese sauce.

To make the cheese sauce:
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the Cheddar cheese until smooth and all of the cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Variation: Cinnamon-sugar pretzel bites
     Instead of adding salt, sprinkle the bites with cinnamon and sugar. For the frosting, mix about 3 tablespoons soft cream cheese, powdered sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a little bit of milk. Whisk together. Add more milk if it is too thick, if it is too thin, add more powdered sugar. (No exact measurements)


  1. Another yummy recipe to add to my list! I guess I should start baking again...

  2. Oh boy, my mouth is watering!


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