Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Homemade Pretzel Bites for the Hubby

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My husband has very few vices.  And his loves are the simplest of simple…Pepsi (yes, I know), Claussen pickles and last but not least…PRETZELS!  This love affair with pretzels is no joke.  When Meijer has their store brand pretzels on sale, I buy an eyebrow raising amount!  He thinks their generic version is hands down the best, mostly because of their supreme saltiness.

Anyway, the man has also found that he loves pretzel bread.  Whole Foods makes really nice small pretzel bread loaves, but we don’t live very close to one of those and I figured I could try to make some version of homemade pretzel bread for him as a treat. 

I found several versions and settled on a combination of two different recipes.  I wanted to make my dough from scratch like the ones on Two Peas & Their Pod.  So frugal.  So easy. 

If you’ve had any luck with making even the easiest of yeast breads, then you should have no problem with pretzel bites.  Basically, it’s a simple yeast bread dough and instead of just baking the dough, there is an added step where you boil the pieces of dough and then bake them.  That’s what gives bagels and pretzel their chewy outside texture. 

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I also used some tips from a recipe I found on Get Off Your Butt and Bake!, namely the way Jonna coated her bites with butter and salt after baking.  The sugar and cinnamon option looks great too.  Oh and she used store bought dough which is a great alternative if you’re in a rush as well.  Might do that in a time crunch.

So, if you’re looking to impress the hubs or just feel like spoiling the ol’ boy a bit, try this one out.  They were gone in one day!

Homemade Pretzel Bites  (printable version)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil
  • 3 quarts water
  • 3/4 cup baking soda
  • butter, melted
  • Coarse sea salt

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 2 cups of flour. Mix on low speed.  Continue adding the rest of flour, 1/2 cup at a time, 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.

Coat a large bowl with vegetable oil and add the dough ball.  Turn the ball 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 375 degrees F.  Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil and then add the baking soda.

Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope measuring about 18 inches ( I just eyeballed this). Cut one inch pieces from each rope to make the pretzel bites. Boil the pretzel bites in the water solution in small batches. Boil for about 30-45 seconds. Remove with a large slotted spoon. Place pretzel bites on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray or use a silpat.  Make sure they are not touching.

Bake in 375 degree oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to a baking rack. Brush bites with melted butter and sprinkle sea salt.

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This recipe was seriously as easy as it was impressive. Yes, there are a few steps, but for a special treat it brings the YUM factor.

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As I mentioned before, I’d love to try out the cinnamon/sugar version mentioned over at Get Off Your Butt and Bake.  Or maybe the parmesan?  Oh, the possibilities! 

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2 comments:

  1. Think I might just have to try this recipe! Thanks. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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  2. We've made pretzels and loved them but I never thought of making bites! DUH. That would be waaaaay easier than having the kids make those dang figure 8 thingies...

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