Thursday, March 17, 2011

Soft Pretzel Bites

One batch makes a lot of bites!

Have you ever had "one of those weeks?"

I have been having one of those weeks time 5.  I found out I fractured my tailbone and have been utterly wiped out (unrelated to the buttock, I think).  However, there is a plus side to everything.  Now I get to carry around my own cushy pillow and no one can judge me.  Ohhh yeah.  After toting around my cushy pillow, I usually can sleep really well at night, a pretty big plus.  I also found out that I actually really love riding the bus, a big plus that's easy on me & the wallet.  There is nothing better than waking up during my commute to the Eastside by listening to some Stuff You Should Know and This American Life.  Maybe, just maybe, I might start blogging on the bus.  You hear that Ginger Cook followers?  I might have a regular blogging schedule!  Maybe this week hasn't been so bad?

But these pretzels can make any day better.

Small enough to pop in your mouth and no need to feel guilty when you eat 10 of them because you totally didn't eat a whole soft pretzel.  Nope, not at all… 

As I mentioned in the previous post, the next few posts will be food that I made for the Superbowl.  I would consider pretzels to be a quintessential football food (see my earlier argument) and people are usually impressed that soft pretzels can be made outside of a mall.

Soft Pretzel Bites

  • 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Pretzel salt or Coarse Salt
  1. Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using a spatula, mix until well combined.
  2. Continue kneading for about 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  Prepare sheet pans with a silpat or greased parchment paper.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large stockpot, bring water to a boil. Carefully and quickly, add baking soda (there is a good chance it will splatter).
  5. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long snake. Using kitchen sheers, cut 1″ pieces.  Repeat process with all pieces of dough. Slightly more than a quarter of the full recipe should fit on one standard size baking tray. Keep the remaining dough covered with plastic wrap until ready to roll and cut.
  6. Whisk egg yolk with 1 tbsp water, set aside. Boil 10-15 pieces of cut dough at a time for 30-45 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon, transferring to prepared baking sheet. Continue with remaining pretzel bits.
  7. Brush egg wash over dough pieces and immediately sprinkle with course sea salt. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Continue process with any remaining dough.


FrancisFoodie said...

Looks great, Katherine. I'm all about baking and eating savory guilt-free small bites of goodness. It's 4 am and now you made me hungry.

Monica said...

I truly feel your pain. I cracked my tail bone a couple of years ago. It was exhausting to be hurting constantly. The good news is that one day the pain is miraculously gone!
Saw the pretzel bites on Foodgawker. I love this recipe. Looks very doable, since the mixer does the long kneading part. These would be fun for a March Madness party, maybe with some dips?

Katherine Martin said...

Monica - it's weird, some days my tailbone doesn't seem that bad (only mildly achy) and they other days its almost constantly throbbing. I honestly think it depends on the weather and being that I live in Seattle, my butt's going to have a rough spring.

I think these would be PERFECT for a March Madness party - I brought these to the party with a spicy mustard dip, but you might also want to try something creamy and/or cheesy (yum!)


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