I love pretzels in any shape or form, what I’m not too thrilled about is the price of pretzels at the mall or the re-heated frozen pretzels they sell for a ridiculous price at the movie theaters. That’s why I’ve been making my own pretzels for the past year or so.
In the beginning I thought pretzels were really hard to make at home. The Alkaline Water Bath that gives pretzels that unique pretzel flavor and signature chewy crust seemed daunting. So to avoid a procedure I thought would be messy and difficult I first made pretzels that didn’t require this dipping process. Those pretzels were very good and seriously really easy to make! Instead of the Alkaline Water Bath these pretzels were brushed with egg wash which gave them a shiny surface. Click here for that no bath basic pretzel recipe!
My family really loves those pretzels which I switch up with different flavors including a Cheesy Garlic Pretzel and a cinnamon sugar one. But delicious as they are they lack that true pretzel texture and flavor. So I decided what the heck, let me try to make “real” pretzels. I didn’t want to be too ambitious, I seriously thought the bath dip was very difficult, so I figured I’d start with Pretzel Bites. Dipping small pieces of dough had to be easier and less messy than dipping and entire pretzel!
Once I got the Alkaline Water Bath going, which by the way is just a fancy name for a Baking Soda dip, I discovered this step was pretty easy. And believe me the end results were so worth the extra effort! The Pretzel Bites turned out EXACTLY like the ones sold at the mall! My homemade Pretzel Bites had the same flavor and texture; they’re crust has a bit of crunch when you bite it yet it’s chewy too. In short they were perfect. My grandsons love them!
So next time you have a yen for Pretzel Bites don’t run to the mall just whip up a batch at home! Believe me you won’t regret it. Here’s the recipe!
2 1/2 Cups Flour
1 1/2 Tsp. Yeast
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tbs. Butter, melted
2 Tsp. Brown Sugar
1 Cup Warm Water
Kosher or Coarse Salt for the topping
2/3 cup Baking Soda in 10 Cups water for the Bath
Mix together flour, yeast, 1 Tbs. of the melted butter, brown sugar, and water. If using a stand mixer use the dough hook attachment to mix.
Once the ingredients are well combined knead with dough hook for about 5 minutes or by hand for 12 minutes.
Dough should be very soft and smooth but not sticky. If too sticky add more flour 1 Tbs. at a time until it’s no longer sticky. If the dough is too dry add more warm water 1 Tbs. at a time until it’s soft and smooth.
Move dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a cloth or plastic wrap. Let rise until it’s doubled in size, about 30-60 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine baking soda and water for the bath in a large pot and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile punch down dough and divide into 10 equal pieces.
Let rest for 5 minutes uncovered.
Roll each piece into long rope on a lightly floured surface.
Cut each rope into 1″ pieces.
Drop pieces into boiling baking soda bath 2-3 pieces at a time. make sure they aren’t crowded together or at sticking to each other.
Let dough sit in the baking soda bath until they float.
Remove each floating dough piece from baking soda bath and place on baking sheet about 1/2′ apart.
Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with coarse salt.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until they are golden brown.
Remove from oven and serve either by themselves (they’re delicious) or with your favorite dipping sauce like mustard, cheese, marinara sauce or ranch.