Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites – Better than the ones at the mall!
I have had my eye on a number of soft pretzel recipes recently, but when I saw one on boards that you can make in your bread maker, I knew it was time to take the plunge. The photo on Pinterest looks like this:
- 1 1/8 cups water (70 to 80 degrees F)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 quarts water
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- coarse salt
- melted butter – not in the original recipe, but a must for mall food pretzel like experience
- In bread machine pan, place the first four ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough setting (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons water or flour if needed).
- When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into eight balls. Roll each into a 20-in. rope; form into pretzel shape. In a saucepan, bring water and baking soda to a boil. Drop pretzels into boiling water, two at a time; boil for 10-15 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.
- Place pretzels on greased baking sheets. Bake at 425 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with salt.
My bread machine is really old, so I wasn’t sure which order to put the ingredients into the machine, however, it seemed rather odd to me to put yeast in by itself, so I mixed it with the water beforehand and let it sit for about ten minutes. This allowed the yeast to begin to bubble.
Next, I put the mixture into the bread maker with the flour and brown sugar and fired up the machine on “Dough” cycle.
The recipe says to check the dough after five minutes to make sure the consistency is correct, adding one or two tablespoons of water or flour as needed. After five minutes, my dough looked fine.
But, after about 20 minutes, I took a peek and the dough seemed really sticky, so I added about 1/4 cup of flour. Things went along well, but as I said, my bread machine is really old. After all the kneading was done, the dough started to rise, but then something must have happened to the heating filament in the machine because it started to smoke. Needless to say, at that point, I took out the mixing bowl.
I covered it with a dish towel for another twenty minutes, and it rose nicely.
Then, the dough was separated into eight balls,
and each ball was rolled into a rope.
The ropes were then split into “bite-sized” portions with a dough scraper.
Then they were blanched for 10-15 seconds in the boiling water/baking soda, and dried on paper towels.
Next I put them in the oven for eight minutes. The recipe says to bake them plain and then brush with butter and sprinkle with salt, but I’m not really fond of the buttered kind of pretzels, so I just salted them before baking.
They were a little sweeter than I like (I’m from the Philly area, after all) but they were still delicious. The kids ate them almost as fast as I could make them. All in all, the recipe made about eighty pretzel bites.