Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Quick & Delicious Pretzel Bites!

"Card Club" has been a once-a-month occasion now for me for over 25 years ......It seems impossible to say that! It's always been a time when we get away and enjoy each other's cooking and company. Conversation has morphed over the years from kids' little league baseball games to kids' graduations to kids' marriages to kids' kids (grandkids) .......just amazing! No matter who's turn it is to host, I always offer to bring bread. Everyone knows that they are my guinea pigs (I usually bring a new recipe), but no one seems to mind.

This month, the gathering was sport-centered, with dips and pick-up foods on center stage. I decided these pretzel bites would be a nice addition, no matter what dips Lori had on hand! And....there's ALWAYS mustard in the frig, which is a natural with soft pretzels! At the end of the evening, my friends were asking for baggies to take home the leftover bites.....sooooo tasty! These would make a great addition to the upcoming football-centered parties that many of you will be hosting.....a perfect, easy-to-make snack! Go team!

Quick ‘n Delicious Pretzel Bites!

For Dough:
1 ½ Cups warm water
1 packet/Tbsp. Red Star Platinum yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. butter, softened or melted
3 ½ - 3 ¾ Cup unbleached, all-purpose flour

For boiling:
9 Cups water
½ Cup baking soda

For application prior to baking:
1 egg, beaten
Pretzel salt or a coarse sea salt or kosher salt

Place warm water and yeast in EZ DOH bucket and stir to dissolve yeast. Let rest 1 minute. Add one cup of flour, then additional dough ingredients. EZ DOH-it for 2-3 minutes, or until dough is smooth and soft and all ingredients are incorporated. (Begin with 3 ½ cups of flour and add additional flour as necessary for the dough to be smooth, not too sticky.)  Remove dough from bucket, spray bucket with cooking spray, “smooth” dough and replace in bucket. Cover and let rise in a warm spot for about 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425. Line your baking sheets with baking parchment. In a large pot, place the 9 cups of water and add the baking soda. Heat to boiling as you prepare the dough:  After dough has risen briefly, pinch it into 4 equal sections. At this point, you can decide whether to do little “rounds” or little bites: For rounds: pinch each “section” into about 10-12 (or more) pieces. “Round” each piece by cupping your hand over the piece and rotating it on the counter. This should quickly form a “round”. Do so with each piece. For “bites”: Form each “section” into a 14-18” rope and cut into equal-sized pieces (about 1-1 ½” long each).  Drop 10-12 pieces at a time into the boiling water bath for about 20-30 seconds. With a slotted spoon, remove the pieces from the bath and place on the baking sheet, making sure they are not touching. Brush each piece with the beaten egg and sprinkle lightly with the pretzel salt. Bake for about 13-15 minutes, or until they are a deep golden brown.

Recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction: Soft Pretzel Bites 


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