Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Pretzel Bites!

Warm dough tossed in butter and sprinkled with sea salt...can you smell it? Pretzel bites baking smell like an Amish Farmer's market in the Fall.  Oh wait, I can smell it because I just took these gems out of the oven!  I am SO lucky!  You can be too!  

I had been craving soft pretzels. You know, the kind at the mall that you know better than to eat but the smell draws you in.  They also have those unnamed stands in airports where you are captive and where your force fields of will are rendered defenseless.  Homemade pretzel bites are SO much better.  I have looked at tons of recipes for pretzels and many of them take a hazmat suit to make properly.  I am never up for eating something I am not suppose to touch with my hands.  Duh.

Leave it to good ole King Arthur Flour to create a delicious and easy recipe that does not disappoint.  They are chewy and soft but have a great outer pretzel crust with a warm, slightly doughy center.  I coated them all in melted butter and then tossed about half in a brown paper bag filled with cinnamon sugar and the remainder with a course sea salt.  Is it possible that you can taste golden brown?  There is also a distinctive note in the taste of a proper soft pretzel and I was so surprised when I could totally taste that in the homemade version.
The dough comes together really easily and does not even require a rolling pin! 

Once again, invaluable to my baking process is the Tovolo Silicone Pastry Mat.  Remember not to use a knife blade on the Pastry Mat - I use the spreading end of a Tovolo Scoop & Spread. 

Bites before their bath...

And after...

I made a few proper pretzels as well for fun.  It would be great to make a batch for a small group at a football party or bites from a movie night.

Everything is made better by cinnamon sugar!

King Arthur Flour Easy Pretzel Bites


  • 2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 7/8 to 1 cup warm water*
  • *Use the greater amount in the winter, the lesser amount in the summer, and somewhere in between in the spring and fall. Your goal is a soft dough.


  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • coarse, kosher or pretzel salt; or coarse 
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • cinnamon sugar


  1. To make dough by hand, or with a mixer: Place all of the dough ingredients into a bowl, and beat until well-combined. Knead the dough, by hand or machine, for about 5 minutes, until it's soft, smooth, and quite slack. Flour the dough and place it in a bag, and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
  2. While the dough is resting, prepare the topping: Combine the boiling water and baking soda, stirring until the soda is totally (or almost totally) dissolved. Set the mixture aside to cool to lukewarm (or cooler).
  3. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it with vegetable oil spray, or lining it with parchment paper or a Tovolo Baking Mat.
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into six equal pieces.
  5. Roll the six pieces of dough into 12" to 15" ropes. Cut each rope crosswise into about 12 pieces.
  6. Pour the cooled baking soda solution into a pan large enough to hold the bites. Place the bites into the solution, gently swish them around, and leave them there for a couple of minutes. Transfer them to a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and top with pretzel salt or sea salt. (Or use a Tovolo Silicone Baking Mat)
  7. Bake the bites for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and roll them in the melted butter.
  8. For cinnamon-sugar pretzels, toss with cinnamon-sugar once you've rolled the bites in the butter.
  9. Place on a rack. In you're not going to enjoy them immediately, store the bites, well-wrapped, at room temperature. Reheat briefly before serving. Take my advice and eat them right away,  I re-heated them on day two but I didn't think they were nearly as delicious.
  10. Yield: about 6 dozen bites.

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