A few years ago, I got one of those old-fashioned soft pretzel makers for Christmas. I love soft pretzels and I had so much fun making them for practically every holiday… I’m talking New Years Eve, Easter, even the Fourth of July. Every chance I had I dug out the pretzel maker from the back on the shelf and got to work.
The last time I made them, which was for Halloween, I thought there must be another (better) way to make them but in the oven. When I was making my Bagels the other day I figured it out and started working. Today I bring you my new favorite pretzel recipe to make fabulous soft pretzels even better that the ones you can get from the mall!
Soft Pretzel Bites
- 1 1/2 Cups Warm Water
- 1 Package Active Dry Yeast
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
- 4 1/2 Cups Bread Flour
- 1/2 cup butter
- Salt to taste
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
1. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve yeast and brown sugar in warm water. Let stand for 10 minutes or until the yeast begins to foam. (If the yeast doesn’t foam you may want to check the date!!)
2. Stir in the Salt, and half the bread flour. Mix well, gradually add the rest of the flour until combined.
3. Next, to knead the dough, you can either knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 8 minutes or use the dough hook attachment on the mixer and let it do the hard work! I always opt for the mixer option. As you work the dough, you may need to add flour so that it does not become too sticky. Once the dough has been kneaded, it will be smooth and elastic. It should not stick to your hands when you tough it.
4. Lightly grease the dough and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise for one hour. The dough will double in size.
5. On a lightly floured surface spread the dough about ½ an inch thick in a rectangular shape. You can use a rolling-pin for this, but using your hands works just as well.
6. Using a rolling cutter or knife, cut the dough into 1 inch wide strips. Take each strip and roll it and stretch it out a little bit longer. Now, If you want to make full pretzels, you can twist the strips into a pretzel shape, or to make things easy, using a knife or rolling cutter, cut the strips into bites about 1-2 inches in length. Allow dough to rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with Parchment Paper.
8. Bring water to a boil in a large pan. Dissolve, salt, brown sugar, and sugar.
9. Once the water mixture is boiling, drop pretzel bites in and allow to boil for 4 minutes. Stir them so that they are rotating every minute or so. I could fit about 10 at a time, but you don’t want to add too many at once because they will puff up.
10. Once the pretzel bites have become puffy, remove them using a straining spoon and place them on the parchment baking sheet. Repeat for all of the pretzel bites. It didn’t look like all mine would fit on one pan. Once I got through a little more than half of the bites, I reduced the heat on the water bath and waited until I had the first batch completely done.
11. Melt butter in the microwave. Using a pastry brush, coat the pretzel bites in the melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Place the pan in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the bites are golden brown.
12. Once the bites are brown, remove from the oven, coat again lightly with butter and sprinkle with salt. Remove from the tray and allow to cool on a wire rack lined with parchment. They will be hot and very hard to resist!
13. Now, if needed, go back, bring the water back to a boil and finish the rest of the pretzel bites.
You can serve with mustard or cheese dipping sauce, but they are just as delicious plain!