I love warm, soft pretzels, the kind you get at the ballpark or mall and dip into a spicy sauce or cover with gooey sugar. Still, I haven’t had much of an inkling to make them. I feared a complicated process and a really long wait for the final result. It turns out neither of my fears were true. It takes just under an hour and half, from start to finish, to make these tasty little pretzel bites, and much of that time is waiting for the dough to rise.
The wait is absolutely worth it!
My sweet daughter turned me on to this line of baking and there’s no turning back.
Pretzel Bites Step-by-Step Instructions
Mix yeast, water and a pinch of sugar together in a glass bowl. Let it sit for about 10 minutes or until it looks creamy when stirred.
While the yeast mixture is doing its magic, mix the flour, salt, sugar and canola oil in another bowl.
Knead the mixture until it is well-combined. You don’t need to blink. It’s a very small amount of dough at this point (unless you’ve doubled the recipe.)
Put the dough in a bowl coated in cooking spray and cover it with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Place the bowl in a warm place, such as a sunny porch. Allow the dough to just about double in size which should take about 1 hour.
The same way you make play dough into long “snakes,” roll the dough into long strips that are about 1/2 inch thick. At this point you could form the dough into a traditional pretzel. This recipe will make about 6 of these.
Otherwise, use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 1/2 to 1 inch bite-sized pieces.
Here’s a time-saving tip. At this point the pretzel dough needs to be dipped into a hot water and baking soda mixture to get its signature flavor. Rather than boiling a pot of water, just heat the water for about 1 1/2 minutes in the microwave, until it is very hot. Add baking powder to the hot water and carefully mix. Use a slotted spoon to dip the pizza bites into the baking powder and water mixture and then transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle coarse salt on top of the pretzel bites, if desired.
Bake the pretzel bites in a 425 degree F oven for about 7 minutes or until they are lightly browned.
The spicy raspberry honey mustard sauce drizzled on top is very quick and easy to make. Just combine spicy brown mustard, honey, raspberry preserves and mustard seed in a small bowl. This is a clone of a pretzel dip that I found over at Allrecipes.
Mustard sauce is just one option. This cheese and mustard sauce at the Country Living website looks delish. Other favorites around here include a sugar glaze, chocolate…or no topping at all.
I am very happy to report that these little gems can absolutely be made ahead of time and frozen. (As you may know this is my sometimes successful strategy for portion control and a way to ensure some good snacks are around when I need them.) To freeze the pretzel bites, you’ve got two options:
1) Prepare the recipe up to the point where you would cook them. Instead of baking, freeze them on a baking sheet and then transfer to a sealed plastic bag. Defrost and cook according to directions.
2) Make ‘em, cook ‘em, and freeze ‘em, if you have any left!
What’s your favorite topping for pretzel bites?