It’s Secret Recipe Club time again….my favorite part of the month. I know I keep telling you, but I really love it when I get my assignment and can start pouring over a brand new blog to me! It’s so much fun. This month I was assigned the blog Making Memories with Your Kids. I really was impressed with all the neat crafts, activities and recipes Erin has on her site….so if you’re looking for something fun to do with your kids, you definitely want to head on over for a visit.
It just so happened that I had been craving soft pretzels, and she had a recipe for soft pretzel bites on her site. Jackpot! They are easy to make, but just make sure you have enough baking soda to put in the water. That part is a crucial step. I tasted the dough before boiling in the water/soda combination and after….and it’s what adds that pretzel taste. Who knew? Certainly not me! And I didn’t have quite the exact amount so I’m interested in seeing that helps me out next time. Mine came out good, but I think purchasing brand new baking soda and having the exact amount would definitely help improve the flavor. Can you believe I almost skipped that part!! I’m excited about trying them again.
If you pop over to Erin’s site, you’ll notice hers came out much prettier than mine did…so another tip is she had a mat that actually helps you measure the dough. And I love the uniformity of hers. I was eye-balling it! It worked but I guess I’m a bit of a perfectionist and hers look smaller than mine so that might help too. I also didn’t have the coarse kosher salt so that’s why they don’t look like the ones you buy.
Also, you don’t want them to touch on the baking sheet, but I wonder if I should have crowded them on one because 2 cookie sheets did not fit in my oven with both being flat. I’m sure that also affected their cook time and uniformity of doneness. For mine, some seemed done more than others. But the dough sure looked pretty, see…..
- 1½ cups warm water
- 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar (I used regular sugar)
- 1 package active dry yeast (I used 2 heaping Tbsp instead)
- 3 ounces unsalted butter, melted (I used salted)
- 2½ tsp. Kosher salt
- 4½ cups flour (I used unbleached all-purpose white flour but was going to try ½ whole wheat next time)
- vegetable oil (for dough greasing)
- FOR BOILING:
- 3 quarts water
- ¾ cup baking soda
- FOR BAKING:
- 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbls. cold water
- Coarse sea salt
- Combine water, yeast, brown sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, and mix until combined. Let stand for 5 minutes for the yeast to proof.
- Add the salt and flour. Mix on low speed until combined. Switch to dough hook and mix on speed 2 or 3 for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead into a ball.
- Place ball back into bowl and set aside to rise until doubled (about an hour).
- Right before dough is ready, put water and baking soda in a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling low heat to keep water warm.
- Punch down dough and form back into ball. Pull out and with well greased hands on a flat surface. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces.
- Roll each section into a long snake about 22 inches long. Then cut into small 1 inch sections for the bites.
- When almost done with that step bring your water back to a boil.
- Boil bites for about 30 seconds each batch (I put 15 in at a time). As you pull them out put them spread out on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse kosher salt. If you are making some to dip in melted butter and cinnamon sugar mixture, then leave the salt off those.
- Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until well brown, puffed and done. Place sheets on cooling rack.