Me make pretzels? What were the chances? Pretty slim, actually, but ever since I got my new stand mixer, I’ve been pretty adventurous. I mean, this recipe even required yeast! Usually, that would be a deal breaker for me, but I took a chance.
And it was a rousing success.
I found the reasonably easy recipe on a great cooking blog called Two Peas & Their Pod and followed it to a tee. The result was a whole lot of gorgeous little golden brown pretzel bites. They were quite the hit, and I’ll definitely be making them again.
Here’s what you need:
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 package active dry yeast
3 oz. unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
3 quarts water
3/4 cup baking soda
1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
Here’s how you do it:
Put water, butter, sugar and yeast in the bowl of your mixer. Use the hook attachment to blend it. Let it stand for 5 minutes.
Now, add the salt and flour, mixing on low speed until it’s all combined. I used level 2 on my KitchenAid.
Knead the dough until it no longer sticks to the side of the bowl as shown above. It took about 2 minutes for me. If you’re kneading and kneading, and the dough is still sticking, add a tablespoon of flour. Keep adding little by little until you get the right consistency.
Remove the dough and place it in an oiled-up bowl. Cover with a towel and put it in a warmish place for about an hour. When you unveil it, the dough will have grown. Yeast is awesome!
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, but take one of the racks out first because you’ll need it to cool the pretzels.
So, now you have this giant ball of dough. Take it out of the bowl and separate it into 8 smaller balls. Like so:
The real fun is about to begin, but first, there’s just one thing: mix 3 quarts of water and 3/4 cups of baking soda in a big pan and start boiling. You should also make sure you have a greased cookie sheet ready.
Once you’ve got that going, take one of the balls and roll it into a long tube of dough—the recipe said 22 inches long. I was scared to mess up, so I used a measuring tape for the first one.
Cut the tube into inch-size pieces, then pinch them into shape.
Make sure you have that egg and water mixture ready because you’re going to need it in a second.
At this point, your water should be boiling with gusto. Drop about 5 pieces (don’t do more, or it will get overwhelming) at a time in the water and let them boil for 30 seconds and only 30 seconds. Time it! I didn’t on my first batch and they came out tasting disgustingly bitter. Seriously, use a timer.
To fish the pieces out, use a big slotted spoon. Let them drip for a sec, then drop onto the cookie sheet. Make sure they’re spaced out, or you’ll get a bunch of siamese twin bites. Brush the egg mixture on each piece and sprinkle with some more salt.
You can bake about 20 at a time. It took 15 minutes for me—you might be tempted to take them out early because they brown up quickly, but let it go at least 13 minutes and then test one because if they don’t bake long enough, the baking soda doesn’t cook off, and it’s gross.
And lookie what we have here! Can you believe it? They’re gorgeous and delicious. Use a spatula to transport them from the pan to the cooling rack. And start on your next batch.
Once they’re cooled down, serve ‘em up on a pretty plate. I made some cheese sauce to go with mine (I used the Two Peas and Their Pod recipe on the same page, but I added two chopped jalapenos for some spice), but some mustard would also do just fine.
Yes, this is a time-consuming venture, but I think it was worth it. They even keep their flavor once they go cold!
I think you should try it.
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