Have you guys been noticing the theme around here recently? That’s right – it’s time to start thinking about Superbowl party food. To me, football means finger foods and appetizers. And bacon. We’ll get the bacon soon enough. First, let’s talk about pretzels. I love making homemade soft pretzels, but I think I love these little pretzel bites even more.
First of all, you don’t have to shape them into pretzels, just roll the dough into a long snake and snip off little pieces. Easy peasy. And for whatever reason, as bites, the pretzels are even more additictive. What is it about small foods that makes them so addictive?
Look – I added a Football Food tag to my blog! Be sure to check it out.
Yield: serves 6-8
1 1/2 cup warm water
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1pkg active dry yeast
6 Tbsp butter, melted
2 1/2 tsp salt
4 1/2 – 5 cups flour
2 quarts water
1/4 cup baking soda
1 egg, beaten plus 1 tbsp water
course sea salt for topping
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (personal preference, you can use the dough hook if you prefer), combine brown sugar, yeast, melted butter and water. Give a quick mix, then let sit for 5 minutes or until slightly puffy.
Add salt and flour to wet mixture. Mix on low speed, gradually increasing the speed to medium. Continue mixing until all flour is encorporated and the dough is pulling away from the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add additional flour until the dough pulls away from the bowl and is no longer super sticky. Transfer dough to a clean work area, knead by hand for 3-5 minutes, shaping into a ball.
Grease a medium bowl with oil. Toss dough into bowl, then flip to coat all sides with oil. Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm location for an hour or until dough is doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large stockpot, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Carefully and quickly, add baking soda – this may splatter.
Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long snake. Using kitchen sheers, cut 1″ pieces. Transfer pieces to a clean plate. Repeat process with all pieces of dough. Slightly more than a quarter of the full recipe should fit on one standard size baking tray. If making the full batch, work a quarter of the dough at a time, keeping the remaining dough covered with plastic wrap until ready to roll and cut.
Prepare a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper. Whisk one egg together with 1 tbsp water, set aside. Boil 10-15 pieces of cut dough at a time for 30-45 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon, transfering to your prepared baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining dough pieces.Brush egg wash over dough pieces. Immediately sprinkle with course sea salt.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Continue process with any remaining dough.
Serve warm with dipping sauces, such as mustard or cheese. Store any remaining pretzel bites in an airtight container.