Soft Pretzel Bites

A lazy Monday to all!

It’s always difficult to get up on a Monday morning and prep for work especially if you have slept so much over the weekend. Although I have done some DIY-ing which I can’t wait to finish (or HAVE TO finish before the big tummy pops!). I’ll keep you posted on that.

We had our gyne appointment last Saturday morning, and doctor has confirmed that I am already on my full term and baby Alexa may come out anytime soon. Nervous but excited!

After the fuss of researching on what to put in my hospital bag, doctor told us we don’t need to bring anything but the hospital admission letter, our ID’s, and our marriage certificate. Everything else is provided by the hospital. But of course, we need to bring our mobile phones and cameras to capture this important moment, and whatever else that we feel is essential to bring. At least knowing that would make our life easier.

Anyway, it seems like I cannot pass the weekend without doing some baking so I squeezed in some time to bake some pretzel bites which I wanted to learn to do even before I had the oven, ‘coz I love Auntie Anne’s pretzels but don’t buy them often ‘coz it’s kinda pricey.

I did two varieties from one dough: Salted soft pretzel bites AND Cinnamon sugar soft pretzel bites.

Ingredients for the soft pretzels:

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 active dry yeast (I used instant active dry yeast)
  • 85 grams (1/3 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil
  • 3 quarts (12 cups) water
  • 3/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water

Additional ingredients for Salted soft pretzel bites:

  • Coarse sea salt

Additional ingredients for Cinnamon sugar soft pretzel bites:

  • 2 tbsp. sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon

Procedure:

  • Combine the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes. (I used instant active dry yeast, so it’s added to the flour and no need to sit for 5 minutes)
  • Add the salt and flour (4 1/2 cups first) and mix on low speed until combined.
  • Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.
  • Oil a bowl with vegetable oil, add the dough and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour. (As with the previous recipes which require rising, I put the bowl inside the oven with temperature off.)
  • Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C.
  • Bring the water to a boil in a small roasting pan over high heat and add the baking soda.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a long rope measuring 22 inches and shape. Cut the dough into one inch pieces to make the pretzel bites.
  • Boil the pretzel bites in the water solution in batches, about 15 bites at a time. Boil for about 30 seconds. Remove with a large slotted spoon.
  • Place pretzel bites on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Make sure they are not touching.

Next procedure for Salted soft pretzel bites:

  • Brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with the salt. Place into the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown.
  • Remove to a baking rack and let rest 5 minutes before eating. Serve with cheese sauce. (I did not do the cheese sauce ‘coz I have a store-bought cheese sauce at home.)
  • To make the cheese sauce:  Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the Cheddar cheese until smooth and all of the cheese is melted.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Next procedure for Cinnamon sugar soft pretzel bites:

  • Bake the pretzels for 8 minutes, then remove from the oven and immediately place the pretzel bites on a cooling rack.
  • Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle the tops generously with cinnamon sugar. You want to do this over the cooling rack and not on the pan you bake the pretzel bites on or else the sugar will stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
  • Put the pretzel bites back on the first pan and continue baking for an additional 8-10 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Serve with Salted Caramel Sauce.

I tried to do the salted caramel sauce (‘coz apart from cinnamon, I also love caramel!), but I unfortunately failed! I was doing well until I added in the butter. It was a complete mess! *disappointed*

Not my photos. My pretzels did not turn out to be as eye-candy as theirs. (Click on photos for source.)

I find making pretzels to be a bit tedious, so next time maybe I would prefer to just buy from Auntie Anne’s. Or maybe yesterday just was not my day. (Still disappointed with the burnt caramel sauce!)

Have a lovely week ahead!

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