Texas Country Cooking

Texas Country Cooking

Saturday, January 11, 2014


We were very fortunate to have our son home for a couple of weeks during the Christmas break.  One evening he asked if I had ever tried to make the soft pretzels like you get at the mall (Think Auntie Annies!).  I have actually looked at recipes but they really looked hard and I knew I would never, EVER get those pretzel shapes correct!  However - he found a recipe where for Pretzel Bites.  I looked at it, thought it should be pretty easy so we went for it.

Here is the recipe with a couple of sauce recipes at the end as well.  Enjoy!

Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 pkg. active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
3 ounces butter, melted
2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4 1/2 - 5 cups flour
Vegetable Oil
3 quarts water
3/4 cup baking soda
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp. Coarse Sea Salt

Combine the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in a large bowl.  Mix well until combined.  Let sit for 5 minutes.

Add the salt and flour; mix well until all is combined.  Continue mixing until dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl.  If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 Tbsp. at a time.  Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball.

Oil the bowl (I dislike washing dishes so I just used the same bowl).  Add the dough, turn to coat with oil.  Cover with a clean towel and place in a warm spot until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.  (I put the bowl in the oven with the light on and it rose beautifully!)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

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 approximately 22 inches; cut the dough into 1 inch pieces to make pretzel bites.  I processed all the dough before moving onto the next step.

Bring the water to boil over high heat and add the baking soda.

Boil the pretzel bites in the water solution for about 30 seconds.  I did in batches of about 15 pieces at a time.  Remove with a large slotted spoon and place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed or use parchment paper.  Make sure the pieces are not touching.  Brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with the sea salt.  Place into the oven and bake for 15 - 18 minutes until golden brown.

Remove to a baking rack and let rest 5 minutes before eating.

** If you want to make cinnamon and sugar pretzel bites - instead of sprinkling with salt before baking, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Cheese Sauce Recipe
1/2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 cup milk
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the flour and cook 1 minutes.  Whisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and stir in the cheddar cheese until smooth and all the cheese is melted.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

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