I have a lovely recipe for Soft & Chewy Pretzel Bites. The idea for the recipe originated from my sister Margaret, who lives in Canada. She recently purchased some pretzel bites that she said were exceptionally good. I do like pretzels, so a bite-sized version was very appealing. Typically, pretzel bites have sprinkling of salt on top or a coating of cinnamon sugar for a sweet version. But I went further with a sesame version too.
Just like full-sized pretzels, the dough, in bite-sized form, undergoes a brief boiling in a baking soda solution. Afterward, the bites go in the oven for baking, resulting in a nice, dark, brown appearance and forming a delightful chewy crust. The recipe is actually quite straightforward. It is very easy to make using a stand mixer. My Ankarsrum mixer is perfect for the task, but any stand mixer will do just fine. Additionally, although more labor-intensive, the recipe can be entirely handmade.
Basically, all the ingredients go into the mixer, with the flour added in stages and mixed into a smooth and elastic dough. The dough is then left to rest and proof. Afterward, it’s time to divide the dough and cut it into bite-sized pieces. The next step involves boiling the dough pieces in a baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) solution for about 30 seconds. Brush each piece of dough with egg, and for savoury bites, sprinkle salt or sesame seeds over them. The sweetened version is prepared after baking.
Place the bites into the oven for approximately 16 minutes, until they achieve a nice brown colour. While still warm, brush the plain ones with butter and toss them in, or sprinkle the with, with cinnamon sugar for the sweet version.
My Soft & Chewy Pretzel Bites
In my recipe, I mention diastatic malt powder, which helps create a tender crumb and aids in browning the crust. However, it’s important to note that diastatic malt powder is optional. The recipe works perfectly well without it, although the crust may not be quite as dark.
Tasting my pretzel bites was a real treat. Each variety being exactly as I had envisioned. The basic bites were soft with a lovely chewy crust. The flavourings complemented them perfectly. The savoury ones are great for dipping in cheese sauce or similar, while the cinnamon ones are perfect just as they are.
Another great recipe idea is American Style Cheesy Scones
Soft & Chewy Pretzel BitesCourse: BreadCuisine: InternationalDifficulty: Medium
600g(4 cups, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup)bread flour
7g(2 1/4 tsp/ 1 pk) instant yeast
360ml(1 1/2 cups) lukewarm water
19g(1 1/2 tbsp) caster sugar
28g(2 tbsp) melted unsalted butter(plus a little more to brush some bites for coating)
12g(2 tsp) salt
60g(5 tbsp) baking soda
3g(1 tsp) diastatic malt powder(optional)
1 medium egg(large in USA) beaten
salt for sprinkling
sesame seeds for sprinkling
cinnamon sugar for coating
- Place the water, sugar and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix to combine.
- Add half of the flour, the butter, salt and diastatic malt powder and mix again until everything comes together in a shaggy mass.
- With the mixer on a medium to low speed add the remaining flour a little at a time until a dough is formed. You may not need all of the flour.(I had about 20 grams left over)
- Knead the dough on medium speed until it is soft, smooth and very elastic.
- Form the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl, and cover it, to proof until it has doubled in size. The time will vary dependant on room temperature, but about 45 mins to an hour).
- Bring 2.5 lites about 10 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan.
- Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/425F. Line a couple of baking trays with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- Tip the dough onto a work surface and divide it equally into four pieces.
- Roll each piece of dough into a rope about 22 inches(35cm) in length and then cut into 1 1/2 inch (3.5 to 4 cm)pieces.
- Place the pieces onto the baking trays.
- Gradually add the baking soda into the boiling water, being careful that it doesn’t spill over as it foams up.
- Drop pieces of dough, in batches into the water and boil for 30 seconds each, then use a slotted spoon to transfer to the baking trays again.
- Brush the dough pieces with beaten egg.
- Sprinkle salt, or sesame seeds onto the dough, leaving those which you wish to use for cinnamon version with just the egg on.
- Bake the pretzel bites for 16 minutes, until they have turned a nice brown colour.
- Transfer them to a wire rack.
- Brush butter over any plain bites and then either toss them in cinnamon sugar, or sift the sugar over them.