If you read my 60 before 30 list, you may remember that I have never successfully made yeasted bread on my own before. After making these fun homemade everything pretzels in one try though, I think I figured out part of it. I may have been using the wrong type of yeast. Facepalm. You may ask, shouldn’t you know the difference by now? Obviously not. We can’t be good at everything and I had almost accepted that using yeast in recipes was just something that I should leave to other bakers, but I’m a bit too much of a perfectionist to just give it up. So here we are, one instant yeast packet later, with perfectly yeasted everything pretzel bites. If I can do it, you certainly can too. Let’s learn this yeast thing together.
Some of our good family friends are big Eagles football fans (they even went to the Superbowl!), and for every game, they make homemade pretzels. Before participating in the pretzel shaping process while we were visiting them during an Eagles game, I had never made pretzels before. I love that they are quick, delicious, and easy to share. Cutting the pretzels into bites instead of folding them in a twisted pretzel shape gives you more pretzels overall, and makes them easy to grab and snack on with friends during the football game (or while the football game is on in the other room ;)).
My favorite topping right now is the everything bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s. It is good on avocado toast, chopped tomatoes, eggs, and of course, pretzels. I made a version of these pretzels with sea salt, thinking I might like the traditional minimalist version, but these topped with everything bagel seasoning were the clear winner. The salty, garlicky flavor is amazing and makes the fluffy, soft,
Homemade everything bagels use instant/quick rise yeast, which means that instead of waiting for hours like I am used to with breads, the dough rises in minutes. A recipe I thought would take all afternoon only took 30 minutes!
While successfully making yeast bread is still on my list, these homemade everything pretzel bites are a step in the right direction.
Everything Pretzel Bites
1 packet instant yeast (2 and ¼ teaspoons)
1½ cups warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled
3¾ – 4¼ cups flour, plus more for dusting your surface
Baking Soda Bath
9 cups boiling water
½ cup baking soda
1 large egg, beaten
everything bagel seasoning, for topping
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the yeast into 1½ cups warm water (make sure it is not too hot, otherwise the yeast will burn). Let the mixture sit for 1 minute. It is okay if some clumps of yeast remain. Add salt, brown sugar, and melted butter and whisk into the water until combined.
With the dough hook attachment, slowly add the flour to the wet ingredients, 1 cup at a time. Mix until the flour is incorporated and the dough is thick. Add more flour until the dough is no longer sticky (about ¾ – 1 cup). If the dough is still sticky, add more, a little at a time.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough (fold it over on itself, press it forward with the heel of your hands, rotate it, and repeat) for about 3 minutes.
Spray your mixing bowl with nonstick spray and place your kneaded dough ball in it. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let the dough rest in a warm area for about 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside. In a large pot, make your baking soda bath by combining 9 cups of water and ½ cup baking soda. Bring to a boil.
Using a sharp knife, cut your ball of dough into 6 portions. They don’t have to be perfectly even. Roll each portion of the dough into a ½ to ¾-inch thick ropes and cut into 1 – 1½ inch pieces.
Drop 16-20 pretzel bites into the boiling baking soda bath and let them sit for about 20-30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to remove them and place them onto the prepared baking sheet. Distribute them out so they do not touch and have room to spread when they bake.
Brush the beaten egg over each pretzel bite and sprinkle the bites with everything seasoning. Bake batches for 12-15 minutes each, or until golden brown. I found that by 15 minutes, mine were darker than I anticipated, so check early.
Serve with Dijon mustard and beer cheese (or hard cider cheese). These pretzel bites are best the day they are baked, but you can store leftover pretzel bites in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Sightly adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction