Make the soft pretzel dough, roll and cut, dump in a baking soda bath, and bake. Don’t skip the baking soda bath. And here’s why: a quick dip into boiling water and baking soda will give your pretzels that wonderfully authentic golden brown pretzel color. Not only that, the baking soda bath is what gives them their chewy exteriors.
These pretzel bites are out of control delicious. Basically, all you do is boil a bunch of water and baking soda together. Working with about 8-10 pretzel bites at a time, drop them in the boiling water, let them soak for about 20 seconds, and remove. Look at their beautiful golden brown color:
- 1 and 1/2 cups (300ml) warm water, plus 9 more cups for step 5
- 1 packet Red Star Platinum instant yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon (8g) packed light brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon (15g) unsalted butter, previously melted and not scorching hot
- 3.75 – 4.25 cups (470- 530g) all-purpose flour + more for the counter surface
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1 large egg, beaten
- coarse sea salt for sprinkling
- Spicy Nacho Cheese Sauce for serving
- Whisk the yeast into 1 and 1/2 cups warm water. Allow sitting for 1 minute. Some clusters of yeast may remain.
- Add salt, brown sugar, and melted butter. Whisk until fairly combined. Slowly add 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time.
- Mix with a wooden spoon (or dough hook attached to stand mixer) until dough is thick. Add 3/4 cup more flour until the dough is no longer sticky.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes, then shape into a ball. Place in a large greased mixing bowl. I usually use nonstick spray to grease it, but olive oil works too. Cover and let the dough rest in a warm area for about 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- With a sharp knife, cut the ball of dough into 6 sections. Roll the dough into six 20-inch long ropes. Cut the rope into 1.5-inch pieces to make bites.
- Combine 9 cups of water and the baking soda in a large pot and bring to a rapid boil. Drop 8-10 pretzel bites into the water and let sit for 20 seconds. Remove with a spatula and place onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Make sure the bites aren’t touching.
- Brush beaten egg over each pretzel bite. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake batches for 15 minutes each, or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and serve with spicy nacho cheese sauce or honey mustard. Pretzel bites remain fresh for up to 3 days in an airtight container, though they will lose some softness.