I'm a sucker for soft pretzels, especially when dipped into a warm cheese sauce. I recently tried pretzel bites for the first time and loved how easy they were to pop into my mouth and share with friends. The one thing I didn't like was just how much of that thick dark pretzel coating there was compared to the soft center that I love soo much! It makes sense, there is more surface area on the bites and therefore more crust. Even after knowing this, I still wanted them softer!! So I decided to come up with a super soft pretzel recipe so I could make these little poppers more enjoyable. The outcome was..a BIG success!! Give them a try and find out for yourself!!
- 1 cup milk
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tbls oil
- 3 Tbs packed light brown sugar
- 3 cups flour, plus more for kneading
- 1 tsp fine table salt
- 3 cups REALLY HOT water
- 1/3 cup baking soda
- course pretzel salt
Step 1: Make the Super Soft Dough
- In a small saucepan heat up the milk until it's warm. You don't want it hot, just warm. If the milk is too hot, it will kill the yeast.
- Pour the warm milk into a bowl and add the yeast. Let it sit for 2 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
- Add 1 cup of flour, salt and the brown sugar into the milk and stir it in.
- Add the butter and oil and mix until combined.
- Slowly add the remaining flour. Once the dough has formed, dump it onto a lightly floured surface.
- Kneed the dough for 5 minutes, adding flour as necessary. You don't want the dough really wet, but it should be rather tacky.
- Form the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl. Cover the bowl and let rest for 1 hour.
Step 2: Form the Pretzel Bites
- Punch down the dough and put it onto a lightly floured surface.
- Divide the dough into 6 even sections.
- Take one piece and knead it for a minute or two and then roll it out into a rope.
- Cut the rope into 1 inch bite size pieces. Each rope should make about 10 bites.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the remaining dough. You should have about 60 bites.
Step 3: Dip and Bake
- In a medium bowl mix 3 cups of superHOT water and the baking soda until dissolved. I ran my faucet until it was really, really steamy. You can boil the water on the stove if you can't run really hot water.
- Gently dip each dough piece into the solution and put it onto a greased baking tray. Make sure to leave space between the pieces on the tray as they will expand a bit. Make sure to be careful, the water will be extremely hot (and should be)! I have a strong heat tolerance so I was able to dip the pieces into the water with my hand. If your using boiling water or can not handle really hot liquids, use tongs to gently dip the pieces in the solution.
- Whisk the egg in a small bowl and gently brush it on each piece of dough.
- Sprinkle the bites with the course salt.
- Bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. They won't be as dark as a traditional "soft pretzel".
NOTE: These do not get boiled like traditional soft pretzels. A quick dip in the baking soda solution will give them a golden brown color with at super soft texture!
Step 4: Cool and ENJOY!
Allow the bites to cool before handling them (about 5 minutes). Serve them with cheese sauce, mustard, or what ever dip you would like!