Need an appetizer for your next get-together or just a fun family snack? These are not very fancy, but they will definitely be a crowd pleaser. They are rather simple to make AND you can make them ahead of time and just warm them up (or eat them at room temperature).
Soft Pretzel Bites
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast (1 packet)
4 1/2 cups flour
4 tablespoons butter, melted
non-stick cooking spray or oil
1/4 cup baking soda
egg wash made with 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Combine the warm water, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl (of a stand mixer if you have one, fitted with the paddle attachment). If you don't have a stand mixer, you can start mixing with a hand-held electric mixer, but will likely need to switch to mixing with a wooden spoon or your clean hands. Mix on low speed to dissolve the yeast. Mix in the flour and melted butter until just combined. Switch to the dough hook attachment on your stand mixer if you have it and kneed on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and has a smooth texture. Transfer to dough to a large bowl that has been sprayed with cooking spray or coated thinly with oil. Turn the ball of dough to lightly coat it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm area to rise until doubled in size (about an hour).
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Fill a large stock pot about half full with water and the baking soda. Bring the water to a boil.
While waiting for the water to boil, turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and divide it into 6 equal portions. Roll each portion into a long rope about 1 inch in diameter. Cut each rope into 1-inch segments. Place the segments into the boiling water, working in batches so they aren't overcrowded. Boil each batch for about 30 seconds, stirring occasionally so that the each piece of dough gets submerged in the water. The dough pieces will get puffed. Remove the dough from the water using a slotted spoon and spread evenly on the prepared baking sheets. Brush the tops of the boiled dough with the egg wash and sprinkle with course sea salt. Bake in the oven about 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly and serve with your favorite mustard.
recipe slightly adapted from annies-eats.com