Friday, August 30, 2013

Football Food: Pretzel Bites


I saw this recipe on beantown's blog and I knew it was right up my alley.  The recipe wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be, and it was really delicious.  It's also something you can make up in advance and stores well overnight, which is a plus when cooking for a crowd.  Make them mini and you get a lot of bang for the buck, and they go much further! 
So...if that fit's your criteria, here is the recipe for....
Pretzel Bites
Ingredients:  1 1/2 c. warm water, 2 T. brown sugar, 1pkg active dry yeast, 6 T. butter (melted), 2 1/2 t. salt, 4 1/2 – 5 c. flour, 2 qts water, 1/4 c. baking soda, 1 egg, beaten + 1 tbsp water, sea salt for topping
Directions:
1.  Mix brown sugar, yeast, melted butter and water. Give a quick mix,  let sit for 5 minutes or until slightly foamy.
2.  Add salt and flour to wet mixture. Mix on low speed with a dough hook (I did this part by hand), gradually increasing the speed to medium. Continue mixing until all flour is encorporated and the dough is pulling away from the sides and bottom of the bowl. If needed, add more flour until the dough pulls away from the bowl and is no longer really sticky. Transfer dough to a clean work area, knead by hand for 3-5 minutes, shape into a ball.
3.  Grease a medium bowl with oil. Toss dough into bowl, then flip to coat all sides with oil. Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm location for an hour or until dough is doubled in size.  I sometimes put the dough in the fridge to stop it from rising further if I'm not quite ready to make my pretzels. 
4.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Carefully and quickly, add baking soda (this may splatter).
5.  Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long snake. Using kitchen sheers, cut 1″ pieces. Set aside. Repeat process with all dough. Keep the remaining dough covered with plastic wrap until ready to roll and cut.
6.  Prepare a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper. Whisk one egg together with 1 T water, set aside. Boil 10-15 pieces of cut dough at a time for 30-45 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon, transfering to your prepared baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining dough pieces.
7.  Brush egg wash over dough balls. Immediately sprinkle with course sea salt.
8.  Bake for 15 min. (until golden brown).
9.  Serve with mustard and cheese dip. Store any remaining pretzel bites in an airtight container.

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