What do you bake on National Pretzel Day (April 26th)? Pretzel bites!
These soft, chewy pretzel bites are a version of the jumbo soft pretzels sold by street vendors, and are easier (well, let’s say more elegant) to eat than pulling apart a six-inches-wide pretzel.
Warm from the oven and served with a cold beer: There’s no better way to celebrate the day.
There are more recipes below.
April is National Pretzel Month, so you can plan to make all of them next year!
Prep time is 20 to 30 minutes, resting time 30 minutes, and baking time is 12 to 15 minutes.
Ingredients For About 6 Dozen Pretzel bites
For The Dough
Don’t want salt? You can leave it off, or substitute:
*NOTE: Use the greater amount in the winter, the lesser amount in the summer, and somewhere in between in the spring and fall. Your goal is a soft dough.
†DIPPING MUSTARD doesn’t have to be ballpark yellow, even if it’s your standard. Go gourmet with a great mustard from Maille. The company makes 50 different flavors, including seasonal limited editions. For spring, there’s a limited-edition honey mustard collection (photo #5). The mustards can be paired with meats, fresh vegetables, and cheese, mixed into vinaigrettes…and used to dip pretzels, of course!
You can make the dough by hand or with a bread machine.
1a. MAKE dough by hand: Place all of the dough ingredients into a bowl, and beat until well-combined. Knead the dough, by hand or with a mixer for about 5 minutes, until it’s soft, smooth, and quite slack. Flour the dough, place it in a bag, and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
1b: MAKE dough with a bread machine: Place all of the dough ingredients into the pan of the bread machine, program the machine for dough or manual, and press Start. Allow the dough to proceed through its kneading cycle (no need to let it rise). Then cancel the machine, flour the dough, and give it a rest in a plastic bag for 30 minutes.
While the dough is resting…
2. PREPARE the topping. Combine the boiling water and baking soda, stirring until the soda is totally (or almost totally) dissolved. Set the mixture aside to cool to lukewarm or room temperature.
3. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it with vegetable oil spray, or lining it with parchment paper. If you’re not using King Arthur Flour, do both: grease the parchment with vegetable oil spray to make double sure the bites won’t stick.
4. TRANSFER the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into six equal pieces. Roll the six pieces of dough into 12″ to 15″ ropes. Cut each rope crosswise into about 12 pieces.
5. POUR the cooled baking soda solution into a pan large enough to hold the bites. Place the bites into the solution, gently swish them around, and leave them there for a couple of minutes. Transfer them to a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and top with pretzel salt or sea salt; or with pearl sugar or cinnamon sugar, for sweet pretzel bites.
6. BAKE the bites for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove them from the oven and roll them in the melted butter. For cinnamon-sugar pretzels, toss with cinnamon-sugar once you’ve rolled the bites in the butter.
7. PLACE on a rack to cool. In you’re not going to enjoy the bites the same day, store them, well-wrapped, at room temperature. Reheat briefly before serving.
The first pretzels were baked by monks to reward children for learning their prayers, way back in the year 610. The shape represents their arms folded in prayer.
More pretzel history.
 Pretzel bites, mustard and beer: a great way to celebrate (photos #1 and #2 © King Arthur Flour.