Thursday, December 18, 2014

Easy Pretzel Bites

I have been wanting to make pretzels for a few days now, but I just haven't gotten around to it. I got around to it today, and I don't know what I was waiting for earlier! This recipe is seriously so easy, and my whole family approves of these fabulous pretzel bites. Everything from to start to finish was easy, from the creation of the dough, to the cheese sauce. These little guys were so scrmptious, we only have a small bowl of them left. They were pretty popular after they came out of the oven, and after everybody got home. 
Here is what you'll need for the pretzels: 
~1& 1/4 cups of warm milk
~1 packet of active dry yeast
~1 teaspoon of sugar
~3 & 1/4 cups of flour
~1 teaspoon kosher salt
~1 large egg (for egg wash) 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, and line a baking sheet or pan with parchment paper/tin foil. Oil up the parchment paper with vegetable or olive oil, it will make taking the pretzels off the parchment paper even easier. Next, begin by pouring the warm milk in a bowl, and pouring the active dry yeast in with the milk. Sprinkle the sugar in, and wait about 3 minutes for the yeast to settle and bloom. Next, stir the yeast in with the milk until it looks as if it has dissolved into the milk, and the milk has changed color. Add in the flour, and the salt, and stir with a spoon. When the flour becomes tacky, use your hands to knead the dough. If you need to pour a little bit more milk into the bowl, you may do so, but only pour about a teaspoon of milk into the bowl, just enough to scrape the rest of the flour off the sides of the bowl. 

You will want to get some water boiling, this will be what you pour the baking soda into. It will bubble up, but this is a necessary step. Now, clean off some counter space, really clean it because the dough is going directly on the counter. Knead the dough into a ball, and quarter the dough. Roll out each piece into an 18-22" dough rope, and cut the rope into small, bite-sized pieces. Once the water is boiling, pour in the baking soda slowly, then drop 10 pieces of dough in the boiling water at a time. Do this until all of the dough pieces have been bathed in the baking soda boiling water bath, remove with a slotted spoon, and transfer to the oiled pan. Once all of the dough bites have been transferred to pan, take the large egg and whisk it in a separate bowl with 2 teaspoons of water; this is the egg wash to brush on the dough bites. 

Once the egg wash has been made, be generous while brushing the egg wash onto the dough bites, and sprinkle with coarse salt. Put in the oven for 8 minutes, or until the tops are browned. Viola! You have the most scrmptious pretzel bites around. 
Now, I like to have cheese with my pretzels, so here is another super easy recipe to make a beautiful cheese sauce to partner with your scrumptious pretzels. 
Here is what you'll need for the cheese sauce: 
~2 tablespoons of butter
~2 tablespoons of flour
~1 cup of milk 
~8 oz. sharp shredded cheese (hand shredded preferred. Not packaged) 

Begin by melting the butter, and whisking constantly. Next, add the flour and whisk, then add milk and whisk until the lumps are gone. Wait until it thickens, and let the milk simmer for 3-5 minutes. Turn heat down to very low, and add in the cheese. Whisk until the cheese is melted, and serve up! You can store the sauce in the fridge, and you can reheat on the stove, or in the microwave. 
These are so good! I will definitely be making these again really soon, they are incredibly easy, and they are scrumptious. 
If you have any questions about this recipe, please comment below! 
I hope you enjoyed this recipe, I really loved making these pretzel bites. They are awesome! 

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