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Pretzel Bites

These pretzel bites are the result of a happy accident Sarah encountered while developing our "Fastest Bagels in the West" recipe. They have a chew similar to a bagel, but a soft and fluffy texture that you'd see in a traditional soft pretzel. Pair these with some tangy mustard dip, and you'll have a party snack that'll keep your friends happy and the drinks flowing. This is our go-to snack to bring to New Year's Eve parties where they promptly disappear.

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Yield

40 pretzel bites

Time

About 2 hours total (1 hour active)

Ingredients

4250gwater400gbread flour200gbaking soda20gsugar12gsalt10gyeast10gneutral oil10gmaldon salt1eggs

Instructions

1Combine
400gbread flour20gsugar12gsalt10gyeast

In the bowl of a standing mixer, stir to combine the bread flour, sugar, yeast and salt.

2Knead
240gwater

Heat water to 90°F(32°C).

Place the bowl with the flour in standing mixer fitted with the hook attachment.

Start the mixer on the lowest setting and slowly pour in the warm water.

Stop mixing periodically to scrape down the bowl and make sure all flour mixture is hydrated.

Once all flour is hydrated, increase mixing speed to medium (4-6) and knead the dough for 10-15 minutes, until soft and smooth.

3Proof
4000gcold water200gbaking soda10gneutral oil

After 10 minutes, remove the dough from the standing mixer onto a lightly floured surface.

Coat inside of the mixing bowl with neutral oil, and place the dough back in the oiled mixing bowl. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and set in a warm area for about 45 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.

4Prep
4010gwater200gbaking soda10gmaldon salt1eggs

While the dough is proofing, preheat the oven to 425°F(218°C) and fill a pot with 4000g of cold water. Stir in 200g baking soda to your pot of water until combined, and bring the cold water up to a rolling boil. This should take about 30-40 minutes.

Next get the egg wash ready by whisking 1 egg together with 10g water. Grab a basting brush and set aside along with 10g Maldon salt.

Finally, prepare two baking sheets with either lightly oiled parchment paper or baking mats. If you have a wire rack for resting, grab that and place it over the prepared baking sheets.

5Divide

Once proofed, remove dough from the mixing bowl and place on a lightly oiled surface.

Divide dough into four equal parts. Taking one part at a time, gently roll out dough into 12in. length ropes.

Using a bench scraper, or knife, cut rope into 1in. segments.

6Boil

Working in batches, gently add as many pretzel bites as can comfortably fit in the pot without crowding. I like to use a spider or fine mesh sieve to lower these into the water.

Allow the first side to boil for 30 seconds. Then gently turn the pretzels in the water to boil on the other side for 30 more seconds.

Remove pretzels from the water and place on the prepared wire rack to rest until all pretzel bites are boiled. If you don't have a wire rack, the bites can also rest on a parchment lined or baking mat fitted baking sheet.

7Wash
You may need more salt than recommended at this point depending on how salty you like your pretzels.
10gmaldon salt

Lightly brush the egg wash mixture over each pretzel, stopping periodically to sprinkle Maldon salt over the tops before the egg wash dries.

8Bake
I find that rotating the baking sheets about halfway through yields a more even color.

Bake at 425°F(218°C) for 25-30 minutes or until deep golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

These will store in an air-tight container for up to three days. To re-heat, set oven to 300°F(150°C), cover in tin-foil, and bake for 15 minutes.

9Bonus: Mustard Dip
50gmayonnaise15gwhole grain mustard10gsour cream

Combine mayo, whole grain mustard and sour cream in a small bowl. Taste and adjust to your liking.

Will keep in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.