Yield: about 4 ½ dozen pretzel bites
- 1 2/3 cups (380g) water, lukewarm (110–115°F)
- 2 Tbsp (27g) light brown sugar
- 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
- 4 cups + 7 Tbsp (530g) bread flour, divided
- 3 Tbsp (42g) unsalted butter, melted & cooled to lukewarm (110–115°F)
- 2 tsp salt
Baking Soda Bath:
- 8 cups (2L) water
- 1/3 cup (80g) baking soda
- 1 Tbsp light brown sugar
- Maldon Sea Salt Flakes
NOTE: If possible, we highly recommend asking your partner, roommate, or teenager to assist with the rolling / cutting / boiling / salting / baking process (all the steps after the dough proofs). You want to minimize how long the dough continues to rise after the bulk fermentation, and a second pair of hands helps immensely.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, gently mix together water, brown sugar, and yeast. Leave undisturbed for about 10 minutes until the mixture gets foamy.
- Add 2 cups + 5 Tbsp (280g) flour, melted butter, and salt. Using a silicone spatula, mix until ingredients begin to combine and form a rough blob.
- Add remaining 2 cups + 2 Tbsp (250g) flour. Attach dough hook, then mix on low until the dough starts to come together.
- Increase speed to medium-high and knead dough until it’s smooth and cleans the sides of the bowl, roughly 5 minutes.
NOTE: Your dough should be tacky but not sticky. If it’s too sticky, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time, kneading after each addition. You shouldn’t have to add more than 4 tablespoons.
- Tip dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Dust dough with flour, then knead a few times before forming into a ball. Place dough back into bowl. Cover with beeswax wrap or cotton bowl cover and place in a warm, dry spot and leave undisturbed until dough has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Towards the end of your proofing time, heat oven to 450°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
NOTE: This is a great time to call your assistant into the kitchen to sort out your game plan. When we make pretzel bites, one person rolls and cuts the pretzels, and the other boils and salts them. This set-up allows us to keep the process moving continuously.
- Combine water, baking soda, and brown sugar in a large pot. Place on stove and allow baking soda bath to come to a boil while you continue.
- After dough has doubled in size, punch it down to release excess gas build-up. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide dough into 8 equal pieces (about 126g each).
- Take one piece and roll it out into a 14-inch dough snake. Using a bench scraper or chef’s knife, cut dough snake into 2-inch pieces.
- With the baking soda bath boiling, place a dozen-ish pretzel bites in at a time. Boil for 60 seconds, stirring very gently to make sure all sides of the bites get coated in the baking soda bath. Then remove using a spider or slotted spoon. Allow excess water to drain off, then place bites on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle sea salt flakes on top.
- Repeat the rolling / cutting / boiling / draining / salting process until a baking sheet is full of pretzel bites.
- Bake for 8–10 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Pretzel bites are done when they’re dark golden brown.
- Transfer pretzel bites to wire rack and allow to cool slightly.
- Repeat with remaining dough.
- We like to serve pretzel bites warm with beer cheese, spicy German mustard, or Core & Rind cashew cheesy sauce (shown here). Let us know your favourite pretzel accompaniment in the comments!