Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pretzel Bites

Did I mention our oven broke?  That happened right after I was saying how great it is that we don't have to repair anything since we're only renting....
Well both the oven and stove went out before I had made my recipe of the week.  And as it always happens, all the recipes I wanted to try required either the stove or oven (or both).

This week my sister is here visiting, which makes cooking way more fun.  Being the resourceful girls we are, we put the toaster oven to good use since the oven is out of commission.  On the menu: pretzel bites.

Mini Pretzel Bites
Adapted from here

3/4 cups warm water
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/8 tsp active dry yeast
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
2-2.5 cups all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil
1.5 quarts water for boiling
1/4 cup baking soda
butter for brushing on top
Coarse sea salt


Combine the warm water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Add the salt and 2 cups of flour, and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and roll into a ball with your hands.

Oil the mixing bowl with a little bit of vegetable oil, add the dough and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean towel and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Boil 1.5 quarts of water and add the baking soda.

While the water boils, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a long rope, about a foot long. Cut the dough into one inch pieces to make the pretzel bites.  Keep in mind they will plump up upon boiling.

Boil the pretzel bites in the water solution in batches for about 30 seconds. Remove with a large slotted spoon. Place pretzel bites on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Make sure they are not touching. Brush the tops with the melted butter and season liberally with the salt.

Bake for 7.5 minutes, or until golden.  (At least this is how long it took in the toaster oven.  The original recipe said 15-18 min!)
Serve with an assortment of mustards.

These would be great finger food for a party!

Update: two workers are currently here installing a new oven/stove unit.  It looks like this is the only make-shift recipe we will have to make in the toaster-oven :)

And for an update on my resolution, I have made 60 new recipes this year.  The only missing weeks were during our Italy trip and cross-country move, which isn't too bad.  Only two more weeks in 2011, and I have two really tasty recipes to try.  I'll write a more lengthy review of the recipes I tried, and especially the ones that were big hits, in the new year!

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