Fresh from the oven: Soft Pretzel Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup warm water (100°F – 110°F)
  • 2 teaspoons + 2 tablespoon pure cane sugar, divided
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat bread flour
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (I like to grind mine fine by using a mortar stone)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • pretzel salt or any salt as topping (I used garlic sea salt)

Pour warm water and 2 teaspoons sugar into bowl of food processor fitted with dough attachment, or an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Alternately, you can mix this entire dough mixture in a medium size bowl without any equipment at all while saving washing. Stir water and sugar to combine, sprinkle with yeast and let sit for 10 minutes; yeast should be foamy.

Add 1 cup flour to yeast, mix until combined. Add salt and rest of flour, mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Beat on medium-low until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 1 1/2 minutes. If dough is too dry add more water 1 tablespoon at a time and if dough is too wet, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time (this may all depend on weather conditions). Blend for another 30 seconds. Transfer to a lightly floured board and knead about ten minutes, or until smooth.

In a large bowl, pour oil and swirl to coat sides. Bring dough into the bowl, turn completely to cover all sides with oil. Cover with kitchen towel and leave in a warm spot for about 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size.

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheet with coconut or olive oil (parchment and ungreased works too), set aside. Punch down the dough in the center to remove bubbles. Lightly flour a board and transfer the dough. Knead once or twice, pull off little sections rolling into a 1 1/2 inch ball or oblong shapes. Let the shapes rest until they rise a little, about 15 minutes.

Next, fill a large, shallow pot with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil. Add baking soda one tablespoon at a time (it will foam up so be gentle when adding). Add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Reduce to a simmer; place half of the bites in the water and poach for 45 seconds on each side. Use slotted spoon to transfer pretzel bites to baking sheet. Continue until all pretzels are poached.

Using a sharp knife slash a shallow cross or straight line across the top of each pretzel bite. With a silicon brush, coat the pretzel bites with olive oil and sprinkle with salt of choice. Bake until golden brown, 10 – 12 minutes or so. Let cool on wire rack, or eat warm. Coat with olive oil once more before eating if desired and sprinkle a little more salt. Pretzels are best when eaten right away or the same day. You can keep left over pretzels at room temperature, uncovered, for one to two days. Do not store in covered container or they will become soggy.

Serve plain or with your favorite accompaniment. I used dijon and whole grain mustard.

Makes approx. 16 to 20

Enjoy!

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