HOMEMADE {WHOLE WHEAT} SOFT PRETZEL BITES

HOMEMADE WHOLE WHEAT SOFT PRETZEL BITES: Butter with a Side of Bread

I absolutely adore soft pretzels, but not enough to load 4+ kids in the van and haul them to a local mall in 40-degree weather by myself. So years ago I learned how to make soft pretzels at home. It’s a fairly easy process {although a little time consuming- about 2 hours total} but the results are worth it. I love skipping the actual pretzel shaping step and just making these bites instead. They’re easier to make and easier for little kids to eat – both bonuses in my opinion!

Homemade Whole Wheat Soft Pretzel Bites
Recipe adapted from Jamie Cooks It Up!

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP yeast (I use active dry)
  • 6 TBSP butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 – 4 1/2 cups flour {I used half whole wheat, half all-purpose white}
  • 3 tsp vital wheat gluten {optional, but improves texture of homemade breads- I add this when I use whole wheat flour}
  • 2 TBSP dough enhancer {optional, but improves texture of homemade breads}
***********

You’ll also need:

  • 12 C water
  • 3/4 C baking soda
  • 1 egg, beaten until frothy
  • Coarse Pretzel Salt or cinnamon sugar

1. Pour 1 1/2 cups warm water into your stand mixer or a large bowl. Add 6 tablespoons melted butter, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 tablespoon yeast. Mix it together on low, just for 30 seconds or so.
Let it sit for about 5 minutes, allowing time for the yeast to start to bubble up a bit and mixture looks frothy.

HOMEMADE WHOLE WHEAT SOFT PRETZEL BITES: Butter with a Side of Bread

2. Add 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and 2 cups of the flour. Turn your mixer on to low and add the rest of the flour, 1 cup at a time while the mixer runs. You know you have enough flour when the dough pulls itself away from the sides of the bowl. I live in a very dry state, so I used just over 4 cups of flour total. I also add Vital Wheat Gluten and Dough Enhancer. These are both optional, but I love how it improves the texture of the bread dough!

HOMEMADE WHOLE WHEAT SOFT PRETZEL BITES: Butter with a Side of Bread

3. Turn your mixer to medium speed and mix for 5 minutes. This kneading process really helps with the texture of the dough.

HOMEMADE WHOLE WHEAT SOFT PRETZEL BITES: Butter with a Side of Bread
4. Remove the bowl from the stand and cover it with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 1 hour somewhere warm, until doubled in size.
HOMEMADE WHOLE WHEAT SOFT PRETZEL BITES: Butter with a Side of Bread

5. Spray your counter with cooking spray and place the dough on top of it. Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears, cut the dough into eight equal portions. Let them rest for at least 5 minutes.

6. While your dough is resting, pour 12 cups of water into a large stock pot and bring it to a boil. Slowly pour 3/4 cup baking soda into it. If it starts to get super frothy, turn it down a bit. If you dump the baking soda in all at once, the water will boil over immediately. Go slow and you won’t have a problem!
HOMEMADE WHOLE WHEAT SOFT PRETZEL BITES: Butter with a Side of Bread

7. Roll each dough piece into a rope shape. Cut the rope into little chunks, about 1-2 inches wide, depending on length.

HOMEMADE WHOLE WHEAT SOFT PRETZEL BITES: Butter with a Side of Bread
HOMEMADE WHOLE WHEAT SOFT PRETZEL BITES: Butter with a Side of Bread
8. Drop the little dough pieces into the boiling water and let them boil for 1 minute. I boiled about 1/3 of the dough at a time.
***It may not seem like this step will make much of a difference since you’re only boiling the bites for a minute. However don’t skip it! This is where the bites go from tasting like regular bread dough to pretzel dough. It makes such a difference in adding a delicious chewiness to the bites. It’s worth it!!
HOMEMADE WHOLE WHEAT SOFT PRETZEL BITES: Butter with a Side of Bread
HOMEMADE WHOLE WHEAT SOFT PRETZEL BITES: Butter with a Side of Bread

9. Take the dough out of the boiling water with a metal strainer, or slotted spoon. Let all of the water drain off the dough and back into the pot.

10. Place the dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread the bites out so that sides aren’t touching and there’s a bit of space around the sheet for the bites to rise during baking. Brush the beaten egg over the top of each piece and then sprinkle a bit of course pretzel salt over the tops. If you want to have sweet soft pretzel bites, omit the coarse salt.
HOMEMADE WHOLE WHEAT SOFT PRETZEL BITES: Butter with a Side of Bread

11. Bake the bites at 425 degrees for 14-17 minutes or until golden brown.

HOMEMADE WHOLE WHEAT SOFT PRETZEL BITES: Butter with a Side of Bread

12. Remove the pan from the oven and let the bites cool for a few minutes. If you sprinkled them with salt, they’re done! If you opted for cinnamon sugar, brush the bites lightly with 1-2 TBSP melted butter, then sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar.

ENJOY!

HOMEMADE WHOLE WHEAT SOFT PRETZEL BITES: Butter with a Side of Bread

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