And I was richly rewarded. My blog this month was I am a Honey Bee, which has delicious food lurking on every page. It's created by Nicole (you can call her Nic)--a mom/wife/architect/crafter/builder/creator. I chose to make these pretzel bites due to my autumnal bread addiction and they were FANTASTIC. Delicious texture and flavor, and they kind of burst open like some pretzels do, creating a seam of awesome. Delicious.
We made several bites and several pretzels and my kids went nuts making all kinds of crazy stuff and adding all kinds of crazy toppings. I think my favorite were the sesame seed. (Mmmm, and I'm already dreaming of bread for breakfast; I have a problem.).
adapted from I Am a Honey Bee
Makes: a whole lot
Prep time: 15 minutes
Rise time: 1-2 hours
Cook time: 30 minutes (about 8 minutes a batch, and we had several batches)
4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp white sugar
1 1/4 C warm water
1 C white whole wheat flour
3 1/2 C all purpose flour
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
For the bath before baking (Note; I used 1/2 C baking soda; I think you could go less for a less salty-ish pretzel)
1/2 C baking soda
4 C water
Your choice of toppings. We tried cinnamon sugar, sugar, salt, poppy seed, and sesame seed (my favorite).
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and 1 tsp sugar in warm water.
Let it stand while you mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl: flours, sugars, and salt.
Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients and add the wet. Then use a stand mixer with the hook to mix. If it's too wet, add a bit more flour up to 1/2 C (but don't go over that). (Note: If you don't have a mixer or like to make bread by hand, I would add the dry ingredients cup by cup to the wet ingredients--so you'll need the wet ingredients in the big bowl. Then mix until you have to turn it out to knead it. Then knead it, adding more flour mixture as necessary.)
Knead until smooth and then put in a bowl and cover with a clean dishtowel. Let rise 1-2 hours.
When you're ready to make the pretzel bites, cut the dough into long pieces, then roll them (like you're rolling playdough snakes). Then cut the snakes into bite sized pieces, unless you're making traditional pretzels (though I really do recommend the bites because they were delicious--perfect texture and so easy to cook, so easy to dip).
Boil your four cups of water and add 1/4-1/2 C baking soda (as water dissolves, add more or the pretzels start tasting too salty). Drop the bites into this liquid. Give them 30 seconds or so and they'll float to the top. Put them on a pan, covered with parchment paper (yeah, you want it; otherwise, these can stick). Sprinkle with desired toppings. Bake at 450 degrees for 6-8 minutes.
Snarf them down. Prepare body for hibernation.