Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hard Pretzel Bites

We been eating a lot of hard pretzels lately but sadly I noticed this week that the cupboard was bare so I decided to try making my own.
#82 - Hard Pretzel Bites
I went to the internets for a recipe & the first one that came up was from Alton Brown. All the reviews said it made the best pretzels so I figured I couldn't go wrong. I did change the recipe slightly by exchanging some of the flour with whole wheat flour. Also the pretzels were to be boiled in water before baking but I decided to add a little more flavor & boil them in beer. I used a pretty hoppy IPA & you can really taste the hoppy/malty flavor in the pretzels.

I had a hard time rolling out the dough into thin snakes, it was just too elastic. Rolling it, then letting it rest & then rolling it again helped but there was still some bounce back. So, some of my pretzels weren't as completely hard as I would have liked. The thin ones were crispy all the way through while the thicker ones were crispy on the outside with a little bit of a soft pretzel middle. Figure your pretzels will puff to almost 50% their width when boiling so trying to get a thin snake is good.

I chose to make pretzels bites instead of the sticks in the recipe. I think 14" sticks would have been a little tricky to handle in the boiling to pan stage. I experimented a lot with the length of the bites & in the end decided about 1" is just right. They puff up a bit during the boiling & are a perfect one bite snack.

Hard Pretzel Bites
(adapted from Alton Brown)

1 c whole wheat flour
3 1/2 - 4 c all-purpose flour
1 3/4 c warm water
1 T sugar
2 t kosher salt
2 1/4 t active dry yeast (1 package)
vegetable oil
1 bottle of beer
1 egg beaten with 1 T water
kosher salt

Weigh out 22 ounces of the flour & set aside.

Put the warm water, sugar and salt in a large mixing boil. Sprinkle the yeast on top & let sit until it begins to foam. Add the 22 ounces of flour. Mix together to combine. Knead by hand or with a bread hook on a mixer until the dough is smooth & not too sticky. Oil a bowl & put the dough in it. Cover with a towel & let rise about an hour until double in size.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Put the beer in a small saucepan & bring to a simmer, keep an eye on it as it easily foams up & boils over.

Work with a small amount of dough at a time, about 1 ounce, & keep the rest covered. Roll into a thin snake (try to get your snake between 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick) on a lightly oiled surface. (If the dough is very elastic & hard to get thin let it rest & roll again.) Cut the snake into 1" pieces. Drop the pieces a few at a time (I did about 10 at a time) into the simmering beer. Let simmer for 30 seconds, the pretzels will puff up & some may start to split, this is what you want. Remove from the beer with a slotted spoon & place on a baking sheet that covered with either a silicone pad or parchment paper & oil. They won't get much bigger while cooking so you can put them about 1/4" apart on the sheet. Continue until all the dough is gone. If the beer starts to get too low to cover the pretzels either add more or do what I did & just add some water.

Brush the pretzels with the egg an water mixture. Sprinkle generously with the kosher salt. Bake for about 55 minutes until the pretzels are hard & a dark brown. Remove to a rack to cool.

It's hard to say how many this makes since I did a lot of different sizes but I bet you can get at least 200 of the 1" bites.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at OR at then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski


vanillasugarblog said...

now this is clever. make your own, very smart indeed.

Elle said...

Wow, they look incredible! I've made soft pretzels before, but never thought of making hard crunchy ones. You rock!

Amanda said...

Mmm, these look tasty. I love the little bite size pieces too.

Jess said...

Okay, I've gotta try these!

Carter @ The Kitchenette said...

Kat, this picture is beautiful! I'm going to have to try these, maybe for our Stanley Cup Playoffs party...

DIY Bar Food! I love it!

Lori said...

Boiled in beer? That is awesome! I've been planning to make some soft pretzels for a while, but didn't even realize I could do hard pretzels. These look great!


I've tried the Alton Brown version--really good! I bet the beer does add a nice undertone!

Maria said...

We love making our own pretzels. Yours look fabulous!

grace said...

oh, you sly fox, you. boiling these suckers in beer is an brilliant idea, especially if the taste is actually detectable! great job, kat!

spsq said...

Boiled in Beer?

Peter M said...

What a fab and easy snack...with coarse salt...pass the mustard!

Lori said...

So I guess you got your mojo back!

These are amazing. We love pretzels here. I bet the boil in beer made them taste so good. Nice job Kat!

Heather said...

these look great! love the recipe using beer since I was looking for another variation to a pretzel roll recipe I use too! thanks! Heather

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

Wow, pretzel bites! I can picture myself in front of the TV devouring these pretzels!

Fresh Local and Best said...

Kat, this looks like an enticing and novel recipe for a well loved snack!

Michael said...

These are amazing pretzels! Great for snacks while I sip on my hot coffee made from my new cuisinart coffee makers Thanks for sharing the recipe with us. Please continue to share more recipes in the utre. Thanks.

Michelle said...

Hmmmm.....I've made soft pretzels but never even thought to make hard pretzels and they are a favorite around here.

dining tables said...

Wow! This looks delicious! I love it. I miss having pretzels.

Anonymous said...

thx ,
worked great for my needs

made homemade version of Combos using this recipe, kabob skewers for the boiling part, baked 'em standing up, filled with different cheeses, piped with a pastry bag and straight tip.
I AM the genius in MY house. =)

AngiMW said...

Not sure if you are still taking comments on this one but how do you think using all whole wheat white flour would effect the recipe? Super excited to try these! :)

kat said...

I don't see why you couldn't substitute, using whole wheat tends to make things denser when baking & it isn't like you are going for a fluffy pretzel here.

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