My son and I love making pretzels. It’s a great vacation day, mid-winter day, weekend project to get him into the kitchen with and have fun cooking. When we first started making pretzels back in my early days of cooking, I researched the how to and found out you had to use yeast, knead the dough, and do a baking soda bath. A little time consuming but still fun.
Then I realized, after making bread the Jim Lahey way, that there is no need to knead,. Anything. Ever again. So, here is the new method, still using the baking soda bath, because that is how they become pretzels, and more fun than ever!
You can make pretzel twists, rods, or little pretzel bites like we have here. They are great right out of the oven and honestly we don’t have them around for very long. Dip into any dipping sauce you like. We love maple mustard, a combo of maple syrup and mustard, and spiced mayo sauce, vegan mayo spiced up with fresh lemon zest, cumin, chili powder, turmeric, garlic and mustard powder.
2 1/4 teaspoons of instant yeast * (1 packet)
4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coconut sugar
1 1/2 cups water
Baking Soda Bath
4 cups water
1/2 cup baking soda* I keep a canister of yeast in the freezer and a 2 1/4 tablespoon measure ready and waiting for a recipe just like this. You can buy the set at King Arthur Flour.
In a big bowl, whisk together the yeast, flour, salt and sugar. Add the water and mix well. Cover and let sit for an hour or so until the dough has doubled in size.
Turn out onto a floured work surface and shape the dough into a ball. Use a bench scraper to divide it into 4 smaller balls.
At this point, if you want to save some of the dough, brush a piece of plastic wrap with oil and wrap the dough. Freeze until you want to make pretzels.
Take a section of dough and roll it on a clean work surface. Roll into a long dough snake. Press with the heels of your hands from the middle to the ends and lengthen it as you roll. It will take less than a minute. Then use the bench scraper to cut the snake into little bite sized pieces. Roll them around to make them round.
Preheat the oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Bring the water and baking soda to a boil.
Use a spider strainer to drop a few pretzel bites at a time into the boiling water. In about 10 seconds, they will float up. Take it out with the spider strainer and place them onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!