Week 3 of The Great British Bake Off was Bread. Initially I was going to make a hot cross bun loaf but when I came to baking one evening I decided against it because the recipe required a couple of hours to prove. I wanted to get to bed that evening so instead I decided to make a bread recipe that was a little different. I’d seen the recipe for soft pretzel bites on Sally’s Baking Addition and knew I wanted to try it so decided to bake them for week three of #GreatBloggersBakeOff2014. I love pretzels, especially soft salted pretzels. I haven’t made them before so I thought these bites would be a good place to start without having to worry about shaping them into the usual pretzel shape.
For the pretzels
1 ½ cup lukewarm water
1 packet of instant yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3 ¾ – 4 ¼ plain flour
2/3 cup bicarbonate of soda
1 large egg, beaten
Coarse sea salt
- Stir the yeast in the warm water so it starts to dissolve. Add the salt, sugar, melted butter and stir. Add the flour 1 cup at a time in a bowl or in a mixer with a dough hook until it makes a thick, sticky dough. Add ¾ cup more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. If it is still sticky, add up to ¼ cup more
- Lightly flour your surface and turn the dough out onto it. Knead the dough for approximately 3 minutes and then roll it into a ball. Put the dough in a large bowl sprayed with oil and cover with cling film. Let the dough prove in a warm area for 20 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 220ºC. Line two large baking trays with baking parchment and set aside
- Cut the ball of dough into 6 sections. Roll each section into 20 inch long ropes
- Cut the ropes into approximately 1.5 inch pieces to make bites
- Boil 9 cups of water and add the bicarbonate of soda. Drop 8-10 pretzel bites into the water and leave for 20 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on the baking trays. Make sure they don’t touch
- Brush each pretzel bite with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sea salt. Repeat this for all of the dough
- Bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown
These pretzel bites are best eaten on the day you make them. They can be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days but they become softer. You can also freeze them – defrost them and heat them through in a 150ºc.
I was very pleased with how these pretzel bites turned out, they tasted exactly as a bought soft pretzel would. They are quite simple so if you haven’t made much or any bread before, these would be a great place to start.
Original recipe – http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/07/20/soft-pretzel-bites/
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