How do you get a 4.0 GPA in your first year in college? When you study you have to eat pretzels dipped in cheese sauce! It helps you focus. That was my formula toward a successful college career… Until I came home one day and my parents told me that I looked “bloated”. Love that … not fat, but bloated.
I had gained 15 pounds! But not from beer and pizza like everyone else. No, I had I gained it from eating those delicious mall pretzels. (And maybe a swig or two of tequila ;-)) Trust me, I would eat a lot of these babies. I would buy them every Sunday – I would buy about 20 pretzels and eat them throughout the week with melted Velveeta cheese sauce. Man was it gooood! I mean this stuff was finger-licking good. I would suck on my fingers with every bite that I took. I didn’t want to miss a crumb of these delicious gems.
That bloated comment though killed my pretzel-eating routine. As soon as I stopped eating them, I noticed that I didn’t have to lay down flat on my bed to zip up my jeans. That should have been an indicator I guess, but I was too busy
eating studying. But do you think that I stopped eating big, soft pretzels? Heck no! By now some of you may have figured out that I eat everything, but most of it is homemade and that is why I don’t limit myself; when I make it I know exactly what’s in it.
Instead of going to the mall to treat myself to a soft and yummy pretzel, I decided to make them at home by following my Mama’s recipe. And instead of making them into big pretzels, I opted for a smaller bite size version because that enables me to control how much I eat. And I don’t dip them in any sauce – no need for those extra calories – these are really good all on their own.
Get out your notepad and write down this recipe because you will need it for Superbowl Sunday – trust me, these babies will be gone before the first quarter.
You will need:
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 stick of butter, melted
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 cups of water
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1 egg, beaten plus 1 tablespoon water
Your choice of any or all
- sea salt and oregano
- garlic salt
- cinnamon and sugar
- sesame seeds
- In a large mixing bowl combine brown sugar, yeast, melted butter and water. Whisk it and let sit for 5 minutes or until frothy.
- Add salt and flour to the yeast mixture.
- Set the mixer on “knead” and mix until all flour is incorporated and the dough is pulling away from the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add additional flour if needed.
- Transfer dough to a clean work area; knead by hand for about 5 minutes and shape the dough into a ball.
- Coat all sides of the dough with oil and place the dough in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm location for an hour or until dough is doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Divide dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a long snake.
- Using a knife, cut 1 inch pieces and put the pieces on a plate. Repeat process with the rest of the dough.
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk one egg with water and set it aside.
- In a large pot, bring 6 cups of water to a boil.
- Carefully add baking soda.
- Boil 10 pieces of dough at a time for about a minute.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and put them down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough pieces. *You’ll need about 4 baking sheets.
- Brush egg wash over dough pieces.
- Sprinkle with any of the above toppings that I listed. My favorite combination is the sea salt with oregano.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cool on a wire rack.
This yields about 100 pretzel bites.
Store any remaining pretzel bites in an airtight container.
You know they are good when your 18 month old attacks them!