Lately, I have been craving salty foods more than normal. I guess my pregnancy cravings are starting to really pick up and I'm trying my absolute best to stick to eating healthy, exercising and providing nutritious foods for my growing belly. Can you believe that I'm 25 weeks today? For those that are curious, Eric and I aren't finding out the gender of the baby aka cookie. We want our little blessing a surprise come May. My pregnancy cravings haven't been pickles and ice cream or anything weird, but more salty and sour.
I had recently met up with Jessica from Sunny Side Up In San Diego and she had given me some ideas on my birthday cake that I plan on baking next month. I wanted to highlight something from her blog and I fell in love with from her recipe post on soft pretzel bites and a couple other recipes, too.
It's like my pregnancy cravings were instantly honed on her soft pretzel bites. These soft pretzel bites are easy enough for the immediate cook because I have conquered my fear with yeast a couple times in the kitchen. Yeast may have won more battles (failed recipes), but this might pose a little challenge if this is your first attempt with yeast. (Make sure to give yourself some ample time to let the dough rise). Be careful because these little pretzel bites might be addicting, and you can easily make sweet ones by substituting cinnamon sugar instead of coarse salt for the topping. It's a carb lovers dream come true!
Paired beautifully with my buffalo chicken soup, or make Jessica's beer cheese dip.
Soft Pretzel Bites
Adapted from Sunny Side Up in San Diego
4 teaspoon active dry
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tbsp butter, melted
Topping:1/2 cup baking soda
cups hot water
2 egg whites
2 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled
Coarse kosher salt, for topping
Parchment paper and cooking spray
In a measuring cup, dissolve the
yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Set aside. (Mixture should become
foamy - or you have bad yeast or too hot water).
bowl of a standing mixture fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, sugars,
and salt on low speed. Turn off the mixer and pour the water/yeast mixture and
melted butter into the bowl. Turn the mixer on and knead for 6 to 8 minutes until
the dough is smooth. If the dough is too dry you can add extra water, a
tablespoon at a time.
Lightly oil a large bowl. Remove the dough from
the mixer and shape into a ball. Place the dough ball in the bowl, cover with a
clean towel, and allow to rise for one hour (or until double in size).
Note:*I turn on my oven at the lowest temp at 200 while I am doing my food prep. Then I place the bowl in the oven, and turn off the oven with the door slightly open for 30 minutes, then remove it and place on top of the oven for the remainder of the rising time.*
Towards the end of rising time, preheat oven to 450 degrees and prepare
baking sheets with parchment paper and cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine
the hot water and baking soda. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites
and melted butter.
After the dough has risen, punch down the dough and
then knead with hands for one minute. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface
and divide dough into 12 even portions. Now you can pick your shape. For pretzel
bites roll each portion into a snake then cut the snake into bite size pieces,
about 1 1/2 inches in width.
Dip the pieces in the baking soda water and
place on the baking sheet. Dab with a paper towel if there is an excess of water. Brush each pretzel bite with egg whites/melted butter mixture then
sprinkle with kosher salt.
Bake for 7-8 minutes, or until browned.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Yield: 3 dozen+
Review: Mmmmm, I loved these little pretzel bites. The good thing about these, they don't need to be perfectly shaped. I love the oddness of the shapes and added just enough salt to my pregnancy liking! My little cookie loves salty foods! These did make a huge batch and I shared a batch or two with my friends.
Jessica while I was in San Diego. It was really great to hang out again since the last time we saw each other was the FoodBuzz conference in SF. We ate some yummy tacos, split a peanut butter sundae at Ghiraradelli and talked endless foodie gossip. It was really great to see her one last time before she departs to China. I really love the foodie support that our food blogging community has, and I wish her nothing but the best for her exciting journey ahead. Mostly, I'll be living vicariously through her exciting travels!