Mucho Gusto

Lauren’s Pretzel Bites

This is the eighth installment in Mucho Gusto, a recipe initiative by and for students to help connect us through food in times of isolation. If you’ve got a recipe you think would make a great addition, reach out to us!

Make if you have: basic baking ingredients, time, the need for a snack

These pretzels are a great snack for a family game, puzzle, or movie night! Making the snack is also a fun activity for the whole family. You can make the cheese dip or just eat them with a little mustard.

Pretzel Bites:

1 ½ cups of lukewarm water 

2 ¼ teaspoons instant rise yeast (¼ ounce pack) 

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 tablespoon brown sugar 

1 teaspoon salt

4 cups flour

½ cup baking soda 

1 egg beaten

Salt for sprinkling on top

Cheese Dip: 

2 ¼ cup milk (whole milk suggested)

¼ cup unsalted butter

¼ cup flour

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (grated)

Salt and pepper

For the pretzel bites, first dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and mix until they are combined – about 1 minute. In a mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, salt, and yeast mixture. Stir until homogenous. Slowly add 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix by hand (or with a stand mixer using the hook attachment), until the dough is thick. Add ¾ cup more flour and mix. If the dough is still sticky add ¼ cup more flour at a time until the dough is no longer sticky and bounces back when you poke it.

Take your dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Knead it for 2 minutes and shape it into a ball. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, then cover the bowl with a dish towel or other cloth and let sit for 10 minutes. While the dough is rising, bring a large pot of water to a boil with the baking soda, preheat the oven to 425 degrees, and line two two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Section your dough into 6 equal parts and roll each section into long ropes. Then, cut into 1-1 ½ inch bites. Once water is boiling, drop 10 pretzel bites into water and boil for 20 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place onto prepared baking sheets, making sure that they do not touch. Repeat with remaining pretzel bites.

Brush beaten egg (or butter) over each pretzel bite and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown, rotating the sheet pans once halfway through cooking.

For the cheese! Heat your milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles form on the top. Meanwhile, melt the butter in another saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes Add the warm milk to the flour butter mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly. Cook until the mixture thickens (congratulations you have made a roux), about 5 minutes. Add the cheese and stir until smooth. If you want to add a little more flavor, add one 1 tablespoon of mustard.

Recipe adapted from Platings and Pairings 

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