AuthorMargo True

Pretzel bites break free of the mall! Start with storebought pizza dough and you’re practically done—just roll the dough into strips and cut them up. A quick dip in an alkaline baking-soda bath makes the pretzel bites turn a glossy brown as they bake, while leaving the insides chewy-soft.

How to Make It

1

Preheat oven to 450° with racks in upper and lower third. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and dust lightly with flour.

2

On a large wooden cutting board or work surface, roll each into a 1/2-in.-wide rope, dusting lightly with flour if they’re sticky; then cut each rope into equal pieces about 2 ½ in. long (they’ll shrink a bit, but will expand again as they rest). Set on lined baking sheets and push the ends of each piece in with your fingers to square them off. Let rest in a warm place, covered with a kitchen towel, until increased in size by half, about 20 minutes.

3

Meanwhile, bring 2 quarts water to a rolling boil, covered, over high heat. Slowly stir in baking soda (it will foam up).

4

Drop several dough pieces at a time into boiling water solution and cook 20 to 30 seconds (any longer and they’ll taste metallic). After every batch, add ½ cup water and let return to a boil; this will happen in seconds.

5

With a slotted spoon, return dough pieces to parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets. Trim shaggy ends if you like. If making savory pretzels, sprinkle immediately with coarse salt. If making cinnamon pretzels, transfer to a large bowl, drizzle with butter, and toss to coat; then lift back onto baking sheets (reserve butter in bowl).

6

Bake pretzels until a rich, even medium brown and crackly on the surface, switching positions halfway through baking, 9 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.

7

For cinnamon pretzels, transfer to bowl of remaining melted butter and toss to coat. Return pretzels to baking sheet, then sprinkle lightly with cinnamon sugar and toss to coat.

8

Serve pretzel bites warm, with dips.

9

*For vanilla glaze, sift 2 cups powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Add 10 tbsp. whipping cream and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Whisk to blend. If it seems thick, whisk in another 1 tbsp. cream. Makes about 1 cup.

10

Makes about 70 bites

Ingredients

 1 pound pizza dough (storebought or homemade), at warm room temperature
 Flour for sprinkling
 1/3 cup baking soda
 For savory pretzels (for 1 lb. dough): About 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
 Dip in: ¼ portion Chile con Queso (http://real-estate-japan.info/recipe/chile-con-queso-0), using a tomato-based salsa; or your favorite mustard
 For cinnamon pretzels (for 1 lb. dough): 3 tablespoons sugar
 1 teaspoon cinnamon
 1/4 cup salted butter, melted
 Vanilla glaze*

Directions

1

Preheat oven to 450° with racks in upper and lower third. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and dust lightly with flour.

2

On a large wooden cutting board or work surface, roll each into a 1/2-in.-wide rope, dusting lightly with flour if they’re sticky; then cut each rope into equal pieces about 2 ½ in. long (they’ll shrink a bit, but will expand again as they rest). Set on lined baking sheets and push the ends of each piece in with your fingers to square them off. Let rest in a warm place, covered with a kitchen towel, until increased in size by half, about 20 minutes.

3

Meanwhile, bring 2 quarts water to a rolling boil, covered, over high heat. Slowly stir in baking soda (it will foam up).

4

Drop several dough pieces at a time into boiling water solution and cook 20 to 30 seconds (any longer and they’ll taste metallic). After every batch, add ½ cup water and let return to a boil; this will happen in seconds.

5

With a slotted spoon, return dough pieces to parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets. Trim shaggy ends if you like. If making savory pretzels, sprinkle immediately with coarse salt. If making cinnamon pretzels, transfer to a large bowl, drizzle with butter, and toss to coat; then lift back onto baking sheets (reserve butter in bowl).

6

Bake pretzels until a rich, even medium brown and crackly on the surface, switching positions halfway through baking, 9 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.

7

For cinnamon pretzels, transfer to bowl of remaining melted butter and toss to coat. Return pretzels to baking sheet, then sprinkle lightly with cinnamon sugar and toss to coat.

8

Serve pretzel bites warm, with dips.

9

*For vanilla glaze, sift 2 cups powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Add 10 tbsp. whipping cream and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Whisk to blend. If it seems thick, whisk in another 1 tbsp. cream. Makes about 1 cup.

10

Makes about 70 bites

Salty or Sweet Pretzel Bites with Dips