This came about from exposure to the Philly Pretzel Factory, a persistent urge to make it from scratch, and a weekend away with good friends. B and I decided we wanted to make these pretzel bites to bring to our weekend away in the Poconos for all to snack on. They were a real hit and were gone within the hour. I made these two days before we ate them. I stored them in containers and briefly reheated them before serving. Enjoy!
For the dough:
1½ cups warm water (110-115° F)
1 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. kosher salt
2¼ tsp. instant yeast
22 oz. all-purpose flour (about 4½ cups)
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for greasing the bowl
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp. water
Pretzel, Kosher, or Sea Salt
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons freshly ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons butter
To make the dough, combine the water, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed to dissolve the yeast. Add in the flour and melted butter and mix just until the dough comes together. Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium speed until the dough is smooth and clears the sides of the bowl, about 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to a bowl lightly greased with vegetable oil, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place, about 50-55 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
Preheat the oven to 450° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray. Bring the water and baking soda to a boil in a large saucepan or stockpot.
Divide the dough to make it easier to work with. Take pieces of each section of the dough and roll into approximately 1 inch balls.
Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 or 2 at a time, for 30 seconds. Remove from the water with a slotted skimmer and return to the baking sheet. Once all the pretzels have been boiled, brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake in the preheated oven until dark golden brown, about 12-14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.
If using the cinnamon sugar topping: Skip the step where you sprinkle lightly with salt. Combine sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Brush melted butter over pretzels. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture over pretzels.