Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Soft pretzels and barbecue pretzel bites


I tried pretzels for the first time at the Reading Terminal Market in Philly. I was visiting my friend Michael, who lived there at the time and who insisted I had to try 'those' pretzels. I had tried pretzels before, German style, at the cafeteria of the Goethe Institut in Barcelona, exactly during the World Cup of 2006. Liked them, but not so much. I've always been more of a hard pretzel person. Or I was until I tried 'those' pretzels.

They were soft, warm, yummy, salty but not so much and the perfect snack. I think I ate mine in 30 seconds flat. No kidding. It was that good. I thought making them at home would be an impossible mission. Oh boy, was I wrong. Ok, I'll admit it's not the best thing to bake in a hot summer day, but still, I survived the mission.


For those of you who are unfamiliar with them, the secret to that hard crust and soft inside is baking soda. The pretzels are briefly boiled in a bath of water and baking soda and then baked until golden brown. Of course, they wouldn't be authentic pretzels without those perfect coarse salt crystals.


Now, those are not salt crystals, or twisty pretzels. What are they you ask? Barbecue pretzel bites! My friend B is obsessed with those barbecue pretzel bites from Snyders. He always says that they are the pretzel pieces that fall in the floor when they are making them in the factory. And obviously, to masquerade the floor-taste, they cover them in barbecue flavored powder. Hilarious, ain't it?

Well, floor or not, those bites are really yummy. I toyed with the idea of making hard pretzel bites, but apparently hard pretzels are not so easy to make. Instead I cut some of the pretzel dough in pieces and coated them with barbecue spice mix (the one you find in the supermarket for your meat). Not quite the same thing, but pretty tasty and more 'natural' than that suspicious red powder that coats the store bought pretzels.

Honestly, however you make them, just make them. They are ideal for some snacking at your summery grilling!



Recipe adapted from  Tracey's culinary adventures
Note: I made half recipe, got a bunch of bites and 16 small pretzels

Print this recipe

1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 F)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled just slightly
2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour

For the soda bath:
3 quarts water
3/4 cup baking soda
For coating:
1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
coarse sea salt
barbecue spice mix
Proof the yeast in half a cup of lukewarm water and the sugar. In a bowl, place the flour (start with 4 1/2 cups, you'll add the rest if necessary) and make a well in the center of it. Add the yeast, cooled butter and the rest of the water. Mix with a wooden spoon until the dough is not sticky, adding more flour if necessary. Let the dough rise for about an hour or until doubled in size. On a floured surface, roll the dough into long ropes, as thick or as thin as you want. Shape the dough with the traditional pretzel shape or cut it into little bites.

Preheat your oven to 400 F

Boil the pretzels in the soda bath for about 30 seconds each. Place them on a baking sheet, brush them with egg wash and sprinkle them with salt or barbecue mix. Bake the pretzels for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.


These pretzels were submitted to this week's yeastspotting!

17 comments:

redmenace said...

These look great. I hardly ever eat pretzels on the street because they are so unreliable. I think making them at home is a brilliant idea!

kickpleat said...

I've been wanting to make pretzels for ages! These look great and I like the bbq flavour too :)

La cuina vermella said...

Estimada, estás 'que te sales' amb totes les receptes que publiques, quin nivell bonica, quin nivell!!

ANGELICA BERTIN said...

Esta receta es muy buena Aquí estamos en invierno y la voy hacer
BESOS

Carmen (Dulces bocados) said...

Però Adri, quin ritme portes, m'encanten els pretzel, la primera vegada que els vaig tastar va ser a Nova York fa un munt d'anys i des de llavors sempre tinc fets.
T'han quedat fantàstics.
Petonets

leticia said...

Que ricos!! que aspecto mas bueno!!

Ksenia said...

I never tried to make pretzels, but it doesn't seem difficult. And they look sooo yummy :D I just hope your friend was kidding ¬¬

Ok, ara canvio a català perquè igualment veig que tothom està escrivint en català :P
Les meves amanides normalment també són molt imaginatives: molt lluny del típic enciam amb tomaquet. Com has dit, millor si hi ha alguna cosa tendra, alguna de cruixent...les nous i la fruita no poden faltar!

Per cert, gràcies pel link. Crec que aquesta recepta la vaig veure fa moooolt de temps, just quant em vaig tornar vegana (fa tres anys) i estava buscant la manera de fer pastissos sense ous ni llet. Però no vaig guardar l'adreça. Pero estic quasi al 100% segura que era aquesta, perquè recordo la crema d'avocat. Quants records ^^

Quina sort haver estudiat a l'estranger (encara que técnicament, jo ara mateix estic vivint a l'estranger xD). Jo començaré International Business Economics a la Pompeu al setembre, però m'obliguen (encara que jo encantada) a fer una estada de mínim mig any a 4t. I el postgrau segurament el faré fora també. En quina universitat vas estudiar tu? :)

Ksenia said...

Perquè em sento rara per ser l'única que deixa aquests comentaris llargíssims? :S

Chocolate Shavings said...

Those pretzels look just perfect!

Maria said...

M'encanten, de fet, em sento abligada, en uns dies, a fer-los... de la pinta que arriben a fer!!

Et fare un monument, tot i amb la calor que fot, et poses davant d'una olla amb aigua bullint, digne d'admirar!!!

Melissa @ For the Love of Health said...

Now this is what I want to snack on!

Julie said...

I've never heard of the bbq pretzel bites, but it sure sounds good to me!

Alex said...

Yum!

Moogie said...

I just happened upon your blog. Love all the great recipes and super photos.

Mimi said...

Both pretzels look delicious, but the BBQ bites! Wow!

Mihl said...

Those look absolutely wonderful! Traditional German pretzels are made with food grade lye (and no eggs), but it's often hard to get. Your pretzels look like the real stuff even with baking soda!

elra said...

Such a gorgeous looking pretzel :)

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