- 1 package (1/4 oz) active dry yeast (or instant yeast)
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar, divided
- 1/4 cup warm water (110 to 155 degrees)
- 1 cup warm milk ( 110 to 115 degrees)
- 2 1/2 to 3 cup flour
- 6 cups water
- 4 teaspoons baking soda
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 to 2 tablespoons course salt
- Combine yeast, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, and warm water in a large bowl. Set aside until foamy, 5 to 8 minutes. (If using instant yeast, you can skip this step and just add it to the flour). In another bowl, stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar and warm milk until dissolved.
- Add 2 1/2 cups flour and milk mixture to the yeast. Stir with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Add the remaining flour as needed. Turn the dough out onto a lightly surface and gently knead a few times, forming a smooth ball.
- Brush the inside of a large clean bowl with olive oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm, draft free area for about 2 hours, until dough has doubled in size and bubbles appear on the surface.
- Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into four equal pieces. Lightly dust your hands with flour. Roll one of the four sections into a 12 inch rope. Cut into 12, 1 1/2 inch pieces and transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining 3 portions of the dough.
- Let rest, uncovered, at room temperature for 30 minutes. (If using instant yeast, skip this step).
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Bring six cups of water to a boil. Add the baking soda and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Boil pretzels in batches, cooking about 20 seconds each, turning once. They should be slightly puffed. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them back to the baking sheets.
- Bake until puffed and golden-brown, about 15 minutes.
- Brush warm pretzel bites with melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipe and Photo: Whole Lotta Oven / CC BY