I’ve posted this recipe before a couple years ago here at New Nostalgia. I remember loving the recipe but also remembered how time consuming it was to make all those long ropes of dough into pretzels. I had a craving for soft pretzels and decided that I could cut the time down a bit by making pretzel bites.
I also realized this recipe makes a TON of dough, and that I didn’t have to make them all at once. In fact, it is ideal to only make what you will eat because fresh out of the oven is by far the best way to eat these soft pretzels. I love making them so that they finish baking right as my girls walk in from their school day. Their faces say it all when they come home to the smell of freshly baked pretzel bites. I made half the recipe and put the other half into the freezer.
I stuck with this recipe because it uses whole wheat flour and honey instead of sugar. I substituted almond milk for dairy milk– you can use whatever you desire. We slathered them with vegan butter while they were just out of the oven, and sprinkled some with salt and some with a cinnamon/sugar mixture.
It has been a few days and we have a friend coming over after school today, so this morning I took the leftover dough out of the freezer and it is now room temperature and starting to rise. It will be perfectly ready by the time school is out.
Now, these pretzels are certainly on the healthy side, and super good. BUT. If you are wanting the type of pretzel you find in the airport or mall, these are not it. These are more of a super yummy & soft bread stick. They are perfect with soup or chili.
I did just have a close friend (Hey ya Tom!) post a pic of some awesome looking pretzels he made on Facebook today. They are the real deal, dipped in a soda wash to get that awesome brown color & texture on the outside that you see on mall pretzels. The recipe looks pretty simple to make, so I will be trying that one soon. You can find that ‘real deal’ recipe here.
On to the pretzels I made:
Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels
1 c. very warm water
2 Tbls yeast
2 tsp honey
2 1/2 cups milk (I used Almond Milk)
1/2 cup butter (I used Earth Balance)
1/2 cup honey
4 tsp salt
8 cups whole wheat flour (more if necessary)
~In a large bowl, mix 1 cup very warm water, 2 Tbsp yeast and 2 tsp honey. Stir.
~Let sit a few minutes.
~Melt 1/2 cup butter in a large saucepan.
~Add 1/2 cup honey, 4 tsp salt and 2 1/2 cups milk.
~Heat this to 120 degrees.
~Pour milk mixture into yeast mixture and stir.
~Stir in 8 cups flour, 2 cups at a time. Add more flour if needed.
~Knead dough for 5-10 minutes.
~Put into a bowl, cover and let rise for 1-1 1/2 hours.
~Pull out of bowl and knead it a few times to get the air out.
To make pretzel shape, pull a fist size piece of dough out of bowl, roll into a snake, then twist into a pretzel shape. (for how to, click on over to Heavenly Homemakers,) This is where I found the original recipe.
To keep it simple, make pretzel bites. Make a snake with the dough then cut into bite sized pieces.
Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
When just out of the oven, brush with melted butter & sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture OR coarse salt.
Enjoy and let me know if you try the recipe!