The school year has begun. Even though I’m working full-time and my schedule doesn’t shift with the seasons, I’m married to a student…which means I’m on a school schedule.
Minus the Christmas and summer breaks.
Plus a paycheck.
Minus the homework.
I’m still not sure what I prefer.
Anyways, to ease the transition back to evenings filled with text books and Saturdays at the library we decided to host a casual get-together at our apartment. In addition to having a variety of drinks, I knew I wanted to make the perfect food to nibble on as the night progressed.
Let me tell you, the next time you have company over you need to make these. In addition to being cheaper than buying chips and salsa, they are a total crowd-pleaser. I even adjusted the recipe to give it a fall twist by cooking the pretzel bites in pumpkin beer, rather than water and baking soda (after being inspired by We Are Not Martha).
Pumpkin Beer Pretzel Bites
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tbs. light brown sugar
2 1/4 tsp. (or 1 package) active dry yeast
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
Olive oil (you can use another type of oil here, it’s just what we had)
2 pumpkin beers
1 egg, beaten with 1 tbs. cold water
Coarse sea salt
Honey dijon mustard (or other preferred dipping sauce)
1. Using the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, sugar, yeast and butter. Mix until combined and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the salt and 4 1/2 cups flour and mix on low speed, using dough hook, until blended together. Increase the speed to medium and knead dough until it is smooth and begins to pull away from sides of the bowl, about 3-4 minutes. If dough appears too wet add flour, 1 tbs. at a time. Remove the dough from the hook and shape into ball. Place in a bowl lightly coated with oil, and turn dough to evenly coat with oil. Cover with a cloth and place in a warm spot for about 1 hour, until dough doubles in size (I did this step and let it sit for about 4-5 hours, so that I could make sure the pretzel bites were made immediately before company arrived and it worked out perfectly).
2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. As the oven heats, divede the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into a long, thin rope (somewhere between about 15-55 inches, depending on size). Place dough on a flat surface and cut into one inch pieces. Repeat for all of the dough.
3. Bring the beers to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Working in small batches (about 15 pieces at a time), place the dough in the boiling beer for about 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place onto a baking sheet, that has been coated with cooking spray. Make sure dough pieces are not touching.
4. Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and place on a baking rack; let cool for 5 minutes then serve with mustard (or other dipping choice) and enjoy! (These are best served warm).
~What is your favorite food to serve to company?