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Homemade Soft Pretzels

February 2, 2013

My wife came to me a few weeks ago and said “I want to start a blog about all of my cooking.  Recipes I try out, what works, what doesn’t work, I think it will be fun to write about those things”.  I said “That’s great! You’ll enjoy doing all of that”.  Then she came to me and said “Come up with a name for my blog.  Oh, and I want you to write the posts for me”.  After I finished rubbing her feet and folding her laundry I decided enough was enough.  I can’t be responsible for doing everything for her!

It turns out I can.  So here is the first blog post of what is likely to be something she gets bored of in a few months.  First, I wanted to share a few of the failed blog-name suggestions we came up with.

The Bottomless Bowl

Bake Me a River

The Runaway Baker

Silver Linings Cook Book

and my personal favorite..

Sleeping With the Chef

We settled on No Kitchen Too Small.  But if you’re interested in creating your own cooking blog feel free to use the names above. The fee will be $1,000, or your best cannoli.

I will not be writing all of these because, frankly, I don’t want to.  When I write it won’t be about the process, the recipe, or how much cumin to put in.  She’ll post the recipe and pictures herself.  I will hop in once in a while to write about her cooking experience because she is an amazing cook.  She isn’t afraid to challenge herself with cooking.  She is a perfectionist, so if she screws up the first time, she will be at it again the next week figuring out what to fix.  She goes out of her way to make the people she is feeding happy.  She’ll make homemade pasta  tailored however you like it.  Don’t like chocolate? She’ll bring a vanilla cupcake just for you.  Did you say you liked spinach dip at that party last year but nobody brought any? She’ll be the one bringing a bowl with your name on it.

Now that I’ve hopefully scored enough brownie points to last me the month, onto the review.  For Super Bowl Sunday she made Homemade Pretzel Bites.  Have you ever heard of The Philly Pretzel Factory?  It’s basically those things, but fresh out of the oven.  She’s tried these once before and I may or may not have eaten fifteen of them in an hour.

Tara started working on these the day before the Super Bowl.  On Saturday afternoon she made the dough and it had to sit in a container in a microwave so it “could rise”.  I don’t know what that means, all I know is I couldn’t use my microwave for a few hours.  She then spent some time rolling the dough into small bite-size pieces.

Sunday morning was a little intense for our kitchen.  Trays were going in and out of the oven, the stove was constantly being used to boil each bite for a few seconds, and our counter space was all used up.  Whenever Tara is cooking something I usually do two things: 1) Help her by clearing away and washing the dishes, pots, pans, etc.. 2) Decide this is the best time to get in the way and make eggs for breakfast.  I started with #2, and after getting in her way just enough I moved onto #1.

Tara will post the recipe and pictures (because I never know what she is doing back there).  But without any question the pretzel bites were a hit.  When they were brought out at the Super Bowl party everyone’s reaction was the same… “Did she actually make these??”  As usual, Tara’s cooking was a success, unlike the majority of my bets on the Super Bowl (Come on Alicia Keys, speed that National Anthem up!)

I didn’t eat fifteen of them this time, but that’s only because I ate all of the “discarded ones” that didn’t make the final cut.  The best part about having a wife that cooks is being the taste tester and having all this extra delicious food around the house.  The worst part about having a wife that cooks is being the taste tester and having all this extra delicious food around the house.  I have no self-control and would eat the raw dough if Tara wasn’t there to stop me (it’s happened before).

Now for the recipe…

Soft baked pretzels bites via Smells like Home

For the pretzels:

1 1/2 cups warm water (I just let the sink run for a few seconds until it gets warm)
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp sea salt
1 packet instant yeast
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter, melted

Start by adding the warm water, sugar, salt, and yeast until combined (5-10 seconds).


I use the dough hook for the entire mixing process.


Next add the flour and melted butter, mix until the dough forms a nice ball and pulls away from the sides of the mixer.



Once you have your dough ball, spray the insides of a covered bowl with Pam and place the ball inside.


Leave the ball covered for about an hour or until it doubles in size.


Now this is where I find it easiest to make the dough into bite sized pieces and freeze on a cookie sheet.


I froze these overnight but you could keep them in until they get hard and then move on to the next step….

For Cooking:
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
Sea salt

Bring water with baking soda to a boil, the water will fizz from the baking soda but that does not mean it is boiling, wait till you see bubbles.


Add the dough to the water about 10 at a time and wait until they rise to the top, remove immediately and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper. I didn’t have parchment paper so I used a wire rack over a baking sheet, this also works.



Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt, bake at 425 for 15-17 minutes. When you remove from the oven brush with more melted butter and sea salt. For another great variation replace the salt with cinnamon and sugar!! I like the serve these with cheese dip!



From → Appetizers

  1. Katherine permalink

    Wow! Wonderful! And I love the blog title, too. It may turn out, though, that the kitchen is too small for the both of you to be in it at the same time 🙂

  2. LOVE THIS-picturing you two in the kitchen….Great idea…Jason will need to comment on each recipe-Hilarious xxoo

  3. Excellent first post!! Nice intro Jason, I look forward to reading more of your posts. I will add your blog to the side bar of mine and hopefully it will increase your readership.
    Those pretzels look yummy! (did you see what I did with pretzels for the Super Bowl party?)

  4. John permalink

    Great blog and I need to think of a party to invite you to so you can make these.

    The party might just be the three of us

  5. Madeline Adami permalink

    Awww what a GREAT idea! So proud of you!

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