In the Kitchen with the Kids - Special Edition

Looking for a great rainy-day activity to entertain the kiddos this month? This season's super-fun recipe provides a delicious reward, but its "easy" status requires a little practice and care in tending to its details. It's an inexpensive, tasty, hands-on project that is especially great for teaching kids (or inexperienced cooks) the importance of reading carefully and following directions exactly.

Featured Recipe

PRETZEL BITES permalink icon

Pretzel Bites1 lb. (⅓ of a 3 lb. package or 12 rolls) Rhodes Bake N Serv®
    White Dinner Rolls, thawed but still cold
⅓ cup baking soda
1 egg yolk, whisked with 1 tsp. water
- kosher salt (optional)
- Kowalski's Unsalted Butter, melted
- toppings, your choice: Kowalski's Grated Parmesan Cheese
    and dried parsley or cinnamon sugar

Roll dough balls into a rope shape about 6" long and ¾" in diameter. Cut each rope into 1" segments; place on a baking sheet sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap sprayed lightly with cooking spray; let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 hr.). In a large saucepan, bring 16 cups of water to a gentle boil; add baking soda. Slip risen dough pieces, 5-6 at a time, into boiling water. Cook 20-30 sec., flipping pieces halfway through. Remove with a slotted spoon to a cooling rack to drain, being careful not to leave foam on the dough pieces; let dry 10 min. Brush tops of pretzel bites very lightly with egg wash (you will have extra); sprinkle with salt, if desired. Bake immediately on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets in a preheated 425° oven until golden-brown (about 9 min.). Let cool slightly; drizzle lightly with melted butter and sprinkle with desired toppings.

Makes 60.

Notes:

  • Thaw dough balls on a baking sheet covered with plastic wrap in your refrigerator up to 24 hrs.
  • Pretzel bites are best eaten the same day they are baked.
  • When you get more proficient at the techniques in this recipe, you can use it to make pretzel sticks and traditionally shaped soft pretzels, too. To make a long piece that is easily twisted into the iconic pretzel shape, hold the ends of the rope in each hand and swing it like a jump rope.

Mind the Details

  • Follow instructions for sizing and shaping the pretzel bites carefully. A ruler is recommended.
  • Don't overspray your baking sheets or plastic wrap or the dough will absorb the cooking spray; however, it is important the dough doesn't stick to anything. A light, even coat is best.
  • Set the covered dough pieces near a fireplace or in the sun in the warmest room in your house. If your house is cool, it may take longer than an hour to rise.
  • The ratio of water to baking soda is important. Also, do not add the soda until after the water boils.
  • Don't cook dough pieces too many at a time – it is important they cook between 20-30 seconds each and are flipped over in the soda water bath.
  • It's important to drain all the water off of the dough pieces, otherwise they'll be gummy even after baking. If needed, gently pat them with a paper towel to remove drops of water or foam and turn them over on the cooling rack until they are completely dry before baking.
  • Don't put too much egg wash on the pretzels or they will become soggy. Use just enough to coat the top and help the salt stick.

Good to Know: Baking soda gives pretzels their traditional "skin" and flavor.

Selection and availability of ingredients vary by market.

Add new comment