Inspired by an enormous soft pretzel that Dan and I enjoyed at World of Beer in Dublin, CA, Dan set out to find a pretzel bite recipe that would replicate that perfection on a smaller scale.
After a couple of attempts we were able to make some slight modifications to the directions of Taste of Home’s Soft Beer Pretzel Nuggets recipe to come up with what we were looking for. Click on the link above for the original recipe. The modified directions are below.
Microwave beer in a small bowl for approximately 30 seconds, until it's warm, but not hot. Stir in yeast until dissolved.
In a large bowl, combine melted butter, sugar, salt and 3 cups of the flour. Stir in yeast mixture by hand until a soft dough has formed. Do not work the dough too hard. It should be sticky. If it's too wet, you can add additional flour.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently for 6-8 minutes.
Pour olive oil in the bottom of the large bowl and return the dough to the bowl, turning it to cover it with olive oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled, approximately 1 hour.
Pre-heat oven to 425º. Punch dough down to remove any air bubbles. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface (I use a large cutting board) and divide into 8 sections. Roll each section into approximately a 12-inch rope. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, bring 10 cups of water to a bowl. Add the baking soda. Drop nuggets 12 at a time into the boiling water. Cook for 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Arrange pretzel bites on a greased baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and 1 Tablespoon water. Brush the pretzel bites with the mixture and sprinkle with coarse salt (optional). Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on wire rack.
Serve with spicy mustard, queso or beer cheese.
I've made these several times and have found storage to be difficult. If you're making them for a party, doing so the same day is best. I've left them in an airtight container on the counter and they are ok the next day, but not nearly as good.