One of my kids’ favorite foods is pizza. They could eat it every day and never get tired of it. This is a fun pizza snack by making pizza into pretzel bites. Or is it making pretzel bites into pizza? Anyhow, pepperoni is one of their favorite toppings so each bite is stuffed with pepperoni pieces and mozzarella cheese.
The bites will puff up in the oven and form a golden brown pretzel “pizza crust.” Each bite is buttery, salty and filled with pepperoni and melted cheese. Serve with warm pizza sauce and you have the perfect snack or party appetizer.
Pizza Pretzel Bites
Makes about 6 dozen
1 ½ cups warm water
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 package active dry yeast
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted
2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
4 ½ to 5 cups all-purpose flour
Pepperoni slices, cut into small pieces
Shredded mozzarella cheese
5 quarts water
¾ cup baking soda
1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
Coarse sea salt
Pizza sauce-for serving
Combine the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Add the salt and flour and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.
Oil a bowl with canola oil, add the dough and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot over high heat and carefully add the baking soda.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, about 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 ounces each. Roll each piece into a long rope measuring 22 inches and shape. Cut the dough into one inch pieces to make the pretzel bites. Roll each bite flat with a rolling pin. Stuff each bite with pepperoni and cheese. Fold over the dough and pinch the ends. Set bites on a baking sheet and continue until all pretzel bites are stuffed.
Boil the pretzel bites in the water solution in batches. We did about 15 bites at a time. Boil for about 30 seconds. Remove with a large slotted spoon. Place pretzel bites on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Make sure they are not touching. Brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with the salt. Place into the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool for five minutes. Serve warm with pizza sauce.