With the kids home over the holiday break, I’ve got a fun and easy kitchen project for you—pretzel bites! Normally, pretzels require yeast and rise time, but not with this shortcut recipe that uses Greek yogurt in the dough. There’ve been all sorts of recipes floating around the internet where you can use a similar method (instead of yeast) for pizza dough, bagels, breadsticks, and more. It’s nice to be able to indulge in these homemade goodies without having to work too hard!
What I Look For in Yogurt
When shopping for yogurt I always want it to be organic, whole milk, and plain.
Here are the reasons why:
This will ensure that the cows producing your dairy products haven’t been treated with hormones or antibiotics, or consumed feed that’s been sprayed with synthetic fertilizers or chemical pesticides. If you can’t find a certified organic option, look for terms like “no hormones administered” and/or “no antibiotics administered.”
In most cases, low-fat and fat-free dairy products are more highly processed than whole milk products, since they’ve been through a process that removes the natural fats.
When it comes to dairy products like milk and yogurt, it’s always best to buy the plain version and flavor it yourself (or just have it plain). The majority of factory-made food contains far too much added sugar (and salt and oil, for that matter). At home, you control the amount and kind of sweetener!
In the case of this recipe, it’s necessary for the yogurt to also be Greek since it does not have as much liquid as regular. I sometimes buy Greek yogurt just to eat as well, but since it’s more expensive, it’s not a regular item around here.
Shortcut Soft Pretzel Bites (Whole-Wheat)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
- Mix in the yogurt and knead until a ball forms.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead into a flat ball. Cut into four segments, then roll each segment into a rope. Cut each rope in half, then half again, then into thirds, to form 12 bite-sized pieces of dough. Repeat with remaining 3 segments of the dough ball to form a total of 4 dozen pieces.
- Boil 1 cup of water and dissolve the baking soda. Use a slotted spoon to coat 3 or 4 of the dough bites at a time in the water. Transfer to prepared baking sheet (with even spacing), top each piece with a sprinkle of the salt, and bake until golden brown, about 7 to 10 minutes. Store in fridge for best results.