Spent Grain Pretzel Bites

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This recipe works just fine with any regular or gluten free flour, but finding a use for all that leftover grain from the brewing process is way more fun. And what goes better with your own homebrew than a plateful of Pretzels made with some of the same ingredients.

Ingredients for Dough

  1. 3 cups spent grains
  2. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  3. 1 tablespoon honey
  4. 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
  5. 1 cup raw whole milk
  6. 1/2 cup hot tap water
  7. 2 teaspoons bread yeast

Ingredients for pretzel boil:

  1. 2 quarts water
  2. 2 tablespoons baking soda

Ingredients for toppings:

  1. 1 egg white, whisked
  2. Coarse sea salt
  3. 6 tablespoons butter, melted, mixed with 1/2-1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

 

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, grains, salt, malt powder or sugar and yeast.
  2. Set the whisk aside and switch to a sturdy wooden spoon. Stir in the milk and tap water until a soft dough forms.
  3. Turn onto a generously floured surface and knead, adding small amounts of flour as needed to keep the dough from adhering to the counter. You do not want a firm dough… it should be fairly slack,  a little tacky and soft, yet smooth.
  4. Place dough in a clean bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and set aside to rise in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in bulk and puffy, about an hour or so.

To Form Pretzel Bites:

  1. Line two 11×13-inch baking sheets with silicone or teflon pan liners. Set next to your work area.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into four pieces. Keep three pieces covered with a towel while working with the first.
  3. Roll the piece like play-dough until you have a snake of dough about the circumference of two thumbs squashed together.
  4. Cut 1-inch pieces from the dough snake. Transfer the dough pieces onto the lined baking sheets, being sure to leave generous amounts of room between pieces and rows. They will expand both as they rise and again as they boil and bake.
  5. When you have dealt with all the dough, cover the pans with tea towels and let them rise in a warm, draft-free place until puffy looking, about 20 minutes.

To Cook the Pretzels:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a stainless steel or other non-reactive pan (enameled cast-iron, tempered glass, etc…) When water boils, add the baking soda. Gently lift the pretzel dough pieces one at a time into the boiling water.  Let simmer for about 45 seconds, flip the pieces and simmer for another 45 seconds-1 minute. Use a slotted spoon to drain and return each piece to its place on the pan. Continue until all pieces have been boiled and returned to the pan.
  3. Brush all pieces of dough with the frothy egg white and sprinkle with coarse salt. Place pans in oven and bake at least until golden brown (at least 15 minutes), but you can bake until they are deep brown. It’s up to you!
  4. Remove the pans from the oven and brush the pretzels with the garlic butter. If you have leftover garlic butter, you can place the pretzels in a large mixing bowl and toss with the remaining butter.
  5. Serve warm or room temperature
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