Pretzel Pizza Bites
adapted from Joy the Baker
makes about 4.5 dozen bites
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
22 ounces all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
small amount of vegetable oil
1 cup baking soda
1 egg + a splash of water, beaten for egg wash
salt and pepper, to top
Combine warm water and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook. Sprinkle the yeast across the top of the water and allow to dissolve for about 5 minutes. After the yeast dissolves, add the flour, salt, and melted butter. Mix this mixture on low speed until just combined. Increase speed to medium and mix until smooth, soft and forms a ball around the dough hook.
Remove the dough from the bowl and scrap all the dough bits out of the mixer bowl. Oil the bowl with a little bit of vegetable oil and place dough back in the bowl. Sprinkle the dough and sides of bowl very lightly with flour, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise until doubled in size, 1-1 1/2 hours.
Once the dough has risen, preheat oven to 425F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment and lightly brush with vegetable oil. Cut mozzarella sticks into 4 pieces, put in a bowl, and place in the freezer to harden. You don't want your cheese to melt everywhere.
Bring a large pot of water with the baking soda to a boil. Place dough on a lightly oiled surface. Divide dough into 8 pieces, roll into about 12-inch long ropes, and cut into small pieces.
Wrap 2 pepperoni slices around the mozzarella fourth and cover the cheese and pepperoni with the pretzel dough. Then, boil each bite for 30 seconds (I boiled mine in batches of 6). Next, drain each bite with a slotted spoon and transfer to the prepared parchment. Brush each with the egg wash, season with salt and pepper, and bake 12-14 minutes, until golden. I fit 18 on each sheet and ended up with 54!