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These warm, salty pretzel bites are tender on the inside and wonderfully crispy on the outside. They are the perfect game-day snack that will keep everyone coming back for more.
Who doesn’t love a warm, soft pretzel? Dipped in queso or grainy mustard? It’s practically heaven. I don’t know about you, though, but sometimes having a whole pretzel to myself can feel intimidating. That’s why I created these pretzel bites. They are a mini version of the real deal. Just as soft and tender on the inside with a slightly crispy, golden brown exterior. Sprinkled with sea salt, they are the perfect savory snack. Serve them at your next gathering or whip them up for you and yours as a special treat.
Why You’ll Love This Pretzel Bites Recipe
Pretzel bites really are the perfect snack. Whether you’re hosting game night or just munching at home, they are sure to be a big hit. Here’s why.
- Easy to tackle. I love that these pretzels are bite-sized. It makes it so easy for you to have as few or as many as you would like without committing to a giant pretzel.
- Crave-able. The tender-on-the-inside, crisp-on-the-outside texture combined with a buttery, salty flavor makes these soft pretzel bites impossible to resist.
- Savory OR sweet. Sea salt is just a suggestion. If you are in a savory mood, sprinkle salt on the boiled bites before baking and serve with mustard. Feeling sweet? Use a mixture of cinnamon and sugar instead and serve as is or with chocolate sauce.
What You’ll Need
Here’s a list of ingredients needed to make pretzel bites. You might already have many of them in your kitchen! Make sure to scroll to the recipe card below for detailed measurements.
- Warm water – If the water is too cold, it will not activate the yeast. If it is too hot, it will kill the yeast. In either case, the yeast will not help the dough rise properly. So aim for warm water. Not cold. Not boiling. Warm.
- Active dry yeast
- Light brown sugar – The sugar will feed the yeast, which will help the dough rise. You can use granulated sugar instead but the brown sugar contributes a slightly deeper flavor.
- Unsalted butter
- Kosher salt
- All-purpose flour – Feel free to use a 1:1 gluten-free flour instead.
- Vegetable oil – Olive oil or avocado oil will work here too.
- Baking soda – Baking soda is added to the water in which the pretzel bites are boiled. It helps to brown the bites and gives them an ideal chewy-yet-crispy texture.
- Coarse sea salt
How to Make Homemade Pretzel Bites
Don’t let the idea of making your own pretzels scare you. It’s really quite simple. Here’s how to do it. Make sure to scroll to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.
- Activate the yeast. Dissolve the yeast in warm water.
- Mix together the water and yeast with the brown sugar and melted butter using a dough hook. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes before adding the salt and flour. Mix on low speed until combined.
- Knead. Knead the dough on medium speed until it is smooth and begins to pull away from the sides.
- Let it rise. Coat the inside of a large bowl with vegetable oil. Knead the dough into a ball and place it in the bowl. Turn the dough in the bowl to coat it in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep it in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size.
- Prepare to cook the pretzel bites. Spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray and bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Add the baking soda to the water.
- Shape the dough. Divide up the dough into 8 equal portions. Roll each into a long rope and cut the ropes into 1-inch pieces.
- Boil the pretzel for 30 seconds. Do this in batches so as not to overcrowd the water. With a large, slotted spoon, transfer the boiled pretzels to the prepared baking sheets.
- Make an egg wash. Beat the egg together with 1 tablespoon of water.
- Bake. Brush the tops of the pretzel bites with the egg wash and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Tips for Success
I know. Making a yeasted dough and turning it into a spectacular snack sounds challenging. Don’t worry though. I am positive you can do it. Just follow these simple tips and tricks and you will be on your way.
- Temperature. Before adding water to the yeast, make sure it is warm, but not scalding. Overly hot water will kill the yeast. Water that is too cold will not activate it properly. Aim for a couple of levels up from lukewarm and a couple of levels down from boiling.
- Watch for foam. Adding warm water to the yeast will activate it. You will know that your yeast is activated when the top of the water-yeast mixture appears thick and foamy.
- Add flour. When mixing the dough with the dough hook, pay attention. If you find that your dough is too wet, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until the dough pulls away from the bowl.
- Let the dough rise in a warm place. If the environment in which the dough is left to rise is too cold, it will not rise properly. Find a warm, draft-free environment.
- Be patient. If you attempt to roll and cut the dough before it has doubled in size, you will end up with tough, dense pretzel bites.
- Boil in batches. When boiling the pretzel dough, don’t crowd the pot. It is important that each bite has plenty of room to bob and boil otherwise it will not puff up properly. The dough balls should be in a single layer floating at the surface of the boiling water. If your pot isn’t big enough to boil them all at the same time, do so in batches.
- Give them space. When you transfer the boiled pretzel bites to the baking sheet, make sure they aren’t touching. They will not crisp up properly in the oven if they are.
Perhaps it goes without saying, but these delicious pretzel bites are taken over the top when served with a flavorful dip. Here are some of my favorites.
- Mustard. Whole grain mustard is the best (I think) but feel free to use yellow mustard, honey dijon, stone ground dijon, or spicy dijon mustard instead.
- Dips. Step away from mustard and head in a different direction. I love serving these tender pretzel bites with store-bought queso or hummus. Feeling adventurous? Whip up some Cheesy Chorizo Chili Dip, Homemade Tzatziki Dip, Pepperoni Pizza Dip, and/or Chorizo Pimento Cheese Dip.
- Other finger food. Serve these pretzel bites with crudites and dip or try your hand at another finger food or two. Check out the section below titled “More Easy Snack Ideas” for inspiration.
How to Store Soft Pretzel Bites
Allow the pretzel bites to cool completely before sealing them in an airtight container. You can keep them on the countertop for up to 2 days. I do not recommend storing pretzel bites in the refrigerator. The cool temperatures will dry them out. Not ready to eat them within two days? Store the pretzel bites in the freezer. See the next section for instructions.
Can I Freeze Them?
Yes! Allow the pretzel bites to cool to room temperature before sealing them in an airtight container and storing them in the freezer for up to 2 months. When you are ready to enjoy, turn the pretzels out onto a baking sheet and reheat them in the oven at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes or until heated through.
More Easy Snack Ideas
Throwing a cocktail party or just looking for some easy finger food snacks to keep around the house? Here are some fun ideas for you.
- Ranch Oyster Crackers
- Mini Buffalo Chicken Crunchwraps
- Polenta Fries
- Crispy Golden Spring Rolls
- TikTok Pizza Rolls
- Homemade Mozzarella Sticks
- 1 ½ cups (355 ml) warm water
- 1 envelope pack of active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 6 tablespoon (84 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ½ – 5 cups (1188 g) all purpose flour
- Vegetable oil
- 3 quarts (2839 ml) water
- ¾ cup (90 g) baking soda
- 1 egg, beaten
- Coarse sea salt
- In a liquid measuring cup, dissolve the yeast in the warm water to “activate” it.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer, add the water with the yeast along with the brown sugar and melted butter.
- Using the dough hook attachment, mix until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Add the salt and flour to the bowl and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium to knead the dough until smooth and it begins to pull away from the sides. If the dough appears too wet, add more flour, 1 tbsp. at a time.
- Before you remove the dough, coat a large bowl in vegetable oil. Remove the dough and knead it into a ball on a flat surface. Place the dough in the bowl and turn the dough to coat in the oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean cloth and let sit for an hour in a warm place, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 450 °F (232 °C). Prepare a couple baking sheets by spraying them with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add in the baking soda.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a flat surface area. Divide the dough into 8 equal lumps, about 4 1/2 ounces, each. Roll each lump into a long rope and cut into 1-inch pieces to make bite-sized pieces.
- Boil the pretzel bites in the baking soda water, in batches, for about 30 seconds each batch. Remove them with a large slotted spoon and place them on the prepared baking sheets, making sure they don’t touch each other.
- Beat together the egg with 1 tablespoon of water to make an egg wash.
- Brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle liberally with salt (or if you prefer, you can do cinnamon sugar ones by mixing cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and sprinkling that on top).
- Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes before serving.
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