Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites are soft and chewy and just like the ones you get at the mall! Everyone loves these Homemade Pretzel Bites and they are perfect for every occasion.
We always enjoy pretzels when we go to the mall. We love Soft Pretzel Bites (dipped in nacho cheese of course)!
This Homemade Pretzel Bites Recipe is one you are going to love! The best thing about this recipe is there no dunking the pretzel bites in boiling soda water! You can skip this step and will still end up with delicious pretzel bites!
I have tried and failed many times before getting this recipe just right! The first few times my soft pretzel bites were over powered with a strong baking soda taste from boiling them in baking soda water.
After many tries I finally figured it all out! I was watching the kids at the mall make the pretzels and they were spraying the dough with a squirt bottle before baking them! A SQUIRT BOTTLE! GENIUS! I was so excited to get home and try this method out! I was hoping that spraying them with a light mist of baking soda water would do the trick and they wouldn’t have a a strong baking soda taste!
So I went home, got my squirt bottle out, made the pretzels and….they were amazing! They cooked perfectly golden brown but still stayed soft. The baking soda mist gave them a chewy texture on top but you could not taste it! The pretzels were so delicious! Now I share my Easy Homemade Pretzel Bites Recipe with you! (You are welcome!)
The Dough for Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites
The dough for Homemade Pretzel Bites is easy to make and is just your usual ingredients. Instant Yeast, sugar, warm water, salt, and flour. You will also need some olive oil or canola to rub on the dough for it to raise in the bowl.
I use Instant Yeast for all of my recipes. It is easier to use, and will always work. The water temperature can be a little off and it will still work. Trust me, use the instant yeast.
I use my stand mixer for this recipe, with my dough hook. It kneads the dough for me and makes it so easy. You could mix it by hand, but it will take some serious mixing and kneading.
You will add your sugar, warm water and yeast to your mixing bowl. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes until it gets bubbly and foamy. (See the photos below to see the yeast and how it should look after a few minutes).
Add in your salt, and flour. I always use 4 cups exactly. No need to watch the dough and try and guess if you have added enough. Add the 4 cups and call it good.
Mix the flour into the dough, starting out on a lower speed so flour doesn’t fly everywhere. Then as the flour starts to mix in, turn it up higher and let the mixer do the hard work. Let the dough knead in the mixer for a few minutes until it soft.
Take the dough off your dough hook and roll your dough into a big ball. Pour 1 teaspoon of olive oil or canola oil over the dough and rub it on your ball of dough. Place the dough back in the mixing bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel and let it raise for one hour.
TIP: I turn on my oven (the pretzels will bake at 425 degrees so I preheat my oven) and I place the bowl of dough on top of my stove and it creates the perfect warm place for the dough to raise.
The dough should be ready after about one hour! (see photo of mine after one hour).
Soda Water Bath (that is not a Bath)
The best thing about this recipe is there no dunking the pretzel bites in boiling soda water! Hallelujah! And you won’t end up with pretzels that taste like baking soda!
I mentioned before I watched the kids at the mall make their pretzels and they used a SQUIRT BOTTLE! So I did the same thing!
Since we are not boiling the water and baking soda you have to make sure your water is really hot to dissolve the baking soda, or you squirt bottle will clog.
Take one cup of really hot water, and then microwave it for 30 seconds. I use a glass measuring cup that I can put in my microwave. Then add in 2 tablespoons of baking soda and whisk it together. If your baking soda doesn’t dissolve and your water is not clear, your water is not hot enough. It has to turn clear or the baking soda is not dissolved.
Pour your clear baking soda and water in your squirt bottle and set it aside.
TIP: If you do not have a squirt bottle, you can just brush the tops of the pretzel with the baking soda water with a basting brush.
Making the Pretzel Bites
After your dough has raised for one hour, take the dough and place it on a very lightly floured surface. I have found I only need a very light dusting of flour. The dough isn’t super sticky.
Separate your dough into 8 even dough balls.
Take each ball of dough and roll it out on the counter, making a long snake of dough, about 12 inches long. (Exact measurement is not needed…just guess).
Then, take a knife or pizza cutter and cut the dough into 8-10 equal pieces or “bites”. Mine are never the same size. Sometimes I get 8 out of one ball of dough, sometimes 10. It doesn’t really matter how many you get. Just cut them to the size you prefer. I usually get about 60-70 soft pretzel bites from this recipe.
Baking the Soft Pretzel Bites
Place your pretzel bites on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper or is greased. I make sure the soft rounded side of the pretzel is facing up and the cut sides are on the sides (if that makes sense).
Now for the magic! No dunking the pretzels in boiling water and timing them just right before frantically taking them out! You can still get that soft chewy pretzel bite without the boiling baking soda water.
Take your squirt bottle and spray the pretzel bites. Make sure they are good and covered. (See below for a link for the squirt bottles I use. I keep them for kitchen use only for spraying when baking.)
You can just brush the baking soda water on with a basting brush if you don’t have a squirt bottle.
Into the oven the pretzel bites go. They need to bake about 20 minutes. Check them halfway through and if you notice the tops are not getting golden brown, spray them with some more baking soda water. (or brush them again with the basting brush if that is what you are using).
You will know the pretzel bites are done baking when they are golden brown on the top. You can always eat one to test them out too! (If they bake into each other a little bit that is ok…you can pull them apart).
The Soft Pretzel Bite Topping
We love classic butter and coarse salt on our pretzel bites. But you can dip them in butter and then cinnamon and sugar or add some garlic powder to them. Use my Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe if you are making them with cinnamon and sugar!
Melt your butter while your pretzel bites are baking. When the pretzels are done baking, I put them in large bowl for tossing them in butter. You can also dip them by hand, but that takes too long for me!
I place my freshly cooked pretzels in my large bowl and pour the melted butter over them. Gently toss the pretzels in the butter.
I then dump the buttered pretzel bites back onto my parchment paper lined baking sheet and spread them out, making sure they are all buttered. (Butter always pours out of the bowl so dip the pretzels that need a little more butter in the extra butter).
Sprinkle the buttery pretzel bites with the coarse salt. If you are going to toss them in cinnamon sugar now is the time to do it!
Serving Soft Pretzel Bites
We always have out Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites with nacho cheese. But you can dip them in marinara sauce, cheddar cheese sauce, butter garlic sauce, ranch dressing or nothing!
These Homemade Pretzel Bites are perfect for Super Bowl Parties, Game Day parties, family gatherings and any occasion!
You can store these soft pretzel bites in a zip top bag or an air tight container and then reheat them in the microwave. But I am betting you won’t have any leftover!
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Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 1 tbsp instant yeast/rapid rise yeast
- 4 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp olive oil or canola oil *for rubbing on the dough after it is mixed
Baking Soda Water Spray (you will need a clean spray bottle, or you can use a basting brush to brush it on)
- 1 cup VERY Hot water
- 2 tbsp baking soda water
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
- coarse salt for sprinkling on the pretzels *see notes for alternatives
Optional Dip Suggestions to eat with the Pretzel Bites
- Nacho Cheese
- Cheddar Cheese
- Bleu Cheese Dressing
- Ranch Dressing
- Marinara/Pizza Sauce
- Preheat your oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease a baking sheet. I use my half sheet pan.
- In a stand mixer (you can also mix it by hand), using your dough hook, add the warm, sugar and yeast to the mixing bowl. Give it a little stir and then let it sit for a few minutes until the yeast is foamy and bubbly. See the blog post above if you want to see what it should look like.
- Next, add in your salt and flour. Start your mixer out on low speed so flour doesn't fly everywhere. Then as it starts to mix in, turn the speed up to medium-high speed. Mix the flour into the dough. The dough should start to pull away from the sides of the bowl as it mixes. See blog post above for photos.
- Turn the mixer up to high speed and let the mixer knead the dough for 1-2 minutes or until the dough is soft and smooth.
- Remove the dough hook from the bowl and form the dough into a large ball. Place the dough back into the mixing bowl.
- Take your teaspoon of olive oil or canola oil and pour it on to the ball of pretzel dough. Rub it all around so the dough ball is covered in the oil.
- Take a clean kitchen towel and cover the dough in the mixing bowl. Place the covered bowl in a warm area. I put my bowl of dough right on top of the stove so it can stay warm and raise.
- Let the dough raise for one hour. It should double in size at least.
- While your pretzel dough is raising, make your Baking Soda mixture to spray (or brush) on the pretzel bites before baking them. Take your hot water and put it in a microwave safe dish or bowl and microwave it for 30 seconds to get it good and hot! Then add in your baking soda and whisk or mix it well. Pour it into your squirt bottle. Set it aside.***The water should be clear and needs to be clear. This means the baking soda is dissolved and will not clog your water bottle or leave a bad taste on the pretzels. If it is not clear, heat it in the microwave for 30 more seconds and stir it. Heat it again if needed until the water is clear.****If you are not using a water bottle to mist the baking soda water on the pretzels, keep it in your dish or bowl and set it aside. You can use a basting brush to brush it on the bites.
- Take the dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal balls.
- Take each dough ball and roll it out into a long 12 inch piece. The measurement does not need to be exact. Roll it out like a long snake. See blog post above for photos.
- Then, take a knife or pizza cutter and cut the long piece of dough into 8-10 pretzel bites. Sometimes I get 8 pretzel bites, sometimes I get 10. It doesn't really matter how many you get out of each long piece. Cut them to your liking. You should get anywhere from 60-70 pretzel bites from this recipe.
- Next, take all of your pretzel bites and line them up on your baking sheet that is greased or lined with parchment paper. They will be close together and this is just fine. If they bake into each other they will easily break apart after baking.
- Spray or baste the soda water on the tops of the pretzel bites.
- Put the pretzel bites in to your preheated oven (425°) and let them bake for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden brown and to your liking. ***Check the pretzel bites half way through baking. If they are not getting golden brown on top, spray them again with the baking soda water (get them good and covered)! I always spray mine again half way through to get them good and golden on top!
- Melt your butter while the pretzel bites are baking.
- After the pretzel bites are done baking take the bites and put them in a large bowl.
- Pour your melted butter over the pretzel bites, gently tossing them to make sure they are all covered. Alternatively, you can hand dip the pretzel bites in the butter.
- Pour the pretzel bites back on to your baking sheet. Some extra butter will pour out! Use that extra butter to dip the pretzels that may not have a lot of butter on them to get them all good and buttery.
- Sprinkle the buttered soft pretzel bites with your coarse salt.
- Serve the pretzel bites with cheddar cheese sauce, nacho cheese, ranch, bleu cheese dressing, marinara or whatever you like.
- Leftovers can be stored in a zip top bag or air tight container and can be reheated in the microwave.
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