Soft Pretzel Bites.

Soft Pretzel Bites with Spicy Cheese Dip by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Your self control doesn’t stand a chance.

If it’s not the buttery soft pretzel bites killing every ounce of self control you have, it is most certainly my spicy cheese sauce. That stuff is like liquid gold. I apologize for doing this to you in the beginning of the week, but I really can’t help myself.

Soft Pretzel Bites with Spicy Cheese Sauce - this recipe is so simple. And the cheese sauce is to die for! sallysbakingaddiction.com

You might not know how easy it is to make soft pretzels at home. Have your own Auntie Anne’s right inside your kitchen with my easy 30 minute soft pretzel recipe. Easy to make? Yes. Carb overload? Worth it.

This simple soft pretzel recipe comes from Kevin’s family. A Quinn family specialty. Kevin said he and his family made these easy soft pretzels almost every weekend when he was growing up. The soft pretzel recipe is so legendary in the family that I coated them in cinnamon sugar and put the recipe in my cookbook.

But instead of sweet, we’re focusing on savory today. Salty, doughy, buttery bites of heaven. Serve them with honey mustard or my spicy cheese sauce that I can’t stop talking about.

I apologize, pretzel dough is ugly:

How To Make Soft Pretzel Bites - get the full recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

It’s a simple 4 step process. Make the soft pretzel dough, roll and cut, dump in a baking soda bath, and bake. Don’t skip the baking soda bath. And here’s why: a quick dip into boiling water and baking soda will give your pretzels that wonderfully authentic golden brown pretzel color. Not only that, the baking soda bath is what gives them their chewy exteriors. Paired with soft fluffy centers? These pretzel bites are out of control delicious.

The baking soda bath is an essential step to soft pretzel bite making. 🙂

Basically, all you do is boil a bunch of water and baking soda together. Working with about 8-10 pretzel bites at a time, drop them in the boiling water, let them soak for about 20 seconds, and remove. Look at their beautiful golden brown color:

Soft Pretzel Bites with Spicy Cheese Sauce - this recipe is so simple. And the cheese sauce is to die for! sallysbakingaddiction.com

I’ll take a dozen right now, please!

So… let’s discuss this cheese sauce. A kicked up, lipsmackin’ version. Nothing processed, nothing scarily-orange… just pure creamy, melty cheese waiting to be devoured. It’s so good with veggies like cooked broccoli and raw sliced peppers. Because if you’re going to unhealth-ify vegetables, do it with cheese.

Butter, flour, whole milk, cheddar cheese. Add some spice, salt, and pepper and call it a (delicious) day. For an even more kicked-up version, try subbing half of the cheddar cheese for pepper jack. By the way, pretzel bites and veggies are just serving suggestions. Feel free to eat it with a spoon. “Taste testing” is what I call it.

Kickin' Cheddar Cheese Dipping Sauce - it's like liquid gold! Get the recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

Soft Pretzel Bites with Spicy Cheese Sauce - this recipe is so simple. And the cheese sauce is to die for! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Cheese and pretzels are always the answer, trust me.

Soft Pretzel Bites

Chewy & soft pretzel bites served with a kickin' cheese dip is the ultimate comfort food and party snack. You won't be able to stop reaching for bite after bite!

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (300ml) warm water, plus 9 more cups for step 5
  • 1 packet Red Star Platinum instant yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon (8g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon (15g) unsalted butter, previously melted and not scorching hot
  • 3.75 - 4.25 cups (470- 530g) all-purpose flour + more for the counter surface
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling
  • Kicked-Up Cheddar Cheese Sauce for serving

Directions:

  1. Whisk the yeast into 1 and 1/2 cups warm water. Allow to sit for 1 minute. Some clusters of yeast may remain. Add salt, brown sugar, and melted butter. Whisk until fairly combined. Slowly add 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon (or dough hook attached to stand mixer) until dough is thick. Add 3/4 cup more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. If it is still sticky, add up to 1/4 cup more. Poke the dough with your finger - if it bounces back, it is ready to knead.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes, then shape into a ball. Place in a large greased mixing bowl. I usually use nonstick spray to grease it, but olive oil works too. Cover and let the dough rest in a warm area for about 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  4. With a sharp knife, cut ball of dough into 6 sections. Roll the dough into six 20-inch long ropes. Cut the rope into 1.5 inch pieces to make bites.
  5. Combine 9 cups of water and the baking soda in a large pot and bring to a rapid boil. Drop 8-10 pretzel bites into water and let sit for 20 seconds. Remove with a spatula and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Make sure the bites aren't touching.
  6. Brush beaten egg over each pretzel bite. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake batches for 15 minutes each, or until golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and serve with cheese sauce or honey mustard. Pretzel bites remain fresh for up to 3 days in an airtight container, though they will lose some softness.

Make ahead/Freezing: The prepared pretzel dough can be refrigerated for up to one day or frozen in an airtight container for three months. Thaw frozen dough in the refrigerator overnight. Refrigerated dough can be shaped into pretzel bites while still cold, but allow some extra time for the bites to puff up before the baking soda bath and baking. Baked pretzel bites freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat in the oven at 300°F (149°C) until warm.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

A couple more recipes you have to try…

Pumpkin Praline Soft Pretzels (totally a year round treat)

Pumpkin Praline Soft Pretzels

Mom’s Seasoned Pretzels

Seasoned Pretzels. An easy, addicting salty snack everyone will love. Recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

More savory recipes.

More snack recipes.

Soft Pretzel Bites with Spicy Cheese Sauce - this recipe is so simple. And the cheese sauce is to die for! Easy recipe found on sallysbakingaddiction.com
Soft Pretzel Bites with Spicy Cheese Sauce - this recipe is so simple. And the cheese sauce is to die for! Easy recipe found on sallysbakingaddiction.com

161 comments

  1. I’ve been following your blog (more like stalking) for the past two weeks and I’ve literally made about 10 of your recipes. All fabulous. As I was waiting for your recipe of The chocolate chip cookie to bake last night, I came across this little gem. I literally just finished making them and have a batch in the oven. Huge, huge win!!! My husband can’t put them down, or the cookies, I might add lol. My next mission is your pie crust and pecan pie. By far, your blog is my favorite!! Thanks so much!!

  2. Thanks for another great recipe, Sally!

    My office is doing a holiday potluck, and we were told to sign up to bring our “specialty”. When I finally got around to signing up for a dish, someone had already signed up for my specialty (mac and cheese). Boo. All of the dessert slots were taken too, and other than that, I’m really not that much of a cook. So I was browsing around your blog looking for something yummy, and I came across this recipe. I did a trial run today, and the pretzels are a hit with my husband! And this recipe is SO EASY. I wasn’t able to test out the cheese, as I don’t have whole milk, but I’m sure it will be great!

    If I double up on the soft pretzel bites, do you think I will also need to double up on the cheese? Or is one recipe of the cheese plenty for two recipes of pretzels?

    • Hey Kelly! So happy these got your approval to make for the potluck. They’ll be a hit, I’m sure! I don’t think you’d need to double the cheese. The recipe makes a lot of cheese dip! And some people might not even want cheese with theirs, you know?

  3. I just wanted to say that I have tried more than a few pretzel recipes, and yours was the first that tasted like mall pretzels, better even! Thanks so much for posting this great recipe, and I will be sure to point people here if they need a fail-proof amazing snack 🙂

  4. Hi Sally i made some of these today. I only have one pan and one rack in my oven so I baked accordingly. The first batch turned out great but the rest were SO bitter. I have come to the conclusion it must have been the baking soda water gone bad/cooked too long. I bathed the first batch then baked.Then bathed the next then baked, then again and again. I guess I should have bathed them all instead of waiting in between each batch. I did however take the pot off the burner while there was a batch in the oven but I guess it just boiled too long because there was nothing else different between the batches. Anyway the recipe is great just wanted to make anyone aware that may have the same baking situation I had. Thank you so much for your awesome recipes, planning on making the peppermint mocha cookies soon for a Christmas party this weekend. I know they will be great.

  5. Hi! Love this recipe!! I recently got a bread machine and im wondering if there is a variation to mske the dough in my machine? Thanks!

  6. I’ve made these so many times but hadn’t reviewed yet! Just have to add my praises to the list–these are the BEST pretzels! I’ve also used to dough to wrap around little smokies to make pretzel dogs. Either way, this pretzel recipe is always a hit in my house! (As are all of your recipes that I’ve tried!) Thank you!!!

  7. Amazing! We had so much fun making these last night. We put half the dough in the fridge for tonight so I hope it works as well. I’m excited to try wrapping little smokies some time. We made a spreadable pub cheese to eat them with. Made a frigid Sunday night in bearable!

  8. I’ve made this recipe countless times and everyone loves it.  I’m a beer geek and now when I head to beer festivals these always go with me.  I’m not the “pretzel guy” and people keep raving about how good they are!

  9. These were great! I made them for my Christmas party and they were a huge hit! Instead of brushing them with an egg, I brushed them with melted butter. They were aaaamazing! The tasted just like Auntie Ann’s. Thank you! 

  10. Found the answer to the Lil’ Smokie. Another post said they tried it. My Mac has trouble loading your webpage for some reason and keeps freezing. I found the answer when I checked back to see if there was a response. I found the other (Jan 3). Sorry to be redundant. I hadn’t seen that post before. Good thing I checked back. Have a good weekend.

  11. Can u make these with pre made pizza dough?!

  12. Hi Sally,
    I made these over the weekend for a family gathering and they were phenomenal! They are the absolute perfect pretzel bite!

    I was wondering…..do you think that this recipe can be used to make pretzel rolls? If so, would I need to factor in some time for the dough to rest before putting the rolls in the baking soda bath. 

    Thanks for your time and great recipes!
    Rachel

    • Rachel, I’ve had readers make these as pretzel rolls. I’d let them rest for about 30 minutes, though I can’t be certain without going down and trying it myself right now. Just until they’re a little puffy.

  13. Your site is fabulous!!! So were the pretzel bites. Out of curiosity I altered the soft pretzel bites by sifting the dry ingredients  I had no light Brown sugar so I added enough maple syrup to regular sugar and blended together. The rest of the ingredients stayed the same but instead of rolling into ropes I shaped them into biscuit sized portions and brushed the baking soda water on them and baked. The result was more like a bagel bun to me. A friend said they tasted like unsalted pretzels. 
    Thanks for a great site. 

  14. Hi Sally, I wanted to update my post but couldn’t find it. Sorry. But I wanted to let you know that I made these pretzels with the lil smokies and they came out super fab!!!! They were a big hit. . . all you heard were mmmm  oh mmmmmm.  I also made some without the smokies and they were super good too! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  15. I would not recommend using parchment paper to line the pan. All of my pretzels ended up sticking and I am now chopping off all the bottoms 🙁

  16. Hi Sally,

    I just finished making these and they tuned out well except they stuck to the parchment paper. What did I do wrong?

  17. I just made these today, but without the cheese sauce! I just used a premade one. This recipe is AMAZING!!! Its labor intensive, but totally worth it. The pretzel bites came out golden brown, with a loud beautiful crunch on the outside and a soft, fluffy pretzel on the inside. My family and I devoured them. Two thumbs up!!

  18. I love pretzel bites and I use Rhodes frozen rolls to make mine. it is easy and delicious!

  19. Made these. Such a simple recipe and the turn out.. oh. my. gosh. They’re amazing!

  20. These were perfect for Game Day. Thank you.

  21. I have made these twice now and they are wonderful! But both times, most of the pretzels taste great while some have a strange texture, like they are undercooked and eggy, even though they were in the same batch. Do you know why this happens? Thanks!

  22. Hey Sally! 
    I’ve been researching pretzel bite recipes and I wanted to let you know that I believe someone copied your recipe and posted it as their own. I’m a fellow food blogger so I wanted to tell you because I don’t like it when people steal recipes. I could be wrong but ????? anyway, her name is ConsumerQueen. it comes up if you search consumer queen pretzel bites.

    love you and your blog!!! 

    xo
    brynn

  23. Wow. Thank you so much for this amazing recipe, and easy to follow directions . I was a bit nervous as I was making the pretzel bites for company, and didn’t know if they would turn out that great. Well they ended up tasting even better than I could have imagined, and looked just like the ones you get at the mall. My guests LOVED them and so did I! Thanks again!

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