Soft Pretzel Bites.
Chewy & soft pretzel bites served with a kickin’ cheese dip are the ultimate comfort food and party snack. You won’t be able to stop reaching for bite after bite!
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.
I don’t think you realize 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 that I coated them in cinnamon sugar and put the recipe in my cookbook. Cinnamon sugar pretzels are all I crave on the weekends, so yeah. They’re certainly a staple in my kitchen.
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 obviously can’t stop talking about.
I apologize, pretzel dough is ugly:
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! Here’s why: a quick dip into boiling water and baking soda is what will give your pretzels that wonderfully authentic golden-brown pretzel color. Not only that, but the baking soda bath is what gives them their chewy exteriors and soft fluffy centers.
It’s 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. This is a quick, yet very imperative step. Look at their beautiful golden brown color:
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.
I made these for a few friends who stopped by our new house and they disappeared before I could actually show them around the new house. 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!
Yield: about 5 dozen bites
Total Time: 2 hours
- 1 and 1/2 cups (300ml) warm water (lukewarm, no need to take temperature)
- 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 to knead
- 1 large egg, beaten
- coarse sea salt for sprinkling
- Kicked-Up Cheddar Cheese Sauce for serving
- Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir with a spoon until fairly mixed, about 1 minute. Some clusters of yeast may remain. Add salt, sugar, and melted butter; stir 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.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes and shape into a ball. Place in a large mixing bowl that has been lightly coated with nonstick spray. Cover and let the dough rest in a warm area for about 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- 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.
- Boil 9 cups of water with 1/2 cup of baking soda. 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.
- Brush beaten egg over each pretzel bite. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake batches for 15 minutes each, or until golden brown.
- 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. Pretzel bites freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat in the oven at 300F degrees until warm.
*Make ahead instructions for dough: the prepared pretzel dough may 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 pretzels while still cold, but allow some extra time for the pretzels to puff up before the baking soda bath and baking.
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A few more recipes you have to try…
Pumpkin Praline Soft Pretzels (totally a year round treat)
More savory recipes.
More snack recipes.