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These soft pretzel bites are exactly like regular homemade soft pretzels, but shaped into smaller pieces. The dough requires just 6 ingredients and there’s hardly any rise time, so this is a wonderful recipe for yeast beginners. Have fun shaping the bites (they don’t need to be perfect!) and enjoy warm flavorful homemade pretzels within an hour. Serve plain, cinnamon sugar style, or with your favorite dip such as spicy cheese sauce or stone ground mustard.

soft pretzel bites with cheese sauce

I’m writing this over 7 years after this recipe was first published and say with 100% honesty that kids and adults alike FLOCK to these pretzel bites. They’re always a massive hit, a favorite party snack, and the fact that they’re surprisingly easy is music to the ears!

Tell Me About These Soft Pretzel Bites

  • Flavor: If you enjoy soft pretzels, you’ll love these smaller bites. They’re completely homemade, so unlike store-bought frozen soft pretzels, each has that soft, warm, and fresh-from-the-oven taste and texture. You can keep the pretzels traditional with a sprinkling of coarse salt or try the cinnamon sugar version detailed in the recipe notes.
  • Texture: The difference between bread and soft pretzels/soft pretzel bites is an alkaline bath. Do you know what that is? I promise it’s a very easy step. This is when shaped soft pretzel dough takes a dip in boiling water and baking soda, a quick step that provides the iconic chewy pretzel texture and adds a deeper, richer color to the baked pretzels. The boiling water also locks in the shape so the pretzels don’t over-puff in the oven. (Without the baking soda bath, you lose texture, that deep brown color, and flavor. So, basically, you will have bite-size bread instead of pretzels.) We do this key step when making regular soft pretzels, pretzel rolls, and soft pretzel knots, too.
  • Ease: Have you ever made my recipe for regular homemade soft pretzels? It was one of the first recipes I ever published, only to be republished with step-by-step photos a few years later. It’s become a “famous” & popular recipe on this website because the pretzels are relatively quick, extremely easy, and deliver great taste. Same story with these pretzel bites! Though the recipe requires yeast, I always say that this pretzel dough is a terrific starting point for yeast beginners because there’s very little rise time. And shaping the dough into bite-size pieces is easier than shaping into pretzels. Lots of perks about today’s recipe!

soft pretzel bites with salt

Dough for Soft Pretzel Bites

I never stray from my original soft pretzel dough, so that’s what you’ll use for these pretzel bites. You need just 6 basic ingredients to get started including warm water, yeast, a little sugar to feed the yeast, melted butter, salt, and all-purpose flour. (If you have it, the same amount of bread flour works too!)

The dough doesn’t require extended rise time and the baking soda bath is pretty quick, so besides the baking step, the longest stretch of time this recipe requires is shaping.

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

Step-By-Step Pictures

Whisk the warm water, yeast, and sugar together. Cover and let the mixture sit for a few minutes until foamy on top. Waiting for it to foam isn’t totally necessary, but it helps us see that the yeast is ready and active. The right photo below shows the dough before kneading.

dough in glass bowl

6 pieces of dough shown on a marble cutting board

Knead the dough, divide into 6 sections, and then roll into six 20-inch ropes. The video tutorial located in the recipe shows these steps as well. Cut each rope into 1.5 – 2 inch pieces to make bites. I like to use a (affiliate links) pizza cutter or bench scraper for cutting this dough, but a sharp knife works perfectly fine too. Use what you have.

dough rolled into a long rope

bite size dough pieces on a marble cutting board

pretzel dough after baking soda bath

The photo above shows the pretzel bites after the baking soda bath. At this point, they are ready to bake.


Try Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites

Immediately after the baking soda bath while the soft pretzel bites are still wet, sprinkle with coarse salt. Or if you’d like a different topping, skip the coarse salt and try the cinnamon sugar version. Bake the pretzels completely plain without salt. Once done and still warm out of the oven, brush with melted butter then dip into a mix of cinnamon and granulated sugar. See specific instructions in the notes below.

By the way, you can have fun with even more toppings such as everything bagels seasoning instead of coarse salt. Heavily sprinkle on the pretzels while they’re still wet from the baking soda bath before baking.

cinnamon sugar soft pretzel bites

For a larger version, try these soft pretzel rolls. Great for sandwiches!


More Appetizers & Snacks

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soft pretzel bites with cheese sauce

Soft Pretzel Bites

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 5 dozen 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These soft pretzel bites are always a crowd favorite! The easy dough requires just 6 ingredients and there’s hardly any rise time, so this is a wonderful recipe for yeast beginners. Have fun shaping the bites (they don’t need to be perfect!) and enjoy warm flavorful homemade pretzels within an hour. Review recipe notes and watch the video tutorial before starting.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) warm water (lukewarm– no need to take temperature but around 100°F (38°C) is great)
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons (7ginstant or active dry yeast (1 standard packet)
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar or granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and slightly cool
  • 3 and 3/4 – 4 cups (469-500gall-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for hands and work surface
  • topping: coarse salt/coarse sea salt

Baking Soda Bath

  • 1/2 cup (120gbaking soda
  • 9 cups (2,160ml) water

Optional for Serving


Instructions

  1. Make the dough: Whisk warm water, yeast, and sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle or dough hook attachment. (If you do not have a stand mixer, just use a regular large mixing bowl.) Cover yeast mixture and allow to sit for 5 minutes or until foamy on top. Add salt, melted butter, and 3 cups (375g) of flour. Beat on low speed for 1 minute, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if needed, then add 3/4 cup (95g) of flour. Beat on low speed until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 2 minutes. If dough is extremely sticky after 1 minute of mixing, add remaining 1/4 cup of flour and continue to beat for 1 more minute. (You can see in the video that I add the remaining flour.)
  2. Knead the dough: Keep the dough in the mixer and beat on low speed for an additional 2 minutes or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 2 minutes. Cover lightly with a towel and allow to rest for 10-30 minutes. (Meanwhile, I like to get the water + baking soda boiling as instructed in step 5.)
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Silicone baking mats are highly recommended over parchment paper. If using parchment paper, lightly spray with nonstick spray or grease with butter. Set aside.
  4. Shape: With a sharp knife, pizza cutter, or bench scraper, cut dough into 6 equal pieces (just eyeball it, doesn’t have to be perfect). Sprinkle work surface very lightly with flour. (Tip: The heavier you flour the work surface, the harder it is to roll the dough. A little stickiness actually helps. You only need *a very light* dusting of flour.) Roll each piece of dough into a 20-inch rope. If the ropes keep shrinking and stretching the dough becomes difficult, stop what you’re doing, lightly cover all of the dough, and let it rest for 10 minutes so the gluten can relax. Then, return to rolling it into ropes. Cut each rope into 1.5 – 2 inch pieces to make bites.
  5. Baking Soda Bath: Mix water and baking soda together in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Place 8-10 pretzel bites into the boiling water for a quick 10-15 seconds. (Any longer and your pretzels could take on a metallic taste.) Using a slotted spatula or spoon, lift the pretzel bites out of the water and allow as much of the excess water to drip off. Place bites onto prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle each with coarse sea salt while they are still wet or leave plain if using cinnamon sugar topping listed in the notes. Repeat baking soda bath with remaining pretzel bites. If needed, you can cover and refrigerate the boiled/unbaked bites for up to 24 hours before baking.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve warm.
  7. Cover and store leftover pretzel bites at room temperature for up to 3 days. They lose a little softness over time. To reheat, microwave for a few seconds or bake in a 350°F (177°C) for 5 minutes.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Baked and cooled pretzel bites freeze well up to 2-3 months. To reheat, bake frozen bites at 350°F (177°C) for 10 minutes or until warmed through or microwave frozen bites until warm. The prepared pretzel dough can be refrigerated for up to one day or frozen in an airtight container for 2-3 months. Thaw frozen dough in the refrigerator overnight. Refrigerated dough can be shaped into bites while still cold, but allow some extra time, about 1 hour, for the pretzels to puff up before the baking soda bath and baking.
  2. Flour: If you have it, the same amount of bread flour works instead of all-purpose flour. Do not use whole wheat flour.
  3. Cinnamon Sugar: Bake the pretzel bites completely plain without salt in step 6. As the pretzel bites bake, melt 4 Tablespoons (60g) unsalted butter. Set aside. Combine 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar and 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Set aside. Once the pretzels are done and still warm out of the oven, brush each with melted butter then generously dip into cinnamon sugar. Cinnamon sugar pretzels are best served that day because due to the melted butter topping, they become soggy after a few hours.
  4. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
  5. Egg? This recipe used to call for brushing the boiled pretzel bites with a beaten egg before sprinkling with coarse salt. Now you can skip the egg and sprinkle the salt on the pretzels while they are still wet from the boiling step. If you prefer them the old way, feel free to continue brushing with the beaten egg before salting and baking. I skip it these days.

Keywords: soft pretzel bites

soft pretzel bites on a white plate with cheese sauce in a white bowl

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I love how detailed and how you explain everything in your recipes. It’s very helpful for beginner bakers like me.

    I’d never made yeast baked goodies without a breadmaker so was a little nervous. Thankfully it came out not too bad. I think I’d need to put the dough in the water bath a bit longer as I couldn’t really get that bicarb taste. After rewatching the video again, I probably need to bake it longer too.

    Another issue is, I can’t remember how many I ate while I covering other bites with cinnamon sugar. It doesn’t taste like a pretzel for now but more like cute tiny bread. Hopefully when I try again, it’ll be ok.

  2. Just wanted to say that although you say don’t use whole wheat flour, I’ve been subbing some whole wheat for regular in other recipes and experimented with this one as well. I works well to sub one cup of the regular flour for whole wheat. I did not need the extra 1/4 cup of flour in the mixing stage. I used active dry yeast (not instant) and the egg wash. Turned out perfectly baked, super soft, and very yummy!

  3. So good. My son and I have made these twice. We also make the beer cheese sauce to dip them in. Thank you.

  4. Thank you for the wonderful recipe. Just made it for my kids for breakfast in school.
    Each one with their own topping.

  5. Just made these. Amazingly easy with my dough hook. But watch flour. I only used 3 1/4 cups total (bread flour). Made some with salt, some with garlic mix, and best with cinnamon sugar.

  6. These pretzel bites were delicious! However after spending the night in a ziploc bag, the texture got tougher and the sugar on the cinnamon sugar ones melted and made a sticky mess. Do you have any further recommdations for storage? I’d like to make these for a gathering and bring them in little cellophane bags, but I’m not sure how well they would last? Thanks!

    1. Hi Sam! Cinnamon sugar pretzels are best served that day because due to the melted butter topping, they become soggy after a few hours. If you’re making them for a gathering, we’d recommend doing plain or salted pretzels instead — they will lose a little softness over time but to reheat, microwave for a few seconds or bake in a 350°F (177°C) for 5 minutes. Hope this helps!

  7. I’ve made these a bunch of times. Absolute hit in my house. We no longer buy pretzels from Auntie Anne’s we make them from scratch and devour them the same day!!!

  8. Thanks Sally! Love this recipe! Tried it for the first time and it turned out perfectly. Made the spicy nacho cheese sauce and we love it too! When we find recipes we like, we call them company worthy, and this one is definitely company worthy! I will be making this for friends to enjoy! Thanks again for the great recipes!

  9. Made these for a party and they were gone within minutes. Bought some fancy mustard (dill pickle mustard, stout mustard and pale ale mustard) to dip but honestly they are so yummy you don’t even need to dip them into anything.

  10. Perfect! These were really easy to make and came out really well. The only problem was that after my family sampled them all we didn’t have enough left over for the party we were planning and had to make another batch. Good problem to have for a recipe!

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