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 nacho cheese sauce. That stuff is like liquid gold. I apologize for doing this to you in the beginning of the week!

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. Watch the video above and see how truly simple soft pretzel bites are!

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.

Soft Pretzel Bites

I apologize, pretzel dough is ugly:

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

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.

It’s an easy 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 spicy nacho 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.

Print

Soft Pretzel Bites

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

Description

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
  • 3.754.25 cups (470- 530g) all-purpose flour + more for the counter surface (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling
  • Spicy Nacho Cheese Sauce for serving

Instructions

  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 spicy nacho cheese sauce or honey mustard. Pretzel bites remain fresh for up to 3 days in an airtight container, though they will lose some softness.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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.
  2. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.

Keywords: soft pretzel bites

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

213 Comments

  1. Oh Sally, you just had to post a soft pretzel recipe!! These look absolutely delicious!! I have loved soft pretzels (and fried dough) since I was a little girl but stopped eating them when I realized how many carbs they contained…and who can realistically stop at just one bite!

    I will make these bites and the cheese sauce for my kiddos as well as for my bible study group since I know they will get devoured. Thank goodness I have lots of other folks to feed or else I would be in big trouble.

    Looking forward to seeing what your upcoming week’s recipe posts will be.

    Have a great blessed week!! 🙂

    Kathryn

    1. I am glad I had a ton of mouths to feed when I made these Kathryn! I cannot be trusted around 5 dozen pretzel bites. Let me know how everyone likes them.

      1. Sally, I forgot to mention that these bite size portions are adorable and caught my attention. I have a fetish for small/baby size things such as these types of individual portions, small serving dishes or utensils, etc. I should show you my favorite spoon and fork…tiny versions of the full size ones. It is so useful for portion control. 🙂

  2. Your guests are lucky indeed! Lately I have had a longing to make bread and yeasty treats (even though I’m a coeliac) there is something so comforting and slightly magical about the workings of dough and yeast 🙂
    I can’t wait to try and make pretzels for the first time, and these little bites seem like the perfect gateway to pretzel addiction heaven. I think I might give a GF version a go too, after I’ve conquered the gluten filled ones first. Thanks Sally 🙂

      1. I have a friend who makes and sells gluten free flours and other base ingredients so I will do an experiment as well. Make one batch regular and one batch gluten free and see how they come out. I love testing new things out in the kitchen! 🙂

  3. YES to the baking soda bath. So important. I hate when soft pretzels just taste like a fluffy piece of dough. I mean, if I wanted that I would just eat a piece of bread! … Smothered in this cheese sauce, of course! ;o)

  4. Honestly, I almost never comment on savory recipes because I’m a straight-up dessert addict. But these have cheese dip! And they’re soft and pretzely (not a word, I know) and amazing. I love the idea to use pepper jack for an extra kick!
    And by the way, your pretzel dough is a thing of beauty. I have no idea what you’re talking about. 🙂

    1. Haha thanks Mir – I always thick pretzel dough is ugly! And the pepper jack is amazing in the cheese sauce. You have to try it!

  5. I thought that dip was hummus upon first glance! That’s what I’m going to be serving it with. Pretzel bites and hummus is totally an acceptable dinner, right? And I love how fast the pretzels take to make! I’ve made them before and they take me no more than 40 minutes!!

  6. You know? I’m the biggest scary cat when it comes to making pretzels! I think I’m just scared they wont come out looking like this! lol BUT wish me luck, i will try!

  7. I love the idea of soft pretzel bites made at home! I would taste test that bowl of sauce all the way to the shiny clean bottom, for sure 🙂

  8. They look awesome and cheese + warm carbs, yes, that’s the way to most anyone’s heart! I can totally see these babies disappearing, fast.

    Pretzel bites are so poppable, too. The mini food aspect makes them so inhale-able 🙂 pinned

  9. I’ve always been crazy about cheese sauce…the best part of nachos! 😉 I love how many different kinds of sauce you could use for these mini pretzels, so people can choose sweet/savory. What a great, versatile recipe! 😀

    1. I have to create a cinnamon/sugar version of these soft pretzel bites – maybe with an icing dip of sorts. Yum!

  10. These bites are so much fun Sally! I love little poppable food for a couple reasons and one is I never feel like I’m eating as much (although I’m sure I eat way more than a big one haha) These are so cute, the perfect party food, and I love that they are soft! Pinned 🙂

  11. Wow! Just had these at a fabulous restaurant in Charleston last week & my hubby has been wanting it make them. They served them with a smoked Gouda fondue which was amazing. Looks like we have a great recipe to try! Thanks!

  12. My husband gave up pretzels for 2014 (we’re crazy, we do this crap to ourselves to test our willpower. We both gave up ice cream, I don’t even want to talk about it…) so I will NOT be showing this to him. Perhaps on January 1, I’ll make these and serve them up with huge bowls of ice cream. Sounds perfect!

    1. Oh he will go INSANE for these when new years day comes around! I should really try to give up pretzels, but I truly think it would be impossible. And ice cream! Have mercy, how are you doing it!

  13. Hi Sally! I WILL be making these for my upcoming cocktail party at my new house! I’d love to have a “virtual tour” of your new place, maybe once it is all put together . . .
    Cheers! Thanks for another great recipe!

    1. Haha! Jennifer, you have got to make homemade pretzels! I will say that mine are definitely not as large as Panera’s though! Maybe I should give that a try. 😉

  14. I’ve been making that recipe as bites ever since you posted the recipe- so fast and so good! My boyfriend and I love them! I love the golden brown look from the baking soda boil. I’ll definitely try that next time! (Which lets face it, will probably be soon.)

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