Soft Pretzel Bites

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!


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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
  • 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

  • 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

127 Comments

  1. Hi Sally! Will this recipe be the same as the soft pretzel roll?

    I’m thinking of using this recipe to do cinnamon sugar pretzel bites with half of the dough, freeze the other half and then use it for pretzel rolls the following week!

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Fiona! I recommend my soft pretzel rolls. A very similar recipe!

  2. Elizabeth B says:

    I used bread flour to make them extra fluffy! I prefer sweet pretzels over salty ones so I put less salt in the dough and did not sprinkle sea salt before putting them in the oven. Made a cream cheese glaze to accompany them… AMAZING! Definitely will do this again! Thank you!

  3. This recipe worked for me!! (I even accidentally doubled the butter.) I was worried since I have little yeast experience.
    Fresh baked pretzel recipe for the win. Thanks for sharing Sally.

  4. These were so tasty and super easy to make! My dough was a little sticky even after adding the max amount of flour because of the super high humidity where I live. Just made shaping and cutting them up a little difficult but once I did the baking soda/boiling water dip and the baking, they turned out great! Also, this is so much cheaper to make them yourself rather than go out and spend $10 for a little box of them—definitely a bonus! Thanks, Sally!!

  5. Have you ever stuffed them? Was thinking about trying pepperoni stick and cheddar cheese stick bites inside.

  6. Can you fry the pretzel dough?

    1. I can’t see why not!

  7. I made these today. They are fantastic! We are eating them with your beer cheese dip. Everything I have made from your site has turned out very well. Thank you for all the recipes and easy to follow directions!

  8. Hi Sally, I noticed that you use malt syrup, or honey, in your regular soft pretzel water bath. Is there a reason why you don’t use that method with this recipe? Would you recommend not using it for the pretzel bites?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Tanya, we use the same baking soda bath in this recipe and in the regular soft pretzels recipe. It gives the signature pretzel color and chew. Could you be thinking of our bagel recipe? The sweet malt syrup or honey adds extra caramelization and crisp for homemade bagels. Hope this helps!

      1. Thank you Trina. I apologize, I was confusing it with your bagel recipe. Thanks for the clarification. Looking forward to trying this recipe! Everything I’ve made from this site has been wonderful!

  9. The pretzel bite recipe was easy, delicious, and turned out right on the first try! I will definitely be making these bites again.

  10. Another great addition to our go to recipes. Son having a no Covid birthday celebration for four college buds. Wanted the boys to have some post dinner nibbles. Big hit!

  11. Sari Altman says:

    Bad news is I made a huge mess in the kitchen. Good news is they turned out so good. I didn’t think they would work because the dough seemed so sticky. I rolled one batch in cinnamon and sugar. My hubby loved them too. Thanks so much for the recipe.

  12. Can I make just half the recipe?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      You can halve the recipe for a half batch, yes.

  13. This is hands-down the best pretzel recipe ever. I make these at least once a week and they’re gone within 24 hours. Love how the rise time isn’t super long yet the end result is still fabulous!

  14. Currently the dough is in a bowl, but I had a very hard time getting it like dough. It was very dry and had to add a lot of water. Does anyone know why?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ivy, Make sure you are spooning and leveling (or weighing) your flour and not scooping it. Scooping the flour can lead to using too much which would try out your dough. But, there are a lot of variables that go into the consistency of dough, even down to the weather and humidity in the air. There’s nothing wrong with adding just a little more water dough if you need to.

  15. If making ahead of time and freezing should I do the water bath or do that before I am due to cook them? Thanks in advance

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Rebecca! See recipe notes for detailed make ahead and freezing instructions. Enjoy!

  16. Sally, you’ve done it again! Every recipe of yours that I make is INCREDIBLE! You are my go-to source for baking, and these pretzel bites were no exception. Thank you for all the hard work, time and effort you put into perfecting these recipes for us. You’re the best!!!

  17. Stephanie Ritten says:

    Hi! These look delicious and I am going to give them a shot this weekend, but my niece is gluten free. Have you ever tried making a gluten free version?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Stephanie, we haven’t tested these with gluten free flour, but let us know if you do!

  18. These came out great! I didn’t make the cheese sauce as I didn’t have the ingredients on hand but will try that another time. I skipped the egg wash as one household member doesn’t eat eggs. Still came out looking and tasting like ones you’d get while out. In fact probably tasted better! It makes a lot, so will be freezing some to enjoy later.

  19. Thank for sharing this recipe. I made some for my friend on her birthday and she loved it a lot.

  20. I have made another pretzel recipe from Sally, I think it is the same dough but it tastes so much better in bite form!! My recipe made 74 bites because I rolled the ropes a tad too long, so I baked them for 12 minutes. The tray that I did 13 came out crispy but still yummy! Definitely recommend using the egg wash. Will be making again!

  21. Great recipe! My fellow Vegans… works great with vegan butter and brushing with Just Egg! So yummy! (Wish I could post my pic).

  22. Leslie Lord says:

    Will these work with cinnamon sugar – same way you suggested for the pretzels? Similar style to the pretzel suggestion that we would use for baking these bites?

    Thank you!

    1. Leslie Lord says:

      thank you Trina! We’ll try it out Thurs/Fri!

  23. Love this recipe. I’ve tried shortcut pizza dough pretzel bites but they weren’t that great. These were amazing with a little honey mustard dipping sauce, or just lightly buttered! Thanks!

  24. I froze my bites and most of the salt came off with the handling. Before I reheat them, can I do another egg wash and add more salt?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Shirley, That should be fine. Enjoy!

  25. Hi Sally,
    2 questions for you.
    1. Can I substitute honey for the sugar. (dietary restrictions)
    2. Everything bagel mix seems like it might make a good variation on the salt to reduce sodium. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Jan, everything bagel seasoning is excellent on soft pretzels or pretzel bites. Use it in place of the coarse salt topping. And I’ve used honey to replace the sugar in the dough before with no problem.

  26. Will this recipe work with gluten free all purpose flour? Thank you!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Emily, we haven’t tested this recipe with gluten free all-purpose flour, but let us know if you give anything a try!

  27. Hi Sally,
    I followed to the recipe exactly. Why does it taste yeasty? Thanks

  28. This recipe sound amazing! I can’t wait to try it!
    I have one question: Could I dip the pretzel bites in cinnamon sugar when they’re still wet after the baking soda bath? Or do you have to add the cinnamon sugar After baking? If so, could you wet them with water instead of butter?

    Thanks!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Reina! The cinnamon sugar may burn if added before baking. Dipping the baked pretzel bites in water may result in soggy pretzels, we recommend sticking with butter if at all possible!

  29. I would like make a whole wheat version of this recipe using KAF white whole wheat. I am assuming I will need some white flour as well. Any suggestions on the amounts of whole wheat and white? Also should I use KAF AP or bread flour for the white?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kristin, we haven’t tested this recipe with whole wheat flour, but we’d recommend starting with half whole wheat, half all-purpose flour and then adjusting as needed for future batches. Expect the pretzels to be a bit denser.

  30. Hands down, THE BEST pretzel recipe with tips attached. The recipe was easy and turned out amazing. I ended up only using 3 1/2 cups of flour, but they are AH-MAZING. Couldn’t have satisfied this pretzel bite craving in any better way.

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