Hot, buttery Soft Pretzel Bites are an amazing homemade snack for any occasion! Made with fluffy dough and baked until golden brown these bite-sized pretzels are the perfect balance of chewy and soft. Our recipe is a no-boil version making them so much faster and easier to make without sacrificing flavor or texture!
Why We Love These Soft & Chewy Pretzel Bites
There aren’t many treats in our home that are more beloved than homemade pretzel bites. Soft, chewy, buttery, salty little nuggets of deliciousness. It’s almost impossible not to make a meal of them. I’ve tried a number of different recipes and techniques over the years, but these pretzel bites are the BEST.
Not only are they downright delicious, but this no-boil variety is quick and easy- and still delivers all the taste and texture you get from the classic method. The outside comes out golden brown and chewy, while leaving the insides soft and fluffy. Immediately after removing them from the oven they are brushed with melted butter and voila. You have the tastiest little morsels that have ever come out of your oven. Your kids will declare you the world’s very best cook. All fighting will cease, chores will be happily executed, as they usher you to a comfy chair to relax in gratitude for your efforts. One can hope, anyway. But one thing is for sure. You will have some very, very happy eaters.
Ingredients You’ll Need To Make This Soft Pretzel Bites Recipe:
- Water– Hot enough to activate the yeast- 100-110 degrees.
- Brown Sugar– The brown sugar adds just a bit of sweetness and flavor to the pretzel bites, and also helps feed the yeast.
- Active Dry Yeast– Active Dry Yeast needs to be activated in warm water and makes these pretzel bites super fluffy and chewy.
- Butter– Butter adds the rich, delicious flavor that you want in fresh pretzels.
- Sea Salt– Even though we are topping these pretzel bites with salt, you still need some in the dough for flavor.
- Flour– We used regular all-purpose flour in our pretzel dough.
- Baking Soda– Baking soda is the essential ingredient in homemade pretzels that give them their characteristic dark brown color, and crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside texture.
- Egg– An egg wash before baking helps give your baked pretzels a glossy, golden finish.
- Coarse Salt– For sprinkling on your finished pretzels.
How to Make Pretzel Bites Dough:
- Proof the yeast. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add warm water, yeast, brown sugar, and melted butter. Allow this to sit for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture is nice and bubbly. The water should be warm to the touch, between 100 and 110 degrees. If the yeast doesn’t bubble, there is a chance the yeast is no good and you will want to start again with fresh yeast. If you are using instant yeast, it is not necessary to activate it. You can simply add all of the ingredients to the bowl and begin mixing. However, you want your water to be a bit hotter- 120-130 degrees.
- Knead the dough. After your yeast has been properly activated, you will add the salt and flour and begin to mix the dough. Start with the smaller amount of flour, you can always add more later. Knead for 3-4 minutes. The dough should look smooth and start to pull away from the sides of the bowl. At this point, touch the dough with your fingers. If it is still sticky, add a tablespoon of flour at a time. Do not add too much flour, or you will end up with a tough dough. You want it to be soft, but not overly sticky.
- Allow the dough to rise. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl (or be lazy like me and leave it in the mixer) covered with a greased plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise at room temperature for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size. The time will vary depending on the temperature of the kitchen. To speed up the process, you can place the bowl in a warm oven. To do this I usually preheat my oven to 400 degrees for 1 minute only. After a minute, turn off the oven. Place the bowl in the oven to rise.
- Shape the dough. After the dough has finished rising, dump it onto a lightly floured or greased counter. Split the dough into 8 equal pieces, and roll each piece into a long rope roughly 20 inches in length. Using a knife or a bench scraper, cut each rope into 1-inch pieces.
How to Make Pretzel Bites:
Dip pretzel bites in baking soda water. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together 1 cup of hot water and 1 tablespoon baking soda. Dip the pretzel bites into the baking soda water and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Brush with egg wash. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg and 1 tablespoon cold water. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush all of the pretzel bites with the egg wash.
Sprinkle with salt. After brushing with egg wash, immediately sprinkle the pretzels with salt.
Bake the pretzels. Bake the pretzels in a 450 degree oven for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.
Brush with melted butter. As soon as the pretzels come out of the oven, brush the pretzels liberally with melted butter.
Tips & Suggestions:
What kind of salt should I use for homemade pretzels?
Using pretzel salt is delicious and fun and gives you that classic salted pretzel appearance. But you can also use coarse salt, rock salt, or bagel salt.
Why do I need to dip my pretzels in baking soda water before baking?
This quick alkaline bath is crucial for giving you the nice golden color, chewy texture, and pretzel taste you are looking for. It helps prevent the pretzel bites from rising too much, creating the chewy texture we love. It also provides the distinctive flavor we want in homemade pretzels.
How to Make Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites
You can use this same recipe to make sweet cinnamon sugar pretzel bites. Sometimes I’ll split a batch of dough in half so I can make half of them salted, and the others cinnamon sugar. To make cinnamon sugar pretzel bites, follow the recipe as directed dipping the dough in the baking soda bath and brushing with egg wash but do not add the pretzel salt. Bake as directed. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon. After removing the pretzels from the oven, brush immediately with the butter and roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
How to Make Homemade Pretzel Twists
You can use this same recipe to make twists! If you want to make pretzel twists instead of making pretzel bites, divide the dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope. Dip each rope into the baking soda water before shaping. To create the twist, create a U-shape with the rope. Next, bring the ends together and twist once or twice. Bring the ends back towards the bottom of the U and press to adhere. Brush with egg wash and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
What should I serve with soft pretzel bites?
These pretzel bites are pretty dang delicious just as they are, but if you want to take them to the next level (and don’t we all) here are some of our favorite dips to serve with soft pretzels:
- Cheese Sauce
- Fresh Strawberry Butter
- Nut Butter Caramel Dip
- Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
- Spinach Dip
- Chocolate Hummus
- Cheesy Spinach & Artichoke Dip
- Raspberry Sauce
Looking for More Delicious Bread Recipes?
- Homemade Garlic Knots
- White Chocolate Pecan Sourdough Bread
- Sweet Potato Crescent Rolls
- Spiced Apple Twist Bread
Soft Pretzel Bites Recipe
Baking Soda Mixture
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm water, brown sugar, yeast and melted butter with the dough hook attachment. Let sit for 5 minutes until it starts to bubble.
- Add the salt and flour and mix on low speed until combined. Continue kneading for 3-4 minutes until the dough starts to look smooth and pull away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough seems too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time and continue letting it knead in the stand mixer. It should be soft but not sticky.
- You can transfer to an oiled mixing bowl, or if you are like me and don't want to wash another bowl, just remove the dough hook and cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean dry towel. Let the dough rise at room temperature for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 450 ℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Once the dough has risen, remove from the bowl and place on a clean surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces using a bench scraper. Roll each piece into a long rope (around 21 inches). Cut each dough rope into 1-inch pieces.
- Pour 1 cup of hot water (hot tap water works) into a small bowl. Add baking soda and whisk to combine.
- Dip each dough piece in the baking soda solution and shake slightly to get the excess liquid off before placing the pretzel bites onto your parchment lined baking sheet. Place them an inch or so apart on the baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg and cold water together. Brush the top of each pretzel bite with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse salt.
- Bake until golden brown in color, 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter. Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce. Enjoy!
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie