Soft Pretzel Bites Recipe
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
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 4-4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Baking Soda Mixture
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- coarse salt
- melted butter
- 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
Do these freeze well so you can make ahead and then just boil and bake when up for pretzels?
These look yummy! Can I use whole wheat flour?
I actually haven’t tried freezing them because we never have any left to freeze! But my recommendation would be to bake them first, and then freeze. Then we you want to eat them, just reheat in the oven.
Yes definitely! I used half whole wheat and half all-purpose in one recipe that I made and they turned out delicious.
These don’t taste good with namaste flour
I have gluten free flour but not baking powder. Would using regular baking powder mess up the recipe? Thamks in advance!
No you can definitely use regular depending on your sensitivity to gluten. If you are not gluten intolerant, then definitely regular will work just great.
I don’t have any oil in my house but coconut. Would that work? Also what do you think about substituting the flour for spelt flour. Thanks!
Coconut oil will definitely work. I’m not sure how the spelt flour would turn out, but worth a try!
Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. It is indeed quite difficult to cook for kids who are allergic to various foods. But I still try to cook as many varieties as possible. I believe that my kids are going to love these soft pretzel bites 😀
HELP! I tried making these but failed at the dough! It comes out all crumbly and does not stick together. I am using GF flour . I am not using a standing mixer, is this why?
hi … just made this recipe for my daughter who is on very restricted diet due to severe food allergies … and they are delicious and most importantly she loves them ! ! Curious what dipping sauces you used and if they too were dairy free egg free soy free ?
We used a honey mustard and a bbq sauce. We like Brianna’s honey mustard and I believe it is dairy and egg free. We like trader joe’s bbq sauce and also it is dairy and egg free.
Hey. Ecstatic I found a GF, allergy friendly pretzel recipe. 🙂 My GF flour dsnt have Xantham/guar gum. Is this something I need to add & if so how much. 🙂
Hey. Ecstatic I found a GF, allergy friendly pretzel recipe. 🙂 My GF flour dsnt have Xantham/guar gum. Is this something I need to add & if so how much. 🙂
If the gluten-free flour you are using does not contain a binder (look on the ingredient label), then you’ll also need to add a binder. You can use xanthum gum or a flaxmeal slurrie: 1 part golden flaxmeal to 2 parts hot water
Yes I would add it. Add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum or guar gum per one cup of gluten-free flour used.
Can I use coconut flour? If so; will I need to add a binding agent as well? Thank you in advance 🙂
Thank you for being so mindful of children with allergies and sharing such recipes.
Thank you for being so mindful of children with allergies. It is greatly appreciated.
This recipe is hardly allergy free…. That’s like saying that you can just simply replace all purpose flour in any recipe and it will turn out fine. Gluten free and grain free baking are not that simple. I was excited to see an allergy free pretzel recipe, but this is not that. If you test this recipe with allergy free flours and come up with a combination that works out, then let us know. Otherwise you’re just luring people to your web address with false promises. We couldn’t eat this anyway with a yeast allergy in our house (again, not an allergy free recipe).
I have a yeast allergy as well, and was thinking the same thing!
I’m looking forward to trying these! I have a gluten allergy and my son has an allergy to peanuts and tree nuts. If anyone else has the same allergies, I always use Better Batter flour. It’s available online, can be expensive, but they often have great sales and it’s a cup for cup replacement for regular flour! Just wanted to share, since I know how difficult multiple allergies can be! Thanks for the recipe, I’m excited!
Believe it or not, my son has an allergy to oils. he has severe eczema and oils have a negative impact on his skin. Can i make this without oil? He is also dairy allergic so butter will not work either. Really desperate for anything here.
Quick active yeast has an MSG in it
These look delicious! But my daughter can’t have yeast! Any tips or substitutes?
Ppl can have an allergy to just about anything. I have one to Sorbitan Monostearate in the fast acting yeast. So in essence your correct. However, I think the point is that it covers the high majority of allergens.
Mine too and my GF flour mix contains xanthum gum.
Natalie- what flour mix did you use?
M – sorry you were offended by our recipe! We are a balanced site, and were just trying to hit the major allergies because we know how difficult it can be for parents. We are not allergy experts 🙂 Good luck to you.
Hi is there an alternative to yeast? As I can’t have yeast dairy and egg and these look amazing! I would love to be able to try them x
I finally made them & they came out absolutely delicious!!!!! I’m attempting to freeze some now for school & hoping they are still as soft when you reheat them.
I honestly haven’t baked much with coconut flour. When I have used it, I have not used a binding agent and it has turned out fine. Good luck!
Here is a great substitution baking guide: http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2014/08/ultimate-allergy-friendly-baking-guide.html
Good luck – it is really a challenge!
I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Flour. The link to what I used is in the post.
Mine was crumbly as well, but it formed into perfect little pretzel nuggets. :)!
Wow! This is a very useful page and I really enjoyed reading article and all users’ comments. BG Bakes is an online store which provides Gluten Free and Allergen Free products. We use high quality ingredients. Our customer’s health is our first priority. Thank you for sharing valuable information.
what type of oil do you suggest? Not a fan of coconutty tasting things. Thanks!
I love reading your recipes and appreciate all the hard work you put in to help out people with food allergies or just trying to eat healthier THANK YOU 🙂 🙂
Sorry, I followed this recipe exactly, but mine tasted horrible. Very yeasty. The texture was better than I thought it would be, but the taste… yuck.
Thanks, I’m going to try these for our corn/gluten free house!
Quick note: If you’re buying yeast for a corn allergic person, please use the Red Star regular yeast (NOT quick acting) in the white packets. All others I’ve found have preservatives or other ingredients derived from corn.
These are amazing! I too used the Bob’s all purpose gluten free flour. The dough was quite wet but after letting it rise a bit I just scooped it into the booking water with a spoon and it worked amazingly! Thanks for the wonderful recipe!
So glad you liked them!!
These look yummy but I am failing to see how they could have 11g of fiber and 12g of protein. I would love to be wrong though! Not sayin I won’t make them 🙂
With the food industry overloading us with so much salt I am wondering how much salt is in each pretzel?
So, I’m currently trying to make these and having trouble with the recipe. I’m following it exactly, and couldn’t get the dough to come together. It was a sandy crumbly mess. I used 1c water and 3.5 cups of GF flour exactly as it states. Then the oil. It states 1/4 tbsp, which is tricky, but could mean 3/4 tsp. I probably should have clarified that up front, but wound up using the 3/4 tsp.
I wound up having to add almost another full cup of water, maybe closer to 1/2-3/4 just to get it to form a ball (that isn’t sticky).
My ingredients are all fresh (purchased this morning).
I am not holding out much hope at this point for this recipe, which is disappointing, bc having wheat, rye, barley, corn and dairy allergies, I was really hoping to recreate a soft pretzel for my daughter.
Any advice on the issues i’m having?
I just wanted to note that You need to use a corn free baking powder to make these corn free. Or You can substitute 1 teaspoon of baking powder with 1 teaspoon of cider vinegar and a quarter teaspoon of baking soda!
Thanks for the tip!
Bobs Red Mill is known to be heavily cros contaminated with corn. So tread lightly if that’s the flour you choose to use and have a corn allergy.
7/2 cups of flour?
3/2 Tablespoons of baking Soda
Can you clarify how much of these ingredients
Hi Christina, sorry about that! Yes, we’re having a technical issue with our recipe plugin today. We’re working on fixing it now. Thanks for your patience!
I made these today and they were delicious. My entire family lived them.
Hi. I am attempting to make these and the measurements seem off. I am using a stand mixer and when I followed the directions I had a completely dry mix in the bowl. I added more water and oil till it formed a dough. Wondering what I may have done wrong!! I’m hopeful they turn out okay ???
I just made this recipe last week and it turned out great! I hope it turned out good for you!
Can I use self-raising flour instead of normal flour? TIA. xo
We wouldn’t recommend using self-rising flour because of the extra leavening ingredients. 🙂
These are labeled “corn free” but baking powder and most GF flours have corn products. Do you have specific brands you recommend? I have a corn allergy and am super sensitive. Also allergic to Rice. I’ve been experimenting with Cassava Flour, Quinoa Flour, Psyllium Husk Powder.
Bob’s Red Mill has a paleo baking flour that is corn and gluten free. They have a baking powder as well. Good luck!
I was so excited to try this recipe but it was very disappointing. My flour DID have xanthum gum included in it but the dough still refused to form a ball. After adding more water and I could form a ball, but could not roll it as instructed. It just kept crumbling. The final product was OK warm , but awful once they cooled. Thick and hard. Not soft at all.
This was not a very good recipe for the namaste flower. It came out all crumbly and we had to add about another cup of water before we got it to work
These aren’t corn free. Baking powder contains ‘corn’ starch. You need to use arrowroot.
Just tried to make this and it did not form a dough at all, just stayed a floury consistency. I see this happened to some others as well. Anyone have any suggestions?
You might have better luck using weight for the flour. Also, instead of using the amount called for, add 2 1/2 cups and gradually add more if needed.