Pretzel Bites are the perfect after school snacks, game day appetizers, and popcorn replacement for movie nights. The outside of each pretzel is golden brown and chewy, while the inside is soft and fluffy.
Making soft pretzel bites at home is easier than you think. I use my easy milk bread dough in this recipe for super soft and tasty pretzel bites that will disappear as soon as you put them on the table.
Ingredients you need for pretzel bites
For the dough
- Heavy cream – I like to use heavy cream in my milk bread dough for added fat and the extra milky flavor.
- Whole milk – I prefer whole milk but 2% milk will also work in this recipe.
- Sugar – you’ll need a little bit of sugar to activate the yeast and to add just a little bit of sweetness to the dough.
- Active dry yeast – the yeast will help the dough rise and make it fluffy.
- Flour – all-purpose flour or bread flour will work in this recipe.
- Salt – if you like saltier pretzels, you can add more salt, but it’s probably not necessary since we will add coarse salt on top of the pretzel bites before baking.
What is a lye solution?
Traditionally, pretzels are dipped into a lye solution before baking to create that characteristic chewy pretzel crust. Lye is a strong alkali that can be dangerous if not handled properly, and it’s probably not something most of us would have in our pantry.
What is a substitute for lye solution?
Baking soda and water is an easy substitute for lye solution and will yield similar results. Also, baking soda is something you probably already have at home or can readily find at the grocery store during your next shopping trip.
How to make pretzel bites:
- Activate the yeast in a warm mixture of cream, milk, and sugar. Be sure to keep the temperature of the mixture at or below 110°F so you don’t kill the yeast.
- Mix the yeast mixture with flour and salt. Form a ball and allow it to rise until at least double in size.
- Divide the dough in 4 equal portions and roll into logs about 12” long. Cut each log into 12 pieces. This batch of dough makes about 4 dozen pretzel bites.
- Boil pretzel bites in baking soda water and set them on a wire rack to allow excess water to drain off.
- Transfer the pretzel bites on a lined baking sheet, brush with egg wash, sprinkle with coarse salt, and bake until golden brown.
What to serve these pretzel bites with
The most common way to serve pretzel bites is with a yellow mustard dip, but if you want to be adventurous, I recommend serving them with fancy dips like these:
Storing pretzel bites
These pretzel bites taste best fresh out of the oven on the day they are made, but leftovers will keep for 3 days at room temperature in an airtight container.
More bite-size appetizers you’ll love!
- Classic Deviled Eggs
- Buffalo Cauliflower
- Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball Bites
- Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
- Mini Pigs in a Blanket
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- Extra flour for rolling
Baking soda water for boiling
- 2 cup water
- 2 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 whole egg
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
- Coarse salt for topping
- Add cream, milk and sugar to a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool down to below 110°F.
- Sprinkle active dry yeast over the liquid surface and let it bloom for 10 - 15 minutes, the mixture should puff up.
- Add the flour and salt to a stand mixer bowl and stir to distribute. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and knead with the dough hook on speed 2 until the dough comes together.
- Scrape the dough out of the mixing bowl onto a floured countertop and shape into a ball.
- Place the dough ball into an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 1 - 2 hours until at least double in size.
- Dump the risen dough out onto a lightly floured countertop, divide into 4 equal portions and roll each into a log about 10” to 12” long. Cut each log into 10 to 12 pieces about 1” each. You can keep the dough on a floured countertop or a parchment-lined baking sheet, keep them apart so they don’t stick together.
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan, turn the heat down and add baking soda to the boiling water a little at a time, it will bubble vigorously, allow the bubbles to subside before adding more so it doesn’t boil over. Once all the baking soda is added, give it a stir and bring the baking soda water back to a simmer.
- Grease a wire rack with oil and set it over a large baking sheet.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer a few pieces of dough into the simmering baking soda water and let it boil for 10 seconds. Remove the dough and set it on the oiled wire rack to drain the excess water. Continue to boil the rest of the pretzel bites and set them on the wire rack. If you run out of space on the wire rack, wait to boil the second batch when the first batch goes into the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Beat one egg with a tablespoon of whole milk to make egg wash.
- Use a tong, carefully with a light hand, to transfer the boiled pretzel bites from the wire rack onto a lined baking sheet. You will need to bake in two batches. Brush egg wash over the top and sides of the dough. Sprinkle some coarse salt on top and bake for 10 - 12 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 - 10 minutes before serving.