Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites (Two Ways)
Surely I’m not the only who contemplates driving to the mall to get just to get pretzel bites. Someone tell me I’m not alone! However, I’d much rather save my money and bake up a batch of these super easy homemade soft pretzel bites! I’ve done a little research and I’ve adapted my soft pretzel recipe to be bite-size, slightly more crisp, and way more golden brown. It’s all in the method! And in case you haven’t noticed, I’ve got a salty version and a sweet one! Brace yourself :)
Don’t get intimidated when you look at the recipe. I know it’s kind of awkward and long, but I promise it’ll all make sense once I walk you through it! The very first thing you’re going to want to do is get your oven preheated to 450 degrees. That sounds pretty hot, but we want the pretzels to dry out and get nice and brown. Next, line a standard size baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat so your pretzels don’t stick! Once you’ve got those two things done, it’s time to get your hands dirty!
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add 3/4 cup of warm water. Sprinkle in a teaspoon of dry active yeast and allow it to dissolve for 2-3 minutes. When it’s nice and foamy add the brown sugar, melted butter and salt. With the mixing speed set on low add the flour a half cup at a time. When all of the flour is gone sprinkle in the cornstarch, switch to the dough hook attachment (or place dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 4 minutes), mix on low for 4 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow dough to rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil (about 8 cups total) and add 1/2 cup of baking soda (who knew that was the trick to getting awesome pretzel bites? It totally reminds me of bagels!). The water will be foamy but that will die down after a few minutes.
Divide dough into 6 equal size pieces. Roll each ball into a long rope, about 18-22 inches in length. I like to wet my hands a bit for this if my dough isn’t tacky. It really helps! Cut each of the ropes into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Place about 10 bites into the boiling water. Allow the bites to cook for about 30 seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon or spider. Place them on the prepared baking sheet.
Now, if you want to make salted pretzel bites, brush them with the egg wash and salt immediately. Place them in the oven and bake them for about 8-10 minutes or until the bites are golden brown, just make sure to watch them so they don’t burn! If you want to do the sweet cinnamon sugar version, you’ll do the same thing, except when they come out of the oven, dip the tops in some melted butter and then into the cinnamon sugar mixture. If you want to can return them to the oven for a few minutes but that’s totally optional. And that’s it! Easy right?
These homemade pretzel bites are perfect for dunking in a spicy cheese sauce, a sweet cream cheese dip or eating plain! They were a huge hit at our house- I’m sure you’ll love them too!
- ¾ c. warm water
- 1 tsp. dry active yeast
- 2 c. + 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. butter, melted
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 8 c. water
- ½ c. baking soda
- 1 egg lightly beaten + 1 tbsp. cold water
- 1 tsp. coarse sea salt
- 2 tbsp. sugar + 1½ tsp. sugar & 2 tbsp. melted butter
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees, line one baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat mat, set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add warm water. Sprinkle yeast and allow to dissolve for 2-3 minutes. Add brown sugar, butter and salt. With mixing speed on low add the flour a half cup at a time. When all of the flour is gone sprinkle in the cornstarch, switch to the dough hook attachment (or place dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 4 minutes), mix on low for 4 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow dough to rest for 5 minutes.
- Divide dough into 6 equal size pieces. Roll each ball into a long rope, about about ½" wide. I like to wet my hands a bit for this if my dough isn’t tacky. It helps! Cut 1½" pieces.
- Place 10 bites into a pot with boiling water and baking soda. Allow the bites to cook for about 30 seconds, then remove and place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with egg wash and salt immediately (if doing salted). Place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until the bites are golden brown, just watch them so they don't burn! If doing the cinnamon sugar version, immediately dip the tops of the bites into the melted butter and then into the cinnamon sugar mixture.
-For a quick and easy spicy cheddar sauce: Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium size skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk until it bubbles. Add 1 cup of whole milk or half and half, continue whisking. to the skillet and continue whisking. Turn heat to medium high and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Sprinkle in ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper. Add a grated 8 oz. block of medium or sharp cheddar cheese that has been tossed in 2 teaspoons of cornstarch. Whisk until nice and smooth.
-This recipe can easily be doubled.
Recipe source: Life Made Simple, method adapted from Epicurious