These soft pretzel bites are small pretzel bites. They are homemade and have great flavor. They are also paired with a nacho cheese sauce. These bites have the perfect pretzel flavor and chewy texture of full homemade pretzels in a convenient bite size.
These soft pretzel bites are the best way to wow your guests if you have a party or big game day. They make for the perfect appetizer, and are always the first thing to be eaten. This homemade soft pretzel bites recipe is an obvious choice if you want your guests coming back for more!
Why This Recipe Works
- Bite sized- These buttery soft pretzel bites are hard to put down! You will want to keep eating bite after bite since each one is such a convenient bite size.
- Homemade pretzel- There is nothing better than the taste of a homemade pretzel fresh out of the oven. These pretzel bites bring that perfect snack in a convenient bite size form.
- Cheese sauce- This delicious cheese sauce is the perfect dipping sauce for these pretzel bites. It is popular every time.
Here are some notes on the ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Warm water- The water for the yeast needs to be 110°F. If it is too hot it can kill the yeast. If it is too cold it can slow down the yeast activation.
- Active dry yeast- I used 1 packet of yeast. This is the same thing as instant yeast. Do not use fast rise yeast.
- Pretzel salt- Pretzel salt is just a very coarse salt. Try not to use too fine of salt or it will not give the right texture and will be very easy to make it too salty.
- Sharp cheddar- I think sharp cheddar gives the best flavor, but you can use a medium cheddar if you don't have sharp. It will have a more mild flavor.
Step By Step Instructions - Pretzel Dough
Here is how to make the pretzel dough.
STEP 1: Activate yeast. Add warm water (110°F) to a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let it rest for 10 minutes to activate.
STEP 2: Combine ingredients. Add the all purpose flour, brown sugar, salt, melted butter, and water yeast mixture to a large bowl you will use with your mixer.
STEP 3: Knead dough. Use a stand mixer with dough hook attachment to mix the dough on low speed until a dough starts to form. Then, turn it to medium speed and let it knead for 5 minutes.
Note: If you are kneading by hand, see the instructions in the recipe notes section.
STEP 4: Dough rise. Preheat your oven to 200°F. Meanwhile, spray a large mixing bowl with nonstick spray. Place the dough into the bowl and cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Place the bowl into the oven and turn it off. Leave the oven door cracked open and let the dough rise for 30 minutes.
STEP 5: Roll and cut. Take the dough out of the bowl and split it into 6 equal pieces. Take each piece and roll it into a log or rope about 18-20 inches long. Note that the dough may stick to the counter while rolling and spring back to a smaller size when picked up, so pick it up before measuring. Cut each rope into 2 inch pieces.
Step By Step Instructions - Bake Pretzel Bites and Cheese Sauce
Here is how to prepare and bake the pretzel bites.
STEP 1: Prep. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with nonstick spray to prevent your pretzel bites from sticking to it.
STEP 2: Boil pretzels. Pour the water and baking soda in a large pot. Put it over high heat until it is boiling. Place about 10 pretzel bites (depending on pot size) in the boiling water. Let it boil for 15 seconds. Then, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water letting as much of the water drip off the dough as possible.
STEP 3: Repeat. Place the boiled pretzel bites on a baking sheet with parchment paper and continue boiling batches until they are all done. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
STEP 4: Egg wash. Mix egg and water together to make an egg wash. Use a pastry brush to brush the wash over the pretzel bites. Then, top them with pretzel salt (coarse salt).
STEP 5: Bake. Bake one baking sheet at a time for 12-18 minutes. They are done when all of the pretzels are golden brown. While they are baking, begin the cheese sauce.
STEP 6: Prep cheese and butter. Shred the sharp cheddar cheese and set it aside. Use a medium saucepan on medium heat to melt the butter.
STEP 7: Add flour and cook. Add flour to the melted butter. Use a whisk to mix it in, then keep whisking as it cooks for 1 minute.
STEP 8: Combine and thicken. Slowly add the milk and whisk it in. Once the flour mixture and milk are combined add the shredded cheese, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Heat it for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cheese is melted and it thickens slightly.
Expert Baking Tips
- When rolling the dough into 20 inch logs it is easy to get uneven lumps. If you notice it is not rolling out evenly you can roll starting with both hands over the thickest part slowly pulling them apart as you roll. Do this until the thicker parts match the rest of the log.
- Once you have rolled your dough logs out you can put them in any shape you want. Instead of cutting them into bites you could make classic pretzel shapes, pretzel hearts, or anything else you want!
- I highly recommend the cheese sauce, but you can substitute out any dipping sauces for your pretzels. They are also good with cinnamon sugar or chocolate for a sweet version!
- The baking soda bath is what gives pretzels their distinctive flavor and their pretzel crust.
Yes, you can make these into full sized pretzels by not cutting them into 2 inch sections and instead folding the 6 logs into pretzels. You place the dough log in a U shape. Then, twist then ends around each other twice. Fold the ends down across the bottom of the U, and you have a classic pretzel! Follow the rest of the instructions the same as for bites.
Yes, you can use dairy free butter to make these into dairy free pretzel bites.
Yes! You simply need to brush them in butter and then coat them in cinnamon sugar after they are done baking.
Storing and Freezing
You can store these soft pretzel bites in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat them place them in the oven until they are hot.
I do not recommend freezing the soft pretzel bites. They will not retain their quality well when frozen.
Other Bread Recipes To Try
Soft Pretzel Bites
Soft Pretzel Bites
- 1 ½ cups Warm water warmed to 110℉
- 2 ¼ teaspoon Active dry yeast 1 packet
- 1 tablespoon Brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon Salt
- 4 cups All-purpose flour
- ¼ cup Unsalted butter melted
- 6-8 cups Water
- ½ cup Baking soda
- Pretzel salt
- 1 Large egg egg wash
- 1 tablespoon Water egg wash
Nacho Cheese Sauce
- 8 oz Sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- ¼ cup Unsalted butter
- ¼ cup All-purpose flour
- 2 cups Milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ teaspoon Red pepper flakes Optional
Soft Pretzel Bites
- In a small bowl, add the warm water (warm it to 110℉) add the yeast. Let it rest for 10 minutes.1 ½ cups Warm water, 2 ¼ teaspoon Active dry yeast
- In a large bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, salt, melted butter, warmed water/yeast mixture.1 tablespoon Brown sugar, 2 teaspoon Salt, 4 cups All-purpose flour, ¼ cup Unsalted butter
- Using a stand mixer with a dough hook, mix on low speed until a dough starts to form. Turn to medium speed and knead for 5 minutes. For making by hand instructions see notes.
- Preheat the oven to 200℉. Spray a large bowl lightly with nonstick spray. Place the dough into the bowl. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel. Place the bowl into the oven, turn off the oven, and crack open the door. Let it rise for 30 minutes.
- Take the dough out of the bowl. Split the dough into 6. Take each ⅙th of the dough roll into a log or a rope about 18-20 inches long. Cut into 2 inch pieces.
- Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. It is important to spray the parchment paper with nonstick spray. Otherwise the bites will stick.
- Pour water and baking soda into a large pot. Heat on high heat until boiling. Place about 10 pretzel bites (depending on how large your pot is) in the boiling water. Let the boil for 15 seconds. Then, remove the bites out of the water by using a slotted spoon. Try to let as much water as you can drip off the dough.6-8 cups Water, ½ cup Baking soda
- Place the boiled bites on the parchment paper. Repeat until all the bites are boiled. Preheat the oven to 400℉
- Mix the egg and water together. Use a pastry brush, to brush the bites with the egg wash. Top with pretzel salt (coarse salt).Pretzel salt, 1 Large egg, 1 tablespoon Water
- Bake one cookie sheet at a time. Bake for 12-18 minutes. Bake until the pretzels are golden brown. While the pretzels are cooking, make the cheese sauce.
Nacho Cheese Sauce
- Shred the sharp cheddar cheese. Set aside. In a medium sauce pot, add the butter. Heat on medium heat until melted.8 oz Sharp cheddar cheese, ¼ cup Unsalted butter
- Add in the flour, Use a whisk to mix until combined. Keep whisking and let it cook for 1 minute.¼ cup All-purpose flour
- Slowly add in the milk. Whisk in the milk. Once the flour mixture is mixed into the milk, add in the shredded cheese, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Heat for 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and it slightly thickens.2 cups Milk, Salt and pepper to taste, ¼ teaspoon Red pepper flakes