Easy homemade pretzel bites brushed with melted butter and sea salt. This easy pretzel recipe makes the perfect appetizer or snack! Always a big crowd pleaser and gone in minutes!
Although making homemade bread may seem intimidating, it doesn’t have to be! These easy pretzel bites are a great starting point for beginners because they don’t need to rise and are baked in under an hour. They are definitely worth giving a try!
These homemade pretzel bites are the perfect game day appetizer! You won’t believe how easy these are to make. I remember watching a show on the cooking channel last year where they made homemade pretzels and it has been on my list ever since. I’m always craving “mall pretzels” daily!
I specifically remember them saying the “baking soda wash” and “egg wash” were the most important steps when making homemade pretzels. This helps the dough turn into the chewy goodness that is found in a store bought pretzel.
The best part about this pretzel bites recipe is that they are made in less than an hour! They do involve a bit of work… but they are definitely worth it. They are so so good. I can’t wait to make them again and again!
How do you make pretzel bites?
Pretzel bites may seem intimidating to make, but they are so worth it! And these homemade pretzels are made in under an hour…win! Just follow the steps below to get started.
- Proof the yeast. Add warm water and yeast in a bowl and let sit for 3 to 5 minutes. Then stir in salt and sugar.
- Knead the dough. Add the flour in a separate large bowl. Then pour yeast mixture on top and knead with a bread hook in an electric mixer (or by hand) for about 5 minutes. The dough should be soft and no longer sticking to the sides.
- Cut into pieces. Separate the dough into 6 sections and then roll each section into ropes. Each rope should be about 15-20 inches long and 1 inch thick. Using scissors, cut the ropes into 1 1/2 – 2 inch pieces. You should end up with about 25-30 pretzel pieces.
- Optional: Cut a “t” or “x” on the top of the pretzel with scissors to help them expand uniformly.
- Boil pretzels in baking soda mixture. In a small pan, bring water and baking soda to a boil. Place about 8 pieces of dough into the water for about 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place the pieces onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Brush with egg wash. Brush the dough lightly with the whisked egg and sprinkle salt on top.
- Bake in oven. Bake at 425°F for 8-10 minutes, or until the pretzels are golden brown. You can turn the oven to broil for the last minute to brown the tops. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Brush tops with melted butter if desired.
Dips for serving
These pretzel bites pair perfectly with so many delicious dips! We serve them with cheese dipping sauce (Trader Joe’s has a good queso I like when I need something quick) quite frequently, but they also taste great with the dips below:
- Slow cooker queso blanco
- Queso dip with chorizo
- Spinach artichoke dip
- Buffalo chicken dip
- White bean hummus
- Slow cooker cheesy bacon dip
- Smoked Italian cheese dip
Tips for success
- The texture of the dough should be soft and no longer sticking to the sides of your bowl. If it’s still really sticky, add 1/4 cup flour at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
- I’d recommend cutting an “x” on top of the dough pieces before baking. This gives the pretzel bites a direction to expand. Without that, they wouldn’t be uniform.
- Don’t skip the baking soda and egg wash! This is what gives them that wonderful chewy (but soft!), pretzel-like texture.
- Although the dough doesn’t need to rise, feel free to let it sit in the bowl for 15-20 minutes before cutting. This will create a fluffier texture and may increase their size a little.
- Once the pretzel bites are baked and out of the oven, brush some melted butter on top. It adds the perfect touch!
Cinnamon sugar version
As if this recipe could get any more delicious – try this cinnamon sugar pretzel bites variation for a yummy dessert! Bake the pretzels (without the salt topping) until they are golden brown. Once cooked, roll them in melted butter and then roll the tops and sides in the cinnamon sugar mixture (1/2 cup sugar + 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon).
FAQ’s for homemade pretzel bites
How long do soft pretzels last? I personally think these pretzel bites are best within the first 2 hours. If you have leftovers, I would store in the freezer vs. refrigerator. They tend to get a little soggy when stored in a bag in the refrigerator.
Can you freeze them? Yes, just place them in a freezer bag and store in the freezer. You can heat them back up in the microwave (20-30 seconds) or in the oven until warm.
Is active dry yeast the same as instant yeast? Pretty much! The two yeasts can be used interchangeably when baking, however active dry yeast needs to be mixed with water so that it can dissolve and instant yeast does not.
Why do you put baking soda in water when making pretzels? The baking soda wash helps to give them that chewy, pretzel-like texture.
Can I use baking powder instead of baking soda? Yes, but make sure to use 2-3 times more baking powder (so about 1 cup of baking powder for this recipe).
Mmm…now I’m craving homemade pretzels! They are perfect right out of the oven. Definitely add these babies to the must make list. Enjoy!
More game day appetizers:
Pretzel Bites Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 packet active yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 4 cups flour
- 1/3 cup baking soda (for boiling water)
- 1 egg , whisked
- coarse salt (or kosher or sea salt)
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small bowl, add warm water and yeast. Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes. Add salt and sugar and stir.
- In a large bowl, add flour and then pour yeast mixture over top. Knead with bread hook in your mixer or by hand for about 5 minutes.
- Separate dough into 6 sections. Roll dough into ropes about 15-20 inches long and 1 inch thick. Cut with scissors into 1 1/2 – 2 inch pieces. This should make about 25-30 pretzel pieces. Optional: cut a “t” or “x” on the top of the pretzel with scissors.
- In a small pan, bring about 8 cups water + 1/3 cup baking soda to a boil. Once water is boiling, place about 8 pieces of dough into the water for about 30 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon and place pretzel bites onto baking sheet. Brush dough lightly with egg and sprinkle salt on top.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. You can turn the oven to broil for the last minute to brown the tops. Remove pretzel bites to a cooling rack and brush tops with melted butter if desired.
- Enjoy homemade pretzels with your favorite cheese sauce.