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Pretzel Bites

Making homemade pretzel bites is surprisingly easy. All you need is a few simple ingredients and a little bit of time. I’ve got step-by-step instructions and photos so you can enjoy warm, oven-fresh, homemade pretzel bites anytime!

Pretzel Bites on a white plate with a bowl of beer cheese dip

Homemade Pretzel Bites

I’m going to let you in on a wonderful baking secret. Pretzel bites are really easy to make! Seriously, I think you’ll be surprised at how easily you can have these bite-size treats ready for the oven.

The dough is made with a short list of ingredients, and it mixes and handles easily. To give the pretzel bites their signature chewy texture and distinctive color, they spend a short stint boiling in a baking soda water solution and then it’s time for the oven!

When you’re ready to serve your homemade pretzel bites, you’ll definitely want something fantastic for dipping. I’ve included two homemade options for you below – an easy beer cheese dip and a simple honey mustard dip.

These chewy, soft pretzel bites are a great snack to serve at parties or get-togethers. And they’re always a favorite for game day, too. As easy as they are to make, they’re sure to become a regular addition to your entertaining menus!

overhead view of ingredients for Pretzel Bites

What You’ll Need

See the recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full instructions. Here are some notes about the ingredients you’ll need to make pretzel bites.

  • All-purpose flour – For best results, measure by weight. If you don’t yet have a digital kitchen scale, use the spoon and sweep method to approximate that accuracy. Learn more: How to Measure Flour
  • Instant yeast – Using instant yeast (or quick-rise or rapid yeast) helps make this recipe quick and easy.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Salt
  • Water – You’ll need some water for the dough as well as for boiling the pretzels before baking.
  • Butter – Use melted butter in the dough and also to brush the pretzels when they come out of the oven.
  • Baking soda – Use this to make a baking soda bath for briefly boiling the pretzels.
  • Eggs
  • Coarse salt – A coarse sea salt or a large-flake kosher salt works well for topping the freshly baked pretzels.

How to Make Pretzel Bites

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients and tools, these pretzel bites come together surprisingly fast!

overhead view of flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and water in the bowl of a stand mixer

Mix the dough

Make the pretzel dough. Mix the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, 1 cup warm water (105° to 115°F), and 3 tablespoons melted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until well-combined. (I like to use a dough hook attachment.) The dough will be soft and smooth.

Let the dough rest. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a towel, and allow to rest for 1 hour. The dough won’t double in size but will become puffy.

overhead view of pretzel dough in a white mixing bowl

Prepare for baking. Heat the oven to 475°F. Line a half sheet pan with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper that’s rated for high temperatures.

Prepare the baking soda water. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Slowly add the baking soda to the boiling water, stirring until dissolved. Adding the baking soda slowly is very important so the water doesn’t boil over.

Portion, shape, and boil

Portion the dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Divide into eight equal portions, shape into balls, and then roll each portion into a rope about 12 inches long. Cut each of those ropes into 1-inch pieces. A sharp knife or a bench scraper works well for dividing the dough.

Place the dough in the baking soda water. Slowly add the dough pieces to the baking soda water. You may need to do this in a few batches so it’s not too crowded. Leave the pretzels in the water for 30 seconds.

Place the pretzels on the pan. Use a slotted spoon, tongs, or a spider strainer to remove the pretzels from the water. Place them on the prepared baking sheet. They don’t need much space between them, but take care that they aren’t touching. If needed, use a second baking pan.

Add an egg wash. Lightly beat the eggs, and then lightly brush each piece of dough with the egg wash. You won’t use all of the egg wash.

Bake and finish

Bake. Place the pan in the oven, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the pretzel bites are golden brown.

Finish the pretzel bites. Remove the pan from the oven, and brush the pretzels with melted butter and sprinkle each with salt.

overhead view of Pretzel Bites on a baking sheet

How to Make Beer Cheese Dipping Sauce

This easy cheese sauce is a great pairing with Pretzel Bites!

overhead view of ingredients for beer cheese dip

What You’ll Need

  • Unsalted butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Milk – I recommend whole milk or 2% milk for the best consistency.
  • Dijon mustard
  • Beer – If you prefer, you can use a nonalcoholic beer.
  • Sharp Cheddar cheese – For a lighter taste, substitute medium or mild Cheddar.
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder

How to Make

Begin mixing. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour, followed by the milk and beer. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

Add the cheese. Keep stirring as you add the cheese until it has melted.

Finish mixing. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and garlic, and mix until combined. If your dip seems too thick, you can add small amounts of beer until it’s the consistency you want.

How to Make Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

A classic honey mustard dip offers a bit of sweetness to serve alongside your pretzel bites.

overhead view of ingredients for honey mustard dipping sauce

What You’ll Need

  • Mayonnaise
  • Honey
  • Yellow mustard
  • Dijon mustard
  • Lemon juice

How to Make

Mix all the ingredients. Combine the mayonnaise, honey, both mustards, and lemon juice until thoroughly combined.

Chill. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

overhead view of Pretzel Bites served on a white platter with honey mustard dipping sauce and beer cheese dip

Tips for Success

  • Add the baking soda slowly. This is very important! If you add it all at once, the water is sure to boil over. Be sure to use a large pan that will allow room for boiling.
  • Serve with other sauces. If you don’t want to make these sauces or want to add some more variety when serving, there are lots of options. Try ranch, barbecue, spinach-artichoke, hummus, or anything else that sounds good to you!
  • Give them a cinnamon-sugar twist! After baking and brushing with butter, toss the pretzel bites in cinnamon sugar. Learn more: How to Make Cinnamon Sugar
Pretzel Bites on a baking sheet lined with a silicone liner

How to Store

After the pretzel bites have cooled, place them in an airtight container and store at room temperature up to 2 days. You can reheat leftover pretzels in the oven at 350°F for 5 minutes, and then brush with butter and coarse salt. 

The beer cheese dipping sauce can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days in the refrigerator. Rewarm on the stove top on low, add more beer to thin if needed.

The honey mustard dipping sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days.

How to Freeze Pretzel Bites

Place the cooled pretzel bites in a freezer-safe container. They should keep in the freezer up to a month. Thaw for an hour or so at room temperature. They can then be warmed in the oven at 350°F for a few minutes until warmed all the way through.

a pretzel bite being dipped into beer cheese dip

Pretzel Bites

Yield about 80 pieces
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

These delicious, chewy, flaky pretzel bites are surprisingly easy to make and not so surprisingly irresistible!

Pretzel Bites on a white plate with a bowl of beer cheese dip

Ingredients

  • 2 & 1/2 cups (300g) all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping the dough
  • 2 & 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (236ml) warm water
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 2-3 tablespoons more for brushing the baked pretzels
  • about 8 cups (1893ml) water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • about 2 tablespoons coarse salt

Instructions

  1. Combine the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, 1 cup warm water, and 3 tablespoons melted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached. Mix on medium to medium-high speed until a dough forms. This should take about 4 or 5 minutes. The dough will be soft and smooth.
  2. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a towel, and allow to rest for 1 hour. The dough won't double in size but will be slightly puffy.
  3. Preheat oven to 475°F. Line a half sheet pan with a silicone liner or parchment paper rated for high temperatures.
  4. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Very slowly add the baking soda.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Divide into 8 equal portions, and roll each portion into a rope about 12 inches long. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces. (The dough is quite elastic, so you may not get 12 pieces from each portion.)
  6. Add the pieces of dough one at a time to the baking soda water. Do this in a few batches so the pan doesn't become too crowded. Leave the dough in the water for 30 seconds.
  7. Remove the dough from the water using a slotted spoon, tongs, or a spider strainer. Place on the prepared pan, making sure the pieces aren't touching. (Use a second pan if needed.) Brush with the beaten egg.
  8. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the pretzel bites are golden brown.
  9. Remove the pan from the oven. Brush the pretzels with melted butter and sprinkle coarse salt over the top.

Notes

Store leftover pretzel bites in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat pretzels in the oven at 350°F for about 5 minutes.

To make beer cheese dip:

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, followed by 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup beer. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

Stir in 2 cups of shredded sharp Cheddar cheese. Then remove from the heat, and mix in 1/2 teaspoon each of Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and garlic powder. If the dip is too thick, add a small amount of beer at a time until it's the desired consistency.

To make honey mustard dip:

Mix together 2 cups mayonnaise, 6 tablespoons honey, 4 tablespoons yellow mustard, 2 & 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, and 1 & 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

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