Chewy Pretzel Bites

Listen, I make a lot of bread. We all know that. And I’m not shy about my love for carbs.

But these pretzel bites are hands down the most ethereal, glorious little morsels I have ever eaten. I’ve made the classic pretzel version a million times but they don’t hold a candle in chewy softness to these pretzel bites.

We ate these for dinner one night, dipped in this (heaven help me!) and with a little spinach and fruit smoothie on the side so I didn’t feel so guilty about the carb overload. I ate more than my age in pretzel bites and that is about all I’ll admit. And needless to say, my kids looooved them. See below the recipe for a few step-by-step photos since I changed the recipe method a bit to accommodate the change from loopy pretzels to bites.

Chewy Pretzel Bites

One Year Ago: Smoked Turkey Brie and Apple Panini
Two Years Ago: Loaded Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Three Years Ago: Macadamia Crusted Chicken with Mango Salsa

Chewy Pretzel Bites

Yield: Makes about 2 dozen pretzel bites

Chewy Pretzel Bites

Note: if using active dry yeast, increase the yeast to 1 tablespoon. Proof the yeast in the warm water and sugar (let it bubble and foam – maybe about 5 minutes) before adding it to the flour and salt. I often use half to 3/4 finely ground white whole wheat flour with good results - and sometimes I get crazy and use 100% whole wheat flour (always finely ground white wheat) but the bread is a bit more dense with 100% whole wheat flour. If using part or all whole wheat flour, add a few minutes to the kneading time to help develop the gluten.

Ingredients

    Dough:
  • 2 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) very warm water
  • Topping:
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) warm water
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • Coarse salt (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

  1. In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Mix to just combine. Add the water and mix well, adding more flour, as needed, a bit at a time to form a soft, smooth dough that clears the sides and bottom of the bowl. Knead the dough, by hand or machine, for about 5 minutes, until it is soft, smooth and quite slack. The goal is to get a really soft dough that isn’t overly sticky. Lightly flour the dough and place it in a plastic bag; close the bag, leaving room for the dough to expand, and let it rest for 30 minutes or up to 60 minutes.
  2. Preheat your oven to 500°F. Don’t be afraid of the high heat! This is what will help those pretzels to brown up perfectly and stay soft on the inside. Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or lightly greasing them (I’ve learned it helps to coat the parchment paper with cooking spray).
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into about four strips of equal length. Allow the pieces to rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes. While the dough is resting, combine the 1/2 cup warm water and the baking soda in a liquid measuring cup (deep enough to dip the pretzel bites into). Make sure the baking soda is thoroughly dissolved. Sometimes I have a hard time getting the baking soda completely dissolved, so I just lightly stir up the mixture right before adding each pretzel.
  4. Cut each strip of dough into about 6-8 pieces, about 1 to 1 ½ inches in width. You don’t have to be completely exact, just eyeball it. Dip each pretzel bite in the baking soda solution (this will give the pretzels a nice, golden-brown color), and place them on the baking sheets. Sprinkle them lightly with coarse, kosher, or pretzel salt. Allow them to rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  5. Bake the pretzels for 7-8 minutes or until they’re golden brown. Bake one sheet at a time – it won’t hurt the other pretzels to chill out for a little longer.
  6. Remove the pretzels from the oven, and brush them thoroughly with the melted butter. Keep brushing the butter on until you’ve used it all up; it may seem like a lot, but that’s what gives these pretzels their ethereal taste. Eat the pretzels warm, or reheat them in an oven or microwave on low heat.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/chewy-pretzel-bites/

Recipe Source: adapted from this version

*Click on the collage below to see a larger view. A new browser window will open with the step-by-step pictures. Click on the image again in the new browser (your mouse should be a magnifying glass) to make it even larger.

162 Responses to Chewy Pretzel Bites

  1. Karen U says:

    How about brushing the pretzel bites with butter before baking? Or brushing them with butter and sprinkling them with sugar/cinnamon and have a sweet nugget (can you say “breakfast”?). Garlic butter, sneaking a chocolate chip or two in the middle of the dough? My mind is spinning with possibilities. Thanks!

  2. Trooppetrie says:

    Oh man this looks like something I have to try today

  3. I am so making these today. Thanks for the great recipe!

  4. Becky says:

    So excited to make these today as we prepare for the blizzard coming (to Milwaukee). Thanks!

  5. Oh my goodness. I think these could be my kryptonite. They look heavenly!!

  6. Looks awesome! I’ve had these on my “to make” list for a long time now.

  7. Erica says:

    Does anyone know how many of the “packages of yeast” make up 2 1/4 tsp?

  8. Kim in MD says:

    Erica- I believe that one package equals 2 1/4 tsp.

    These look amazing, Melanie! I love the step-by-step tutorial! You make these look so easy! :-)

  9. Kelli B says:

    Ok, I’m a complete yeast retard. I love your recipes but can not find “instant” yeast here, just active and rapid. What/how much of the active would I use in this? Pleasssssssseeeeeeeee I’m dying to make them lol

  10. briarrose says:

    Wow those looks good. I’m not sure I could apply the moderation rule to them. ;) Dive in!

  11. Angie Walker says:

    Soft pretzels? My weakness!! I have got to try these.

  12. Jessica says:

    Pretzels in hot chorizo and cheese dip…now I’m getting the picture. I’ve wanted to make pretzels for so long for my kids, and these look super do-able. Thanks for the tutorial!

  13. Natalie Berger says:

    I’m not as bummed about being snowed in anymore! Thanks. These look fantastic.

  14. Valerie says:

    These look just amazing, I can’t wait to try them!

  15. These look great! I am going to have to try these. I like that you don’t have to boil the dough.

  16. Jessica says:

    You & I are a match made in Heaven… Carb Heaven! I think I will have to make these for my Super Bowl party this weekend. Thanks, Mel!

  17. I love pretzels! I am definitely going to have to try these!

  18. Tina says:

    Oh. my. goodness. I think you are soooo trying to sabotage my diet today! I love your recipes and your great tutorials!

  19. Hillary Collette says:

    I have been reading your blog for almost now and all I have to say is thank you. Every recipe I have tried (which have been MANY) have been keepers and landed right in my permanant collection. Your hard work and good taste are much appreciated! Thank you thank you!

  20. oh yum! i really need to get working on experimenting with yeast!!

  21. Joanne says:

    I’ve done pretzel rolls before and they are also true revelations. Putting them in bite form…sounds dangerous. And delicious.

  22. Katie says:

    Look good I already have batch rising in the kitchen.

  23. Shanna says:

    Snow day here in Texas! :P These were a perfect snack to make for the kids! They were delicious!!!

  24. Kara Larson says:

    I am so making these today! Not only are we going to be snowed in by tomorrow but I have a sick child at home (again) I love my carbs, especially when they come in this form…. snacks!

  25. Kari says:

    Snow day here too in Ohio, we loved them! Thanks!!

  26. Becky says:

    Just got done making and eating these. They were wonderful. I am afraid that I might eat all of them and not have any to share with my husband for later.

  27. Lindsey says:

    Just finished making these and they are just as good as you say! Although, in the future I will NOT let the 2 and the 4 yr old help so much with the salting :) For those who don’t have instant yeast, I didn’t have any either. I just proofed the yeast in the warm water, added the sugar, salt, and flour and followed the recipe from there. Worked great! Thanks for sharing!

  28. Anna says:

    These are happening at my house this afternoon. Thanks so much for posting!

  29. Sonya says:

    Your pretzels are the most requested afternoon snack in my house. Last year I started making them in bites and the kids love them. The recipe is so quick it’s my go to recipe for summer pool days.

  30. Could I make the dough in the bread machine? What do you think?

  31. Jenn says:

    Made them. Delicious. If only I had the ingredients for the chorizo dip my afternoon would have been complete.

    Another winner! Thank you.

  32. Jen M says:

    I am dying to make these…it will happen SOON–like tonight or tomorrow if I have anything to say about it! Oh, and I think I may try making a few of them coated in cinnamon sugar just to see how they taste.

  33. Alisa says:

    Thank you for the photos, that is really helpful. I cant wait to try this soon.

  34. Tiffany says:

    I know what I’m making with my kids tomorrow on our snow day! These look DELISH!!!

  35. Veronica says:

    I don’t know if I ever told you I made those pretzels and we LOVED them but I made them so ugly, they almost looked like…something not edible that I won’t put a name to. :) I bet I could handle the bites, though! Must try.

  36. Janel says:

    We are snowed in and the girls and I made these for dinner with a salad – and your idea of smoothies . . . what a fun way to be stranded in the house! They were delicious and even my husband, who doesn’t normally like non-traditional dinners LOVED them. Thanks!

  37. CaSaundra says:

    Perfect Super Bowl snack–heck, it’d be perfect for any kind of snack, any day–yum!!! And it’d go great with so many dips–now you’ve got me thinking!

  38. Kelly says:

    Yummm! We always get these when we go to the movies – with parmesan cheese and nacho cheese dip. Can’t wait to try making them at home some night!

  39. Michelle says:

    Why is it that I’ve just now found your website? Your recipes are amazing and I can’t wait to try the pretzel bites this weekend! Yumm-O!

  40. Cammee says:

    My mom makes the best soft pretzels. I have never made them (she lives just down the street and calls us when they come out of the oven. Why mess with that?). It would be funny if I could put hers to shame :). My daughter is having a Super Bowl party here, I think a big old batch of these and your dip would be perfect!

  41. Lisa says:

    I cannot wait to make theses…I think I’ll make them today. Just 2 days ago I was literally thinking I need to find a good pretzel bite recipe; that was after I was thinking of running to the mall to by some from the pretzel venue. So excited!

  42. Megan says:

    This is definitely going into my delicious bookmarks to try later!!

  43. So dangerous! My mid kid will loveees these! He is always asking to go get a soft pretzel :) Thanks!

  44. Tracy says:

    Oh these look delicious! We’re a sucker for anything pretzel related. Printed this and hoping to make it this weekend. :o)

  45. These look awesome! I have a favorite pretzel bite recipe, but curious to use this as you dip it in soda water, rather than boiling soda water. I could use the skipping of a step! :)

  46. Carmin says:

    Made these last night, and LOVED the crunch on the outside with the soft chewy centers. I think I need to combine this with my pizza bites recipe–just add cheese and pepperoni inside, dunk in marinara. Yum!

  47. grace says:

    ethereal pretzels, eh? a statement like that makes them pretty hard to pass up!

  48. Angie says:

    Oh my, holy cow….these are fantastic! I think I just had pretzels for dinner, I couldn’t stop eating them!

  49. Zoe says:

    I love soft pretzel bite!!! YUM!!

  50. Jenn says:

    I may have made these again today, and I may have coated them in cinnamon sugar. I can’t remember though, the snow has frozen my brain.

  51. Mmmmm. Lots of melted cheddar cheese, please!

  52. Marcie says:

    These were wonderful! My husband was off at scouts for the night, so me and the kids made these for dinner. We loved them! I did half with salt and cheese, the other with cinnamon and sugar. Thanks again :)

  53. Caresse says:

    Yum! This was just the right recipe for us tonight!

  54. Paula says:

    it must be so delicious with homemade jam :)

  55. Kensi says:

    Mel, these look SO yummy! You have so many new recipes that I really want to try! How much yeast should I use if I am using active-dry?

  56. Erin says:

    I made these yesterday and they turned out great! It was a nice, straight-forward recipe (always a plus for me – especially when it’s for bread!) The kids loved them and it helped warm up the house. (It was in the 40′s in AZ. I know most of country is dealing with worse, but that is waaaay colder than we are used to!!)

    Thanks Mel!!

  57. Ciara says:

    Oh my, these are delicious! I made them for my husband who loves soft pretzels, but of course I had to sample 1, ok 7, for myself. So good. I’m thinking about doing some with cinnamon and sugar on the next batch. YUM!

  58. Tiffany says:

    Mel, it was my sons 8th birthday today and he wanted to make these for his dessert, we will have a party next week. Well, they were a huge hit, we dipped them in cinn and sugar, oh my word they were scrumptious. Thanks so much for another GREAT recipe.

  59. Jackie says:

    Mel, I used your recipe to make pretzel dogs for dinner tonight. The kids (and my husband and I) LOVED them. Thanks for the great recipe!

  60. Terri A. says:

    I just found your blog – very fun and these look great! I almost wish we were snowed in so I could make them. Hopefully this weekend.

  61. Mel says:

    Kensi – if using active dry yeast, increase the yeast to 1 tablespoon. Proof the yeast in the warm water and sugar (let it bubble and foam – maybe about 5 minutes) before adding it to the flour and salt.

  62. Jenny says:

    I made these yesterday and they were SO GOOD. Thank you for a great recipe!

  63. Jen says:

    Made these as an after school snack for my daughter. She’s a picky eater. She’s almost a non-eater. (She has a g-tube). She gobbled these up!! Next time I’ll stuff them with ham and cheese, or bacon… or maybe blanched broccoli and cheese. MMmmmm! These are awesome.

  64. Jen says:

    OH, and… On the last dozen I tested out cinnamon, ground mustard, onion powder, garlic powder and Italian herbs. Garlic & herb were the best.

  65. Julie says:

    Made these today…loved them! Thanks!

  66. [...] And finding this recipe was no exception. I’ve adapted this recipe for pretzel bites from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. She says the recipe makes about two dozen, but I’m not quite sure how many I actually made [...]

  67. Suz says:

    Oh. These are good. Very good. And so quick too. For the kids, I warmed some honey and stirred in peanut butter as a dipping sauce. I also made a panful with cinnamon and sugar on top. I couldn’t stop eating them!

  68. Rachel says:

    My husband just made these and they were so good! We were expecting to take them to a Super Bowl party tomorrow, but we may have to make an extra batch. I don’t think they will last that long…

  69. Heather says:

    I just made 1/2 batch to try them out. They are amazing! I have made soft pretzels before, but these are by far the best! I’m going to make them for a Super Bowl party with a cheese dip. Thanks for the recipe!

  70. Dana says:

    I doubled the dough and put it in the breadmaker to knead and rise. That made a bit of a mess and then my 7 year old was “helping”, I’m thinking these will never be worth it. Oh my was I wrong!!! So good, I am taking them to a party so hoping they will warm up OK in the oven. Yummy!!!

  71. Jenna says:

    Wow! I made these for the superbowl today and I can’t wait to dip them in our marinara sauce. They were super easy to make and so delicious that I threw some in a bag and just delivered them to my neighbor so they could enjoy, too! Mel – you have some wonderful recipes here.

  72. Lindley says:

    These are soooooo good ………..and addicting! I’ve made them 4 times this week already!

  73. Amy Beth says:

    I made these for my Superbowl party (along with the chorizo and cheeze dip) and they were a HUGE hit! Thank you thank you!

  74. John says:

    I made these today. They were really easy and they came out really good. Ididn’t have a pastry brush for the butter, but I found a plastic fork worked just as good. Thank you for the recipe.

  75. Anissa says:

    These were divine. I did a triple batch for our super bowl party and it was way too many. But honestly, how can you have too many of these little bites of heaven?

  76. Inna says:

    I’m a bad cook and even a worse baker but these turned out absolutely delicious! I had to make them twice because everybody loved them. I sprinkled some them with cinnamon and brown sugar, goes amazing with tea or milk.

  77. Robin Schick says:

    We made these for Super Bowl, and they were a hit. They disappeared so fast. I had to cook them at 5-6 min, because the first batch came out pretty dark.
    My husband put honey on his and the kids wanted Sugar-cinnamon on theirs. I had mustard on mine.
    Thanks for such a great recipe, what am I saying, all of your recipes are fantastic.

  78. Caitlin says:

    Wow! WOW!! Almost everything I try and make FAILS the first few times. Especiallly when it involves dough. These are simply failproof and delicious, not to mention easy! Thanks! I cannot wait to try more of your recipes!

  79. michelle says:

    Just found your website from foodgawker and couldn’t turn down pretzel bites!! They were a huge hit at our Superbowl party!! They were fabulous, especially with the cheese dip! Thank you so much– I’ll be keeping your site tabbed in the future :)

  80. Amy T says:

    I have made these twice in the past week. Something about these bites just makes them easier to make (and eat) than the full-size pretzels. I love trying your recipes and directing others to your fabulous site. Thank you!

  81. Jenna Withowski says:

    I made these over the weekend and they are super delicious! I made up a cream cheese/mustard sauce for dipping- YUM! Very easy to make and a great snack for the super bowl.

  82. Letitia Pierce says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I made these today and had to stop and write you about how good they are! I need to double the recipe, because my family loves them and they are almost gone. I melted some gouda for dipping…OMGoodness! So gou-da!

  83. Amy says:

    These have seriously made my day. I’m pregnant and crave yummy chewy bread all the time. I’m sure I will be making these again at least two more times this week and one of those times will probably be today. :) Thank you!

  84. Haley says:

    I made these a a couple weekends ago and they were AMAZING!! My dad was literally humming happy tunes the whole time he was eating them! Thanks for the great recipe! :)

  85. Cammee says:

    I made these, the cinnamon sugar variety, and took to my daughter’s cheer squad to munch on between games. They are heavenly! And pretty much I’m a hit with a bunch of teenage girls!

  86. k says:

    i made these last night. they were fantastic! my husband and little boys loved them. they took so much less time and work than my other soft pretzel recipe. thanks!

  87. Carlie says:

    I have a question…..do have to let these rise in a plastic bag? or can I just let them rise in a greased bowl with a damp towl on top, like how I let all my other bread dough receipes rise?

  88. Mel says:

    Carlie – I think the completely sealed plastic bag helps the dough rise more quickly but I imagine you could definitely let it rise in a greased bowl and it should work just fine.

  89. [...] there I stopped eating pretzels and that’s where the current story begins.  When I saw these pretzels bites on Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, they looked absolutely beautiful- I wanted them.  Finally, I had a day off and these were the [...]

  90. Thanks for sharing this tasty recipe!

    I also run a food blog and will be featuring your recipe this afternoon (Feb 25).

  91. apryl says:

    Just made these today for my kids to dip in some cheese dip….delish! seriously, so so good! Ate most of them myself :)

  92. Stephanie says:

    Oh my word. I just made these this afternoon – AMAZING! They are so simple and really, really, really delicious. More than half of them are already gone. :) Next time I will be making a double batch! Thanks for the fantastic recipe. :)

  93. Trish says:

    WOWOWOWOW. Just made them (cinn-sugar and garlic-herb). Amazing! Thanks for the recipe :)

  94. Janine says:

    Just had to say how fantastic these are. I’ve made them many times now always to rave reviews. (and no leftovers, EVER!!) I was breaking in my new kitchenaide mixer today and wanted to make some cinnamon buns, and thought this pretzel dough would be perfect for them…and they were to die for!!! So not only does it make divine pretzels, but it makes some pretty darn tasty cinnamon rolls too!

  95. Suzanne says:

    I finally got around to making these babies last night. I went ahead and made a double batch because I knew they’d be awesome and they were! YUM! Thank you so much for this very easy and delicious recipe! I can’t wait to make them again. And I think I might try some with cinnamon and sugar next time just for fun.

  96. Sarawit says:

    I made these tonight and mine didn’t look anything like yours. How did you get yours so brown and only on the tops? Thanks for the help.

  97. Mel says:

    Sarawit – did you bake them at 500 degrees? The first time I ever made these years ago, I was scared to bake them at such a high temp so I reduced my oven to 475 or 450, can’t remember, and they definitely didn’t brown up the same way. That’s the main reason they get deliciously brown – perhaps your oven bakes at a little bit lower temperature? I’m not sure!

  98. Sarawit says:

    I will try them again and let you know:)

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