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.

166 Responses to Chewy Pretzel Bites

  1. [...] yet, you’ve had the time of your life? That was me the other day. During my binge, I came across this recipe from Mel. I do love her site. You will too. Just set a timer when it is time to pick the kids up [...]

  2. [...] 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 [...]

  3. Mrs CS says:

    I tried these little babies tonight, and they were great! I tried to make a cheese sauce which failed horribly, but my husband came to the rescue with the brilliant idea of topping them with mozzerela and broiling them until golden. I heated up some pizze sauce we had on hand and voila! … pizza pretzel bites. Brilliant.

  4. Ashley (Stott) Wray says:

    Melanie, I made these and also your delish Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas for the first time this week, A++++ on both of them! Thank you so much for your yummy recipes, I have yet to try one that wasn’t a complete home run!

  5. Mel, I just love your site! So much delicious food and so many gorgeous pictures. I made your pretzel bites, but used wheat flour + white flour, and they were amazing! Like, I can’t believe how good these things are. I want them every night for dinner. Thanks for the great recipe.

  6. [...] In my many hours of using StumbleUpon there have been several recipes pop up, but this one from Mel’s Kitchen is by far my favorite. Here it [...]

  7. Susan says:

    I’m a bread failure but have had great success with this recipe! They are delicious as a snack or as a carb to go with a meal. We like them straight up plain or perhaps dipped in a bit of mustard. Fantastic.

  8. caathi says:

    Wow!! These are SOOO Delicious! And easy to make. I have been making a batch almost everyday for the past week! This recipe is perfect. Thank you so much for this recipe.

  9. n82 says:

    These were so easy to make and so delicious!!!! Thanks for a fantastic recipe. My kids LOVED it!

  10. Lisa says:

    Just wanted you to know I tried these. They turned out fantastic! I do not work with yeast type does very often, so I’m a complete novice, but these were so easy. I’m going to eat way too many, I can already tell!

  11. [...] were always very good, but these ones… they are just amazing! I stumbled upon this recipe at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe a while ago – and I knew that I had to try the recipe. If you follow the recipe exactly the [...]

  12. Eliz says:

    Do you think you could make these up and the freeze them? I am having a party in a few weeks and would love to serve these but I know I don’t have the time to make them the day of the party. Can’t wait to try these!

  13. Mel says:

    Eliz – these pretzel bites are definitely best fresh and warm, but I suspect they might work ok once they are baked, cooled and frozen – and then reheated in the oven on low to restore a bit of outer crunch.

  14. Made these tonight. They were amazing! My kids went nuts….I mean like those who would have witnessed us eating them would have thought I hadn’t fed my children for a month. Thanks so much for all your amazing recipes!

  15. Jnl2211 says:

    Oh gosh Mel! Another keeper :) these were everything you said they’d be and more! I couldn’t help myself, I could eat an entire batch…plain even. The butter does magical things to these delicious morsels. I’m going to make these for dunking in soup or curry next time. Thanks for sharing :)

  16. This are so cute, perfect for my kids when they come home from school!

  17. Stephanie says:

    Hi Mel, hope you had a very Merry Christmas! I just made some of these – delicious! Thanks for another winning recipe!!

  18. Corinne says:

    I’ve made these once before and they were fantastic! I want to do a double batch now, do I still double the instant yeast or would I reduce the amount?

  19. Mel says:

    Corinne – I always double the yeast when I make a double batch.

  20. Deb says:

    We have this tradition of making fondue on New Year’s Eve every year and one of my standard dippers is those soft pretzels from the freezer section…not because they taste that great on their own, but dunked in cheese sauce, they’re not bad. But, freezer section no more. These were AMAZING! I could have eaten the whole pan by myself were it not for the 4 other boys in my house with other ideas. Super easy and really tasted like the absolute best soft pretzel you can imagine.

  21. [...] other recipes that caught my eye too!! Cinnamon Coffee Cake I also want to make these again… Chewy Pretzel bites With a cheese sauce…Nacho Cheese sauce Wednesday: Chicken Spicy stir fry, rice Thursday: [...]

  22. Tobi says:

    Hi Mel! While stuck at home for the second day in a row with 2 sick kiddies I decided to try these as a little “feel better” snack for the littles. As with all your recipes….AMAZING! So easy to throw together and the ultimate comfort food for my coughing, sneezing sickies ;) Thanks again!

  23. Liz says:

    I am making these next week. I have been a soft pretzel lover for so long and only get my fix at the Target snack bar. I’m betting these are ten times better than the Target ones!

  24. Jnl2211 says:

    Oh my! These are 1 million times better than target!!

  25. Belinda says:

    FANTASTIC! I substituted about 1/2 cup of the all purpose flour out for whole wheat flour. These are amazing. Can’t wait to spice the dough for possible pizza bites, and the cinnamon and sugar sound perfect on these pretzel bites. Now if we can just stay out of them until Sunday. :) Thanks!

  26. Liz says:

    I just got done stuffing my face with about 5 of these babies. Mel, you are heaven sent! For the first time, I used my stand mixer to make dough and I will always use it to make any kind of yeast bread from now on. My only issue was that they did not brown up that much. Perhaps I took them out of the oven too fast but they were done on the inside. My three year old loved dunking the dough into the baking soda mixture and she also loved the final product. I will be making these again in the near future!

  27. Chaunte says:

    I just made these and they are delicious! We ate almost every one of them fresh out of the oven. Thanks so much for sharing this as I will make them again and again!

  28. Tamara says:

    I’ve made these 3 times now and they’re AMAZING!!!!! They’re good even without the butter brushed on to them however the butter MAKES them!

    Thanks for posting the recipe :)

  29. Bri says:

    These were a huge hit tonight at the party! LOVE YOU MEL!

  30. [...] Honey & Butter-Glazed Pretzel Bites with Roasted Garlic Makes about 24 bites Adapted from The Boys Made Me Do it (who adapted it from Mels Kitchen Cafe) [...]

  31. [...] Food Bites, The Curvy Carrot, What’s Gaby Cooking, Smells Like Home, Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, all of these blogs are conspiring against me to fill me with salty carbs. The easy to follow and [...]

  32. Alanna says:

    Hey, I really want to make these for a party tomorrow night.. could I make the dough about 5 hours in advance and put them in the oven when I get there? Thanks

  33. Mel says:

    Alanna – sorry for the late response, you may have figured it out already. I’ve never made the dough in advance but I suppose you could do that and then shape and bake them close to serving time. If the dough has been refrigerated, you’ll want to give it time to come to room temperature before shaping. Good luck!

  34. auntiepatch says:

    I made these last year and they were unbelievable! Everyone just stood around the oven and ate them as soon as they came out! So easy to make. Love them!

  35. Jennifer A says:

    These are like crack! So yummy, so easy and won’t last long. I can see how you ate them for dinner! You can’t stop!

  36. Chelsea says:

    I had heard rave reviews from my family…and they were right! Delish as always, Mel!

  37. Dana says:

    Mel, first of all I love love love LOVE your blog & what it has done for my family! Question, I’m making these for a party tomorrow and I want to do it in advance. Should I bake them today and reheat? Or can I save the dough & bake them tomorrow so they are fresh out of the oven? Thanks if you get a chance to help with your expertise!

  38. Mel says:

    Hi Dana – I would try to make these so they are fresh (they are much better that way). I’d make the dough and refrigerate the dough – then take it out 2-3 hours before baking. Good luck!

  39. Samantha says:

    These are delicious and I’m a little obsessed with them. My husband and I love eating them with nacho cheese! I shared these on my blog. They were just too tasty and simple to not share! Thanks!

  40. Amy Lou says:

    I made these tonight and they were amazing! This was first ever attempt at using yeast and I couldn’t have been happier. My husband was pretty stoked too. Thanks so much! :)

  41. Christina says:

    How much is the dough supposed to rise after resting for 30-60min? Mine has been resting for 45 and has risen much…

  42. Mel says:

    Christina – the dough puffs quite a bit…it definitely is a noticeable rise.

  43. Melanie says:

    I made these tonight for a New Year’s Eve party. They are fabulous! Just one problem though, I used parchment paper and every last pretzel bite stuck to the paper and was a royal pain to get them off the paper without tearing the bottoms off. I have never had a problem with parchment paper before. Any suggestions?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Melanie – that same thing has happened to me and I’ve started coating the parchment paper with cooking spray. It works wonders. I’ll actually edit the recipe so it can help others who might have the same problem.

  44. Deb says:

    I make this recipe all the time and get rave reviews. Tonight, I made it into pretzel dogs. I rolled the risen dough into a rectangle, cut it into strips and wrapped the strips around cocktail smokies. Baked at 500 for about 10 minutes. They were TO DIE FOR!! Thanks Mel!!!

  45. [...] made these pretzel bites from this recipe.  Yum.  No, seriously.  YUM!  They are easy and the kiddos love them, and they are [...]

  46. Sarah says:

    They were so so bitter because of the baking soda. I followed the exact measurements and mixed it every few dunks. The kids won’t touch them and we tripled the batch. It was our conference lunch. So sad. Next time should I half the baking soda?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Sarah – I’ve made these at least 25 times and I’ve never had the issue of a bitter taste from the baking soda. Sorry that happened; perhaps it’s your brand/expiration of baking soda but halving the amount may help if you find the taste overwhelming.

  47. Abby says:

    Made these just now, and they came out good except I could taste the baking soda that wasn’t very pleasant. Will try them again next time without the baking soda.

  48. Betty says:

    I make pretzel rods but this recipe is one I am going to try for football night. We love hot stuff so I am going to top each one with a jalapeno pepper.

  49. Ami says:

    Sprinkled sugar and cinnamon on them and my kids devoured them! So much yummier than the mall version! Love your blog. I’ve tried so many of your meals and they’ve all been a hit. That’s saying something…I have 4 extremely picky children. Thanks so much!

  50. Kasci says:

    I would love to take these to my in laws for a thanksgiving dinner. How soon can I make ahead and what would you recommend in the transportation. I would hate for them to get wet and soggy from the moisture. Any thoughts?

    • Mel says:

      Kasci – as much as I love these pretzel bites, they are best fresh, hot out of the oven and I’m not sure they would travel well, to be honest. Unless you could make the dough ahead of time and freeze them into pretzel bites and bake once you got to your in-laws…and even then, I haven’t actually tried it so I can’t say 100% for sure it will work out.

  51. Sara says:

    We have made these so many times, both this version and your other original pretzel versions…love them!! Tonight we are making the pretzel bite version to dip in a dark chocolate honey almond fondue! (in front of the fireplace…New Years Eve tradition:)..)

  52. Mona says:

    Made these for a new year’s dinner party – I didn’t use as much butter as the recipe called for – only brushed the tops once they were baked. They turned out great! Best fresh though, they became quite chewy and soft after a few hours.

  53. Sheila says:

    Delicious! I do not know how you choose “the best recipes”. I have now made many of your recipes and all of them are the best!

  54. Tina Cho says:

    I made these tonight, and they were so incredible. My family ate every bite! Thanks for the recipe!

  55. viktoriya says:

    Is it ok to leave it to expand for more than an hour because I’m baking something else at the same time?

  56. Tina says:

    My kids and I are madly in love with these (my husband is a freak), and we were wondering if we could freeze some of the dough, and if so, at what stage?

    • Mel says:

      Tina – If it were me, I’d probably shape them into the pretzel bites and freeze them on a parchment-lined tray. Once completely frozen, I’d throw them in a freezer ziploc bag and then thaw, dip in the baking soda, let rise and bake like normal. Good luck if you try it. I am glad you like them.

  57. Lisa says:

    I just made a half batch since it’s just me. Since you said they were best right out of the oven, I made sure to stand over the kitchen table and shovel them in my mouth before they could cool down. Ha ha! I couldn’t stop myself. They were really good and a lot easier than regular pretzels! I did half dipped in cheese and half rolled in cinnamon and sugar. Now off to the treadmill!

  58. Sarah says:

    Yes, brilliant! The pan was gone, between four people, in .02 seconds. Thank you!

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