Easy Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites

These easy homemade soft pretzel bites are AMAZING and so fast to make! Get ready for mall-style pretzels in no time.

easy homemade soft pretzel bites on sheet pan with bowl of cheese sauce

If there’s one recipe you should drop everything and make right now, it is these soft and chewy, buttery and amazing, quick and easy homemade soft pretzel bites. 

Seriously, they are so delicious, they defy description. 

And the fact that you can make them at home in a little over an hour and end up with something even better than the mall (yes, really) is pretty much life changing. 

We make these little pretzel bites all the time. But beware, they go fast! In our house, you better get yourself to the kitchen right when they come out of the oven or else you risk missing out completely. And no one will feel all that sorry for you. 

soft pretzel bite in half on top of another pretzel bite on sheet pan

HOmemade pretzel bites = so fast

The reason this pretzel bites recipe has been on repeat for the last 9+ years is because not only are they amazingly delicious, they are so fast! 

The dough is ultra-simple to make and thanks to the relatively quick rising times, they don’t take all day (not even close) to make. 

dipping easy homemade soft pretzel bites in homemade cheese sauce

When I decided to update this post with new pictures and new excitement, I enlisted the help of Cade, my 12-year old who loves to cook and bake. He is the pretzel bite making master, and he’s here to show us how easy it is to make these delightful carb-loaded snacks. 

Hi, Cade! Nice to have you here. (Now is not the time to tell all these nice people that your mom forced you into this during spring break.)

12-year old helping make pretzel bites

How to make pretzel bite dough

This bread dough is mixed a little differently than some of the other bread recipes on my site. 

To start, all the dry ingredients go into the mixer first. 

  • flour
  • salt
  • teensy bit of sugar
  • yeast

adding flour to bosch mixer for pretzel dough

Instant yeast vs active dry yeast

I always use instant yeast, but you can sub in active dry yeast.

Use the same amount of active dry yeast and proof it in about 1/4 cup water and a pinch of sugar. When it’s bubbly and foamy add it to the mixer with the water (decrease the water by 1/4 cup).

pouring water into bosch mixer for easy homemade soft pretzel bites

Mix the dough until it forms a ball that isn’t sticking to the middle and/or sides of the bowl. If it’s still really tacky to the touch, add additional flour, a few tablespoons at a time until it’s not so sticky. 

Alternately, if it seems kind of stiff and tough (or has dry floury spots), drizzle in another tablespoon or so of hot water. 

homemade pretzel dough in bosch mixer

The dough should be really easy to handle. Soft and stretchy. But not too sticky. 

pulling pretzel dough out of bosch mixer

A different rising method

This pretzel dough goes right into a lightly greased or floured gallon-size ziploc bag. 

The bag gets sealed and the dough rises in the warm, slightly humid environment. 

If you feel more comfortable with the ol’ greased bowl rising method, don’t worry, that works, too. 

putting pretzel bite dough in greased bag to riserisen pretzel bite dough in ziploc bag

As long as your kitchen isn’t completely frigid, the dough will puff up and rise pretty quickly. About 20-30 minutes and it should be ready to go. 

Take the dough out of the bag, press it into a thick rectangle of sorts and cut the dough into four strips. 

They don’t have to be even. These easy homemade soft pretzel bites are rustic and imperfect, and that’s why we love them!

pretzel dough cut into strips

Cut each of the strips into six or eight little chubby pieces. 

cutting pretzel bite dough into pieces

Ditch the boiling water

To make this recipe even easier, we’re going to ditch the classic boiling water bath that pretzels often get before baking. 

Instead, mix a little bit of baking soda with super hot water and dunk each of those pieces of dough in the baking soda/water solution before transferring to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Don’t forget to grease the parchment paper! 

dipping pretzel bite dough in baking soda and water solution

Sprinkle the wet pieces of dough with coarse, kosher salt and pop those babies in the oven for 7-8 minutes. 

Cinnamon and sugar option

For a cinnamon and sugar option, leave off the salt. When the pretzels come out of the oven, butter them as directed and then roll the hot pretzel bites in cinnamon and sugar. Whoa yum.

sprinkling easy homemade soft pretzel bites with salt before baking

Don’t be afraid of the heat

This recipe calls for preheating the oven to 500 degrees F. I recognize that may cause some of you a bit of anxiety. It’s ok. I get it!

But that high temperature is what gives these pretzel bites their perfect golden color AND it crisps up the outside of the pretzels while leaving the insides soft and chewy. 

Just do it! I’ll be here virtually holding your hand. 

brushing baked pretzel bites with butter

The ultimate key to the deliciousness

The minute the pretzel bites exit the oven, have the melted butter ready. 

And then liberally brush on melted butter until you think you should stop – and then brush on some more. 

The butter + the piping hot pretzel bites is the key to the ethereal deliciousness of these homemade soft pretzel bites. Please, please, please leave no pretzel unbuttered. 

easy homemade soft pretzel bites on sheet pan

Dipping options for pretzel bites

We love eating these hot and buttery pretzel bites straight off the baking sheet. No wasting time. No dipping.

BUT, they are also amazing dipped in everything from mustard to ranch to cheese sauce. (See the above note for a cinnamon and sugar version.)

For a quick, homemade cheese sauce, we use this recipe. It’s simple and easy and works great with yellow or white cheddar cheese. 

soft pretzel bite sitting in bowl of warm cheese sauce

When you want the other-worldly yumminess of homemade soft pretzels but don’t want to stress about long skinny ropes of dough and intricate pretzel shapes, pretzel bites are the only way to go! 

I love recipes like this that provide a ton of rock star status with very few, very easy to find ingredients. 

All I know is, I better never be left alone with a batch of hot, buttery pretzel bites. I’m not super proud of how I already know that would end. But I also know I would enjoy every single moment (and bite). 

Chewy Pretzel BitesChewy Pretzel Bites

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Easy Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites

Yield: 2 dozen
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Additional Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 8 minutes
Chewy Pretzel Bites

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 2 1/4 cups (11.25 ounces) all-purpose flour (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) warm water

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) very hot water
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • Coarse, kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, add the flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Mix. Add the water. Mix well, adding more flour, if needed, a bit at a time to form a soft, smooth dough that clears the sides and bottom of the bowl. It should be soft but not overly sticky.
  2. Knead for 4-5 minutes until the dough is soft and stretchy. Grease the inside of a gallon-size ziploc-type bag with nonstick cooking spray and place the dough inside. Close the bag, leaving room for the dough to expand, and let it rest for 20-30 minutes (or up to 60 minutes) until doubled in size. Alternately, the dough can rise in a lightly greased, covered bowl.
  3. Preheat oven to 500°F. The high heat ensures the pretzels will brown beautifully on the outside while staying soft and chewy on the inside. Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly grease with cooking spray.
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased or floured work surface, and cut the dough into four thick strips. Cut each strip of dough into about 6-8 pieces. It doesn't have to be exact.
  5. Combine the very hot water and baking soda and whisk to combine well.
  6. Dip each pretzel bite in the baking soda solution (this helps give the pretzels a nice, golden-brown color). Let the excess liquid drip off before placing the pretzel bites a couple inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  7. Sprinkle the pretzel bites with coarse, kosher salt. Allow them to rest, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.
  8. Bake the pretzels for 7-8 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Remove the pretzels from the oven, and immediately brush them 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. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

Yeast: to sub active dry yeast for the instant yeast, use the same amount and proof it in 1/4 cup warm water with a pinch of sugar. Add it to the ingredients and decrease the overall water by 1/4 cup.

Flour: I often use half to 3/4 finely ground white whole wheat flour with good results.

Updates: I've updated this recipe with a few tips and tricks as well as tweaking the recipe just slightly based on what's worked for me over the years. The original recipe listed 2 1/2 cups flour. I've decreased that slightly - but the exact flour amount may vary person to person so just keep an eye on the texture of the dough.

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Recipe Source: adapted from this recipe (originally from King Arthur Flour)