Bready or Not: Soft Pretzel Bites
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Bready or Not: Soft Pretzel Bites

These Soft Pretzel Bites are tender and delicious. They taste best if eaten within a day of baking, but they also keep well frozen for a few weeks.
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Keyword: yeast bread
Author: Beth Cato



  • 1 1/2 cups warm water 90 to 100-degrees
  • 2 Tb brown sugar packed
  • 1 Tb instant yeast
  • 6 Tb unsalted butter melted
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 1/2 - 5 cups all-purpose flour

Water bath:

  • 12 cups water
  • 3/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 egg beaten until frothy
  • pretzel salt or kosher salt


If making with a stand mixer

  • Pour 1 1/2 cups warm water into your mixer; use the standard paddle attachment. Add 6 tablespoons melted butter, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 tablespoon instant yeast. Mix on low for 30 seconds or so. (If using active yeast, let it sit for about five minutes to get frothy.)
  • Add 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and 2 cups of the flour; put dough hook on mixer. Turn mixer to low and add the rest of the flour, 1 cup at a time as the mixer runs. The flour is adequate when the dough pulls itself away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Turn mixer to medium speed and let it knead for 5 minutes.
  • Remove bowl from stand and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

If making with a bread machine

  • Place ingredients in machine in specified order. In many, that means liquids first. Add in brown sugar, melted butter, salt, 4 1/2 cups flour, and yeast.
  • Set machine on a basic dough cycle. Monitor as it starts mixing and add more dough as needed to produce a soft, non-tacky dough; this will likely be 1/4 to 1/2 cup more. Let machine complete dough cycle and rise.

Now, regardless of how you start the dough

  • Rub counter space with butter or apply cooking spray, and likewise prepare two rimmed cookie sheets. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, slice the dough into eight equal portions. Let dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • While the dough is resting, pour 12 cups of water into a large pot; bring to a boil. Pour in 3/4 cup baking soda; it will get very frothy. Turn down the heat if necessary, keeping the water to a low boil.
  • Preheat oven at 425-degrees.
  • Return to the dough and roll each piece into a long rope. Cut each rope into little chunks about 2 inches wide.
  • Carefully drop the chunks into the boiling water. Let them boil for 1 minute. Do a dozen or so at a time.
  • Use a strainer or slotted spoon to remove dough pieces from the boiling water. Place pieces on the prepped cookie sheets. Continue until all the bites have had their bath.
  • Brush the beaten egg over the top of each dough piece and then sprinkle a bit of salt over the tops.
  • Bake the bites for 10-14 minutes or until golden brown. They cook fast, so keep an eye on them.
  • Let pans cool at least 10 minutes before you begin to indulge. Pretzels bites taste best eaten within a day, but can also be kept frozen for a few weeks and they thaw quickly. Eat at room temperature or slightly warmed.