Pretzel bites are soft baked nuggets from our super soft pretzel recipe. They taste like Auntie Anne’s pretzels that you can easily flavor and dip with cheese sauce for the ultimate pretzel experience! Homemade pretzels are easy and this pretzel recipe doesn’t require the extra steps that a German or Bavarian pretzel would!
Pretzels make a great snack! The crisp ones make their way into a crust for strawberry pretzel salad (aka Jello dessert) and the soft pretzels get dunked in a cheese dip. We like the bite-size pieces for dipping but if you prefer the original pretzel shape try our Copycat Annies Pretzels. Need a chocolate-covered snack? Our cream puffs are amazing!
My pretzel bread is made from yeast and baking powder to make it one of the fluffiest soft pretzel recipes! There are a few versions of pretzels for instance Dots pretzels (aka pretzel sticks) are crisp crackers whereas pretzel factory pretzels are soft. This recipe for pretzels is like the Auntie Annes pretzels from the mall! You can use this pretzel dough to wrap hot dogs, cut them into nuggets, or form them into classic pretzels by twisting a knot. Our children love these buttery baked nuggets! Flavor them with salt or just brush them with melted butter.
What To Dip Pretzels In?
Pretzel cheese dip is a popular dipping sauce for pretzels. You can find cheese sauce in glass jars and canned tins at the grocery store. Annes Pretzels use a mild cheddar cheese sauce contained in plastic bags. You can also make a homemade cheese sauce but using a storebought cheese dip is a time-saving shortcut that is easy to reheat and ready to serve quickly. Another popular dip for soft pretzel bites is a mustard dip of brown sugar and prepared creamy mustard sauce. This sweet and tangy dip is super addicting although a cheese dip for pretzels is another favorite. You’ll want a mildly flavored cheese sauce like cheddar because nacho cheese sauce has more of a savory aftertaste with a hint of jalapenos.
Pro-Tips To Make Pretzel Bites:
The key to bite-size pretzels is to slice the dough into 1-1 1/2-inch pieces. You do not need to make balls, all that is needed is to cut and dip the bites in the baking soda solution. Using a bench scraper makes cutting the dough easy! Pretzel bites are basically homemade soft pretzels only instead of twisting the dough into a knot you leave the strip straight and cut it into nugget size pieces. Easy soft pretzels don’t require any boiling for the dough, however, a warm baking soda and water solution help the bread with browning when baked. Use a slotted spoon to dip a bunch in at once when dipping into the water.
How To Make Pretzel Bites from Sourdough:
If you’re wondering how to make pretzels without yeast, you’ve come to the right place. Sourdough is a great yeast substitute! Use 1/3 cup of active sourdough starter instead of the two teaspoons of yeast called for in this pretzel recipe. Also, decrease the liquid by 1/4 of a cup.
What are pretzels made of? Homemade pretzel bites are made with simple ingredients. Here is everything you’ll need for this pretzel bites recipe:
- Flour- I like to use a high gluten flour like bread flour for pretzels.
- Leavening- a combination of yeast and baking powder makes a soft pretzel recipe.
- Brown Sugar- a pretzel bite recipe is a slightly sweet bread dough
- Salt- flavors the dough and is often times sprinkled over pretzels. Use coarse sea salt or pretzel salt for topping the butter pretzels after baking. Using salt in the dough is necessary, however, you can omit it for the topping for unsalted pretzels. Pretzel salt is typically white and coarse.
- Butter- I use unsalted butter for the dough and to dip the pretzels in after baking.
- Milk- and water make for a rich pretzel dough.
How To Make Pretzel Bites:
How to make pretzels is an easy art of shaping the dough. In soft pretzel bites, all that is required is cutting the dough into pieces instead of making pretzel twists.
- After the dough proofs, you cut out strips of dough and roll them out into long and thin strips.
- You then slice into bite-size pieces about 1 or 11/2-inch thick. You can also use a pizza cutter for cutting pretzel bites!
- Dip the pieces of dough into a baking soda and water solution using a slotted spoon.
- Arrange pretzel pieces over a large baking sheet, lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- Bake pretzels in the oven until golden brown and done (about 8 minutes.)
Pretzel Bites Variations:
There are so many flavors of pretzel bites! If you choose to leave them plain using our basic pretzel dough you can always make flavored pretzel dips.
- Raisin Dessert Bites: roll pretzel dough in about 1/3 cup of raisins and a teaspoon of cinnamon. This is delicious with a glaze icing dip!
- Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites: combine 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and 1 T of cinnamon for the coating. Dip freshly baked pretzels into 1/2 cup of melted butter and the cinnamon sugar coating.
- Pepperoni Pretzel Bites: to make pizza pretzel bites sprinkle with garlic powder and parmesan cheese then top pretzels with bite-sized pepperoni pieces and shredded pizza blend cheese. These go well dipped in a side of marinara sauce.
- Spicy Pretzel Bites: sprinkle pretzel bites with a packet of ranch seasoning mix and cayenne pepper.
- Almond Crunch Bites: dip pretzels into butter then into crushed almond pieces. Serve with a caramel dip.
How To Reheat Soft Pretzels?
The best way to reheat pretzel bites is to wrap them up in aluminum foil and bake them at 350°F for 7-8 minutes until soft and warm. You can microwave pretzel bites wrapped in plastic wrap in 30-second intervals until warmed to the desired temperature. The key to reheating pretzels is to wrap them up so they stay soft, reheating them uncovered can crisp up the crust.
Refreshing Ways to Serve Pretzel Bites:
Wondering what to eat pretzels with? Hand-baked soft pretzels are best with a cold and refreshing drink like lemonade or Iced Tea. Auntie Anne’s pretzel shop serves a variety of dips as a side to fresh-out-of-the-oven pretzels. Big pretzels are a delicious snack dipped in cheese sauce or a sweet honey mustard sauce! Here is a fantastic way to serve pretzel bites;
- Baked hot dogs (cut them up into bite-sized pieces for a heartier snack)
- Serve with a side of thickly sliced pepperoni, cheese cubes, and a side of homemade marinara sauce for dipping
- Enjoy with a hot cup of English breakfast tea.
- Make a dipping sauce of your choice. Our favorites are mustard sauce and cheese dip, but you can make different dips for pretzels including a chocolate peanut butter sauce, or savory creamy buffalo sauce.
When is Pretzel Day?
National Pretzel Day is April 26th.
Can You Freeze Pretzels?
Yes! You can freeze freshly baked soft pretzels. To freeze pretzels cool baked pretzels completely then flash freeze on a tray. Place frozen pretzels into a gallon-sized freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
To Reheat: thaw pretzel bites and wrap in aluminum foil. Place foil packet with bites into a 350°F oven for 7-8 minutes or until warm.
Pretzel Dough Tips:
- You can attempt gluten-free pretzels by using a Gluten-free baking flour (like Bob’s Mill.)
- There are so many different pretzel dip recipes to try! Make a sweet Mustard dip by mixing 2 Tbsp mayo, 1 tsp yellow mustard, and 1 Tbsp brown sugar or honey.
- Omit the milk and mix in 1/2 cup of yogurt.
- Make pretzel buns by forming the dough into balls. A pretzel bun can be used in burgers or sandwiches.
- This recipe for soft pretzels can make a great pretzel dog! Simply wrap a piece of dough around your favorite hot dog and bake!
- A homemade pretzel recipe can be made into mini pretzels (bites) or shaped into a knot and twist. It’s important to make pretzel recipes by stretching out the dough into a long enough rope. Flat pretzels will rise due to the leavening and yeast.
More Bread Recipes:
- Sourdough Bagels
- Naan Bread (Stonefire Copycat)
- Sourdough French Bread
- Banana Bread Recipe
- Subway Bread Recipe (Italian Herb and Cheese Copycat)
These are the best pretzels our family has made, let us know what you think by leaving a comment below:)
- 1 18x13 baking pan
- 1 bench scraper or pizza cutter (for cutting pretzel dough into bites)
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tsp dry active yeast
- 410 grams bread flour (2 1/2 cups plus 3 Tbsp of flour)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
Baking Soda Solution:
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 Tbsp baking soda
- 6 Tbsp melted unsalted butter (for dipping after baking)
- coarse pretzel salt
- Heat the milk and water to 105°F (I microwaved it for 45 seconds.) Stir in the yeast and allow it to proof for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and melted butter. Pour in the proofed yeast mixture and knead for a few minutes until the dough comes together into a ball. (Dough should be slightly tacky.)
- Lightly grease the top of the dough with 1 tsp of oil and allow it to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, in another mixing bowl, dissolve the baking soda in water. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 410°F. Turn the dough over to a greased area.
- Cut the dough into 6 equal strips.
- Roll and stretch each piece into a 30-inch rope or to the thickness of your thumb finger. Cut rope into 1-1 1/2-inch thick pieces.
- Dip pretzels into the baking soda solution using a slotted spoon.
- Tap the spoon against a kitchen towel to remove any excess water and transfer pretzel bites onto a lined baking pan. Bake in a preheated 350°F for 7-8 minutes.
- Dip warm into the melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Serve with your favorite pretzel dipping sauce.
- Dip Pretzels into warm cheddar cheese dip sauce or make a sweet Mustard dip: by mixing 2 Tbsp mayo, 1 tsp yellow mustard, and 1 Tbsp brown sugar.