How do you get a 4.0 GPA in your first year in college? When you study you have to eat pretzels dipped in cheese sauce! It helps you focus.  That was my formula toward a successful college career… Until I came home one day and my parents told me that I looked “bloated”. Love that … not fat, but bloated. :)

I had gained 15 pounds! But not from beer and pizza like everyone else. No, I had I gained it from eating those delicious mall pretzels. (And maybe a swig or two of tequila ;-)) Trust me, I would eat a lot of these babies. I would buy them every Sunday – I would buy about 20 pretzels and eat them throughout the week with melted Velveeta cheese sauce. Man was it gooood! I mean this stuff was finger-licking good. I would suck on my fingers with every bite that I took. I didn’t want to miss a crumb of these delicious gems.

That bloated comment though killed my pretzel-eating routine. As soon as I stopped eating them, I noticed that I didn’t have to lay down flat on my bed to zip up my jeans. That should have been an indicator I guess, but I was too busy eating studying. But do you think that I stopped eating big, soft pretzels? Heck no! By now some of you may have figured out that I eat everything, but most of it is homemade and that is why I don’t limit myself; when I make it I know exactly what’s in it.

Instead of going to the mall to treat myself to a soft and yummy pretzel, I decided to make them at home by following my Mama’s recipe. And instead of making them into big pretzels, I opted for a smaller bite size version because that enables me to control how much I eat. And I don’t dip them in any sauce – no need for those extra calories – these are really good all on their own.

Get out your notepad and write down this recipe because you will need it for Superbowl Sunday – trust me, these babies will be gone before the first quarter.


You know they are good when your 18 month old attacks them! :)

Pretzel Bites
Serves: Yields 90 to 100 Pretzel Bites
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups of water
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 1 egg, beaten plus 1 tablespoon water
  • Your choice of any or all
  • sea salt and oregano
  • garlic salt
  • cinnamon and sugar
  • sesame seeds
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine brown sugar, yeast, melted butter and water; whisk it and let sit for 5 minutes or until frothy.
  2. Add salt and flour to the yeast mixture.
  3. Set the mixer on “knead” and mix until all flour is incorporated and the dough is pulling away from the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  4. Add additional flour if needed.
  5. Transfer dough to a clean work area; knead by hand for about 5 minutes and shape the dough into a ball.
  6. Coat all sides of the dough with oil and place the dough in a medium bowl.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm location for 1 hour or until dough is doubled in size.
  8. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  9. Divide dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope.
  10. Using a knife, cut 1 inch pieces and put the pieces on a plate. Repeat process with the rest of the dough.
  11. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  12. Whisk one egg with water and set it aside.
  13. In a large pot, bring 6 cups of water to a boil.
  14. Carefully add baking soda.
  15. Boil 10 pieces of dough at a time for about a minute.
  16. Remove with a slotted spoon and put them down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough pieces. *You’ll need about 4 baking sheets.
  17. Brush egg wash over dough pieces.
  18. Sprinkle with any of the above toppings that I listed. My favorite combination is the sea salt with oregano.
  19. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  20. Cool on a wire rack.

Store any remaining pretzel bites in an airtight container.


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43 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. zerrin February 13, 2011 at 3:03 PM - Reply

    These look addictive! And I love that little cute hand digging into these beauties. Also, I want to let you know that I included these pretzel bites in my ‘Recipes of the week episode 3′ post to share it with my readers.

  2. briarrose February 8, 2011 at 11:58 AM - Reply

    Oh yummy….what a great treat. These look irresistible.

  3. The last picture made me smile. I’ve heard about the “freshman 10″ before but didn’t know it could happen through eating pretzels! Of course, there was the Velveeta too, huh. I love this recipe and the idea of making them bite-sized instead of the full twist shape. Thanks for sharing the story and the recipe.

  4. gingerbreadbagels February 7, 2011 at 12:15 PM - Reply

    I LOVE pretzels! What a great idea to make pretzel bites, YUM!

  5. Erin @ Making Memories February 7, 2011 at 12:15 PM - Reply

    Oh my gosh! These look amazing! And too funny. Bloated, although it’s supposed to sound better… really doesn’t. But pretzels and cheese sound pretty darn good!

  6. MarmandeintheKitchen February 6, 2011 at 12:54 PM - Reply

    I love soft pretzels – these look great!

  7. Sprinkled with Flour February 5, 2011 at 2:10 PM - Reply

    Ok….I had my super bowl menu all planned out, but now I’m going to have to add these! They sound soooo good:)

  8. zenobia February 5, 2011 at 7:25 AM - Reply

    Ha! Bloated – gotta love that! ;) My favorite is, “You’re just big boned, not fat” – says my mom when we weighed each other and I was 7 pounds lighter than her…Never mind the fact that I am way taller than her :-/

  9. Mina @ Angellove's Cooking February 5, 2011 at 4:49 AM - Reply

    OMG, I should try these bites! They look so tasty and :) CUTE too…

  10. Tiffany February 4, 2011 at 7:26 PM - Reply

    Looking tasty! These would be great for super bowl! Also, I passed on my Stylish Blogger award to you! You can see the post @ Happy Friday!

  11. Amanda @ bakingwithoutabox February 4, 2011 at 4:08 PM - Reply

    These look good. Perfect for studying. I’m sure it was just the salt that caused that freshman bloating. Such cute little reaching baby fingers!!! Oh so precious.

  12. Shea February 4, 2011 at 3:38 PM - Reply

    Those look great! Now I know what I’ll be making this weekend :)

  13. Maggie @ Vittles and Bits February 4, 2011 at 3:24 PM - Reply

    SO cute! These look delicious, I want some right now! And I love the little hand snatching some up, how precious!

  14. happywhennothungry February 4, 2011 at 9:44 AM - Reply

    Wow these pretzel bites look awesome! I love how easy the recipe is too!

  15. 5 Star Foodie February 4, 2011 at 9:26 AM - Reply

    Perfectly scrumptious pretzel bites! They look totally irresistible!

  16. Jill February 4, 2011 at 8:41 AM - Reply

    Why did WE never get such wonderful things like Pretzel bites? They look fabulous. I also love your photo with the mixing of the yeast and the patterns it forms ;-)

  17. Michelle February 4, 2011 at 7:48 AM - Reply

    These look SO good and irresistible!

  18. Stephanie @ okie dokie artichokie February 4, 2011 at 7:30 AM - Reply

    Looks yummy! Ever since finding mini pretzel buns a few weeks ago, I’ve been wanting to whip up my own pretzels. Your recipe looks easy and the bites look so cute! I definitely need to bookmark this!! Thanks, Kate!

    P.S. Cute picture, BTW, of your baby grabbin’ some. So cute!! (I used to be a teacher for a child care center and worked with infants and toddlers…I miss the little ones!) :-p

  19. Angie's Recipes February 3, 2011 at 11:30 PM - Reply

    Kate, those pretzel bites definitely make a great snack!

  20. theveggie February 3, 2011 at 10:56 PM - Reply

    wow, great idea. thanks for sharing. and good job on that GPA!

  21. Lisa {AuthenticSuburbanGourmet} February 3, 2011 at 10:53 PM - Reply

    These look and sound divine! Absolutely perfect for the upcoming game. Thank you for sharing!!

  22. A little bit of everything February 3, 2011 at 9:57 PM - Reply

    oh, college years, in my freshman year i gained about 10 pounds in the first too months :((( was easier to step into a fast food than find a roommate that knew to cook :)))
    these pretzels bites sound good. I’m going to ask my 15 months old baby girl to try them out soon.
    Thanks for the recipe Kate, have a wonderful rest of the week

  23. Vicki @ Wilde in the Kitchen February 3, 2011 at 8:53 PM - Reply

    I love those mall pretzels. My mom and I always get them when we hit the mall :) Now I can make them at home, perfect!

  24. Kita February 3, 2011 at 8:48 PM - Reply

    These do look super yummy! I have no solid plan for Sunday yet so maybe I can sneak them in! (though, I would have to make a velveeta sauce because we love that stuff here – somewhere a foodie is staring me down for admitting that). XD

  25. Katrina February 3, 2011 at 7:59 PM - Reply

    I love making my favorite store-boughts at home! Great job!

  26. Mateja February 3, 2011 at 7:58 PM - Reply

    This is something my husband would go coo-coo about! Bookmarked!

  27. Claudia February 3, 2011 at 7:54 PM - Reply

    I love all pretzels. I am an equal-opportunity-pretzel eater and now wish I was eating those bites. And yes, need a warm cheese sauce for slurping …. make that dipping.

  28. Claudie February 3, 2011 at 7:39 PM - Reply

    Oh my. Believe me, I don’t need any Superbowl to try out this recipe. Your pretzel bites look delicious!

  29. Lori February 3, 2011 at 7:36 PM - Reply

    Pretzels just happen to be my one weaknes …it is my kryptonite!! I may not be able to wait for the game on Sunday to make these! YUM!

  30. Peggy February 3, 2011 at 7:35 PM - Reply

    Well, at least you got that 4.0! I know I gained a few lbs. and ended up with a 3.2 my freshman year! Hehe

  31. Lindsey at Burn Me Not February 3, 2011 at 7:01 PM - Reply

    Yum!! I am such a sucker for those mall pretzels. Thank goodness my trips to the mall have become less frequent because I just can’t resist them. :) These bites look amazing; I cannot wait to try them!

  32. Sandra February 3, 2011 at 7:01 PM - Reply

    Those look good!!

  33. Sandra February 3, 2011 at 6:59 PM - Reply

    Oh dear..those are amazing..will try it soon!!!

  34. Drick February 3, 2011 at 6:54 PM - Reply

    I too like pretzels, sourdough especially – your bites are perfect and I can just see a creamy cheese sauce on the side for dipping these babies in…

  35. Food Frenzy February 3, 2011 at 6:33 PM - Reply

    Being a bread fanatic, these are pure bliss. Yum!

  36. Charlie February 3, 2011 at 6:22 PM - Reply

    I love pretzels! Such a good idea to make them into bites!

  37. Liz February 3, 2011 at 6:21 PM - Reply

    My kids all made homemade pretzels in pre-school and they were requested for years after. I think I better surprise them with a batch of yours soon…maybe a good Super Bowl snack???? Thanks!

  38. Christi February 3, 2011 at 5:40 PM - Reply

    Those look so good! My daughter would live on soft pretzels if I let her. For some reason they always intimidate me to make, but I think I may have to try your recipe out. Thanks!

  39. kimberly (unrivaledkitch) February 3, 2011 at 3:23 PM - Reply

    i love pretzels too their so delicious bready goodness. I’m sure if i made them my sister would go nuts.

    your babies little hand is the perfect little shot i want to eat them with him :)


  40. lil @ sweetsbysillianah February 3, 2011 at 2:50 PM - Reply

    the freshman 15! that’s what college was for….pigging out! ;) i wish we had pretzel bites like these in our dining hall… i can see myself eating and eating… yum-o!

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