Soft Pretzel Bites sprinkled with sea salt and oregano are incredibly easy to make, totally addictive, and melt in your mouth amazing! They’re the ideal bite-sized snack or appetizer for your next party, or for game day. Your guests will keep coming back for more!
An Easy Pretzel Bites Recipe
Pretzels have always been one of my favorite snacks. I remember my friends and I going to the mall just to buy a soft pretzel, but they were always SO big, I wanted something smaller, so I made mine bite-sized and topped them with my favorite topping – sea salt and oregano. And now every time my friends come over they put their order in for these pretzel bites.
These pretzel bites are soft, buttery and totally addictive. If you are looking for a bite-sized snack or app to serve at your next party, look no further. These are guaranteed to be a crowd favorite!
Best part is you can make them savoury or sweet, just by changing the topping! How great is that!
What Are Pretzel Bites?
Pretzels are a baked pastry made from dough that is commonly shaped into a twisted pretzel. These pretzel bites are cut into small square pieces making them easier to make and easier to eat.
The traditional pretzel shape is a distinctive symmetrical form, with the ends of a long strip of dough intertwined and then twisted back onto itself in a particular way. They might seem intimidating to make, but trust me they are quite simple. Instead of shaping the dough into a twisted pretzel the dough is rolled into a long rope and cut in small square bites.
- April 26th is National Pretzel Day.
- October is National Pretzel Month.
- Perhaps because of its religious roots, the pretzel has long been considered a good-luck symbol. German children wear pretzels around their necks on New Year’s Day. In Austria in the 16th century, pretzels adorned Christmas trees, and they were hidden along with hard-boiled eggs on Easter morning.
- The phrase “tying the knot” came from the Swiss, who still incorporate the lucky pretzel in wedding ceremonies. Newlyweds traditionally make a wish and break a pretzel, in the same way people in other cultures break a wishbone or a glass.
- Until the 1930s, pretzels were handmade, and the average worker could twist 40 a minute. In 1935, the Reading Pretzel Machinery Company introduced the first automated pretzel machine, which enabled large bakeries to make 245 pretzels per minute, or five tons in a day.
Ingredients For Pretzel Bites
The three main ingredients are flour, butter and water – how easy is that – right?
Additionally, you will need:
- Light Brown Sugar
- Active Dry Yeast
- Baking Soda
- Toppings: sea salt plus oregano, garlic salt, cinnamon-sugar, and/or sesame seeds.
How To Make Pretzel Bites
Word of advice: Have all ingredients ready before you start.
- In a large mixing bowl combine brown sugar, yeast, melted butter and water; whisk it and let sit for 5 minutes or until frothy. Next, add salt and flour to yeast mixture.
- Attach the paddle attachment to your stand mixer and mix until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is pulling away from the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Next, remove paddle attachment and set the dough hook to the mixer; “knead” for 2 minutes. You can also knead by hand for about 5 minutes on a lightly floured surface.
- Shape the dough into a ball. Coat all sides of dough with a little oil and place the dough in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm location for 1 hour or until dough is doubled in size.
- Divide dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope. Then, using a knife, cut 1 inch pieces and put the pieces on a plate. Repeat the process with the rest of the dough.
- In a large pot, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Carefully add baking soda. Then, boil 10 pieces of dough at a time for about 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and arrange them on parchment paper lined baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough pieces.
- Brush egg wash over the dough pillows. Sprinkle with toppings – my favorite combination is the sea salt and dried basil or dried oregano. Then bake for 12 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.
Can I Make Pretzel Bites Ahead?
- Absolutely! These pretzel bites are super convenient because you can prep them a week or even a month ahead and freeze them! This makes them the perfect snack to have on hand for unexpected guests or hungry kids.
- I prep and arrange them on a baking sheet, and pop the baking sheet in the freezer. Once they’re frozen I put them in an airtight storage container.
- You can also freeze them after baking. Be sure to cool first, then place them in an airtight container. They will keep for up to 3 months.
How to Store Pretzel Bites?
Once your pretzel bites are baked and cooled, you can store them in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
Can you freeze pretzel bites?
- Keep pretzel bites frozen in an airtight container for up to three months.
How to defrost pretzel bites?
- Reheat from frozen in a 250˚F oven until warmed.
Why are pretzels dipped in baking soda?
- The brief dip in an alkaline water bath before baking gelatinizes the outside of the pretzel, preventing it from fully “springing” during baking (as bread does) and giving it the unique “pretzel” flavor.
TOOLS USED IN THIS RECIPE
- Stand Mixer
- Mixing Bowls
- Baking Sheets
- 4-quart Pot
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 package (2¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, melted
- 2 cups warm water
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 cups water
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
Toppings: Your choice of any or all
- sea salt and dried oregano or dried basil
- garlic salt
- cinnamon and sugar
- sesame seeds
- Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce, for dipping
- In a large mixing bowl combine brown sugar, yeast, melted butter and water; whisk and let sit for 5 minutes or until frothy.
- Add salt and flour to the yeast mixture.
- Attach the paddle attachment to a stand mixer and mix until all flour is incorporated and the dough is pulling away from the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Remove paddle attachment and attach the dough hook to the mixer; "knead" for 2 minutes. You can also transfer dough to a clean work area and knead by hand for about 5 minutes.
- Shape dough into a ball and coat all sides of dough with a little bit of oil.
- Place dough in a medium bowl; cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm location for 1 hour or until dough is doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Divide prepared dough into 8 smaller balls.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball into a long rope.
- Using a knife, cut 1 inch pieces from the rope and put the pieces on a plate(s). Repeat process with the rest of the dough. You'll have anywhere from 80 to 100 pieces.
- Prepare 4 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Whisk one egg with 1 tablespoon water and set it aside.
- In a large pot, bring 6 cups of water to a boil.
- Carefully add in baking soda.
- Boil 10 pieces of dough at a time for about a minute.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and put them down on the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough pieces.
- Brush egg wash over dough pieces.
- Sprinkle with toppings.
- Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
- Serve with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce.
RECIPE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON FEBRUARY 3rd, 2011. UPDATED RECIPE & PHOTOS ON JANUARY 31st, 2020.