Soft Pretzel Bites Recipe - Sally's Baking Addiction (2024)

These soft pretzel bitesare exactly like regularhomemade soft pretzels, but shaped into smaller pieces. The dough requires just 6 ingredients and there’s hardly any rise time, so this is a wonderful recipe for yeast beginners. Have fun shaping the bites (they don’t need to be perfect!) and enjoy warm flavorful homemade pretzels within an hour. Serve plain, cinnamon sugar style, or with your favorite dip such as spicy cheese sauce or stone ground mustard.

Soft Pretzel Bites Recipe - Sally's Baking Addiction (1)

I’m writing this over 7 years after this recipe was first published and say with 100% honesty that kids and adults alike FLOCK to these pretzel bites. They’re always a massive hit, a favorite party snack, and the fact that they’re surprisingly easy is music to the ears!

Tell Me About These Soft Pretzel Bites

  • Flavor: If you enjoy soft pretzels, you’ll love these smaller bites. They’re completely homemade, so unlike store-bought frozen soft pretzels, each has that soft, warm, and fresh-from-the-oven taste and texture. You can keep the pretzels traditional with a sprinkling of coarse salt or try the cinnamon sugar version detailed in the recipe notes.
  • Texture:The difference between bread and soft pretzels/soft pretzel bites is an alkaline bath. Do you know what that is? I promise it’s a very easy step. This is when shaped soft pretzel dough takes a dip in boiling water and baking soda, a quick step that provides the iconic chewy pretzel texture and adds a deeper, richer color to the baked pretzels. The boiling water also locks in the shape so the pretzels don’t over-puff in the oven. (Without the baking soda bath, you lose texture, that deep brown color, and flavor. So, basically, you will have bite-size bread instead of pretzels.) We do this key step when making regular soft pretzels, pretzel rolls, jalapeño cheddar soft pretzels andsoft pretzel knots, too.
  • Ease:Have you ever made my recipe for regular homemadesoft pretzels? It was one of the first recipes I ever published, only to be republished with step-by-step photos a few years later. It’s become a “famous” & popular recipe on this website because the pretzels are relatively quick, extremely easy, and deliver great taste. Same story with these pretzel bites! Though the recipe requires yeast, I always say that this pretzel dough is a terrific starting point for yeast beginners because there’s very little rise time. And shaping the dough into bite-size pieces is easier than shaping into pretzels. Lots of perks about today’s recipe!
Soft Pretzel Bites Recipe - Sally's Baking Addiction (2)

Dough for Soft Pretzel Bites

I never stray from my original soft pretzel dough, so that’s what you’ll use for these pretzel bites. You need just 6 basic ingredients to get started including warm water, yeast, a little sugar to feed the yeast, melted butter, salt, and all-purpose flour. (If you have it, the same amount of bread flour works too!). You can use either instant (quick rise) or active dry yeast in this dough. I usually usePlatinum Yeast from Red Star, which is an instant yeast.

The dough doesn’t require extended rise time and the baking soda bath is pretty quick, so besides the baking step, the longest stretch of time this recipe requires is shaping.

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

Step-By-Step Pictures

Whisk the warm water, yeast, and sugar together. Cover and let the mixture sit for a few minutes until foamy on top. Waiting for it to foam isn’t totally necessary, but it helps us see that the yeast is ready and active. The right photo below shows the dough before kneading. Review my How to Knead Dough video tutorial if needed before starting the next step.

Soft Pretzel Bites Recipe - Sally's Baking Addiction (3)
Soft Pretzel Bites Recipe - Sally's Baking Addiction (4)

Knead the dough, divide into 6 sections, and then roll into six 20-inch ropes. The video tutorial located in the recipe shows these steps as well. Cut each rope into 1.5 – 2 inch pieces to make bites. I like to use a (affiliate links) pizza cutter or bench scraper for cutting this dough, but a sharp knife works perfectly fine too. Use what you have.

Soft Pretzel Bites Recipe - Sally's Baking Addiction (5)
Soft Pretzel Bites Recipe - Sally's Baking Addiction (6)
Soft Pretzel Bites Recipe - Sally's Baking Addiction (7)

The photo above shows the pretzel bites after the baking soda bath. At this point, they are ready to bake.

Try Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites

Immediately after the baking soda bath while the soft pretzel bites are still wet, sprinkle with coarse salt. Or if you’d like a different topping, skip the coarse salt and try the cinnamon sugar version. Bake the pretzels completely plain without salt. Once done and still warm out of the oven, brush with melted butter then dip into a mix of cinnamon and granulated sugar. See specific instructions in the notes below.

By the way, you can have fun with even more toppings such as everything bagelsseasoning instead of coarse salt. Heavily sprinkle on the pretzels while they’re still wet from the baking soda bath before baking.

Soft Pretzel Bites Recipe - Sally's Baking Addiction (8)

For a larger version, try these soft pretzel rolls. Great for sandwiches!

More Appetizers & Snacks

  • Pepperoni Pizza Dip
  • Sweet Potato Skins
  • Crab Dip
  • Bacon Wrapped Cheesy Stuffed Jalapeños
  • Honey BBQ Popcorn Chicken
  • Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball


Soft Pretzel Bites Recipe - Sally's Baking Addiction (9)

Soft Pretzel Bites

5 Stars4 Stars3 Stars2 Stars1 Star4.9 from 124 reviews

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 5 dozen
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
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These soft pretzel bites are always a crowd favorite! The easy dough requires just 6 ingredients and there’s hardly any rise time, so this is a wonderful recipe for yeast beginners. Have fun shaping the bites (they don’t need to be perfect!) and enjoy warm flavorful homemade pretzels within an hour. Review recipe notes and watch the video tutorial before starting.


  • 1and 1/2 cups (360ml)warm water (lukewarm–no need to take temperature but around 100°F (38°C) is great)
  • 2and 1/4 teaspoons (7g)instantoractive dry yeast(1standard packet)
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar orgranulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoonsalt
  • 1 Tablespoon (14g)unsalted butter, melted and slightly cool
  • 3 and 3/4 – 4 cups (469-500g)all-purpose flour(), plus more for hands and work surface
  • topping: coarse salt/coarse sea salt

Baking Soda Bath

  • 1/2 cup(120g)baking soda
  • 9 cups(2,160ml)water

Optional for Serving

  • spicy cheese sauce or your favorite mustard


  1. Make the dough: Whisk warm water, yeast, and sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle or dough hook attachment. (If you do not have a stand mixer, just use a regular large mixing bowl and a wooden spoon or silicone spatula.) Cover yeast mixture and allow to sit for 5 minutes or until foamy on top. Add salt, melted butter, and 3 cups (375g) of flour. Beat on low speed for 1 minute, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if needed, then add 3/4 cup (95g) of flour. Beat on low speed until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 2 minutes. If dough is extremely sticky after 1 minute of mixing, add remaining 1/4 cup of flour and continue to beat for 1 more minute. (You can see in the video that I add the remaining flour.)
  2. Knead the dough: Keep the dough in the mixer (and switch to the dough hook if using the paddle) and beat for an additional 5 full minutes, or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 5 full minutes. (If you’re new to bread-baking, my How to Knead Dough video tutorial can help here.) If the dough becomes too sticky during the kneading process, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of flour at a time on the dough or on the work surface/in the bowl to make a soft, slightly tacky dough. Do not add more flour than you need because you do not want a dry dough. After kneading, the dough should still feel a little soft. Poke it with your finger—if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready to rise. You can also do a “windowpane test” to see if your dough has been kneaded long enough: tear off a small (roughly golfball-size) piece of dough and gently stretch it out until it’s thin enough for light to pass through it. Hold it up to a window or light. Does light pass through the stretched dough without the dough tearing first? If so, your dough has been kneaded long enough and is ready to rise. If not, keep kneading until it passes the windowpane test.
  3. Cover lightly with a towel and allow to rest for 10-30 minutes. (Meanwhile, I like to get the water + baking soda boiling as instructed in step 5.)
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Silicone baking mats are highly recommended over parchment paper. If using parchment paper, lightly spray with nonstick spray or grease with butter. Set aside.
  5. Shape: With a sharp knife, pizza cutter, or bench scraper, cut dough into 6 equal pieces (just eyeball it, doesn’t have to be perfect). Sprinkle work surface very lightly with flour. (Tip: The heavier you flour the work surface, the harder it is to roll the dough. A little stickiness actually helps. You only need *a very light* dusting of flour.) Roll each piece of dough into a 20-inch rope. If the ropes keep shrinking and stretching the dough becomes difficult, stop what you’re doing, lightly cover all of the dough, and let it rest for 10 minutes so the gluten can relax. Then, return to rolling it into ropes. Cut each rope into 1.5 – 2 inch pieces to make bites.
  6. Baking Soda Bath: Mix water and baking soda together in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Place 8-10 pretzel bites into the boiling water for a quick 10-15 seconds. (Any longer and your pretzels could take on a metallic taste.) Using a slotted spatula or spoon, lift the pretzel bites out of the water and allow as much of the excess water to drip off. Place bites onto prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle each with coarse sea salt while they are still wet or leave plain if using cinnamon sugar topping listed in the notes. Repeat baking soda bath with remaining pretzel bites. If needed, you can cover and refrigerate the boiled/unbaked bites for up to 24 hours before baking.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve warm.
  8. Cover and store leftover pretzel bites at room temperature for up to 3 days. They lose a little softness over time. To reheat, microwave for a few seconds or bake in a 350°F (177°C) for 5 minutes.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Baked and cooled pretzel bites freeze well up to 2-3 months. To reheat, bake frozen bites at 350°F (177°C) for 10 minutes or until warmed through or microwave frozen bites until warm. The prepared pretzel dough can be refrigerated for up to one day or frozen in an airtight container for 2-3 months. Thaw frozen dough in the refrigerator overnight. Refrigerated dough can be shaped into bites while still cold, but allow some extra time, about 1 hour, for the pretzels to puff up before the baking soda bath and baking.
  2. Special Tools (affiliate links): Electric Stand Mixer | Baking Sheets | Silicone Baking Mats or Parchment Paper | Pizza Cutter or Bench Scraper | Large Pot
  3. Flour: If you have it, the same amount of bread flour works instead of all-purpose flour. Do not use whole wheat flour.
  4. Cinnamon Sugar: Bake the pretzel bites completely plain without salt in step 6. As the pretzel bites bake, melt 4 Tablespoons (60g) unsalted butter. Set aside. Combine 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar and 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Set aside. Once the pretzels are done and still warm out of the oven, brush each with melted butter then generously dip into cinnamon sugar. Cinnamon sugar pretzels are best served that day because due to the melted butter topping, they become soggy after a few hours.
  5. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
  6. Egg? This recipe used to call for brushing the boiled pretzel bites with a beaten egg before sprinkling with coarse salt. Now you can skip the egg and sprinkle the salt on the pretzels while they are still wet from the boiling step. If you prefer them the old way, feel free to continue brushing with the beaten egg before salting and baking. I skip it these days.
Soft Pretzel Bites Recipe - Sally's Baking Addiction (2024)


What is the secret ingredient which makes a pretzel taste like a pretzel? ›

But it's the distinctive "pretzel" flavor that makes this bread extraordinary. That comes from dipping the shaped dough in an alkaline solution — traditionally a small amount of food-grade lye dissolved in water — before baking.

How do you keep soft pretzel bites warm for a party? ›

Simply wrap all the pretzel bites tightly in foil, sealing the edges together, then place in your oven on “keep warm,” or 170F.

What is the secret solution for Auntie Anne's pretzels? ›

Brown Sugar- brown sugar is what Auntie Anne's pretzels, use for their pretzel dough. Salt- use good quality sea salt. Baking powder- works as a dough conditioner for these soft homemade pretzels. Basic Alkaline wash- is a simple baking soda and water solution made for dipping pretzels in.

What's the difference between a pretzel and a soft pretzel? ›

Soft pretzels are large and have a chewy texture. They're usually served individually and are commonly sold at concession stands, restaurants, and bakeries. Meanwhile, hard pretzels are small and crunchy and can be eaten by the handful, depending on their shape.

What gives soft pretzels their flavor? ›

What Gives Pretzels Their Pretzel Flavor? You have baking soda to thank for that distinct pretzel flavor. Baking soda is highly alkaline and imparts that subtly metallic taste onto the dough before your pretzels go into the oven. Some recipes call for a lye bath, which does the same thing.

Does Auntie Anne's fry or bake their pretzels? ›

Products sold at Auntie Anne's franchise locations are baked fresh in-store. In order to provide you with a great Auntie Anne's experience at home, we use the same proprietary blend of flour used in our stores.

What is the secret ingredient in pretzels? ›

According to King Arthur Baking, lye and caustic sodas are used in the process of baking pretzels because lye's reaction to the pretzels, much like baking soda, gives them that chewy texture, light interior, and brown crust.

Which is healthier, potato chips or pretzels? ›

When you place the nutritional information of pretzels and potato chips side-by-side, you'll notice why pretzels are the healthier choice. Pretzels have less calories than potato chips and less saturated fat. As we all know, excessive calories and saturated fat can ruin a diet.

What do you eat with soft pretzel bites? ›

The best side dishes to serve with soft pretzels are spinach artichoke dip, broccoli cheddar soup, hummus, dulce de leche, smoked cream cheese, tzatziki sauce, strawberry jam, chocolate fondue, quinoa salad, mustard sauce, pizza dip, caramel sauce, pimento cheese, chicken salad, guacamole, and beer cheese dip.

How do you make pretzel bites soft again? ›

Drizzle a small amount of water over the pretzel so that the pretzel is moist but not soggy. Wrap your pretzel in aluminum foil and place it in the oven for five minutes.

Can you leave soft pretzels out overnight? ›

Storing Freshly Baked Soft Pretzels

Room Temperature for Short-Term: Store them in an airtight container at room temperature if enjoying within a couple of days. Refrigerate for a Little Longer: Wrapped pretzels can be refrigerated for up to a week.

Does Auntie Anne's use lye or baking soda? ›

Well, the cheery ladies were very clear with me: they do NOT use lye. No sodium hydroxide/poison/caustic soda—none whatsoever—in their pretzels. (They do, however, dip their pretzels in a baking soda solution.)

How do you get a free pretzel at Auntie Anne's? ›

Enjoy a free pretzel after your first $1 spent, a free pretzel on your birthday when you spend $10+ annually, and other exclusive member offers.

Why are Auntie Anne pretzels so good? ›

All those pretzels are made and twisted on the spot.

Auntie Anne's definitely doesn't serve pre-made pretzels! Every location receives shipments of the signature flour mixture, which is put in a mixer along with water and yeast. They're baked, brushed with real butter, salted and served right there.

What is the special ingredient in pretzels? ›

Traditional Bavarian pretzels are dipped in a lye solution before they are baked. Lye, also known as sodium hydroxide, is essentially the same stuff that's used to make soap and clean drains. It can even dissolve glass.

What is the flavouring on pretzels? ›

Salt is the most common seasoning, or topping, for pretzels, complementing the washing soda or lye treatment that gives pretzels their traditional skin and flavor acquired through the Maillard reaction. Other toppings are mustard, cheeses, sugar, chocolate, cinnamon, sweet glazing, seeds, and nuts.

What makes pretzels taste unique? ›

Lye. The dough is simple; take a basic yeast-risen dough that can be readied in an afternoon. But the trick to great pretzels is dipping the pretzels in a liquid wash before baking — and not just any wash, but a combination of water and lye. That's what gives pretzels their terrific color, texture and flavor.

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