Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites

We love a good soft pretzel in my house, and my fiance loves have a cheesy sauce to dip them in. So when I came across this recipe from two peas & their pod, I had to give it a try. These amazing, salty treats are perfect for entertaining guests or bringing to the office to share with co-workers!

Pretzels:
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
vegetable oil
3 quarts water
1/2 cup baking soda
1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
Coarse sea salt

For the cheese sauce:
½ Tablespoon unsalted butter
½ Tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ cup milk
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated (I used both sharp and mild cheddar, approx. half of each)

You can make the cheese sauce in advance and refrigerate until you are ready to serve. Just reheat on stove top, stirring constantly. To make the sauce:

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and allow to cook for one minute. Add milk and whisk gently, until slightly thickened. Remove heat and stir in grated cheese until completely melted and mixture is smooth.

  

Add salt & pepper to taste, or kick it up with Sriracha or Tabasco sauce!

To make the Pretzels:

Combine the 1 1/2 cups water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl – stir and gently knead the dough until well mixed. The recipe calls for a stand mixer and dough hook, but I used a fork to combine the water, sugar, and yeast, my hands to mix the dough, and some good old-fashioned elbow grease to do the kneading. 

Add the salt and flour and mix (on low speed, if using a mixer) until combined. Continue kneading vigorously until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes (increasing speed if using a mixer).

   

If the dough appears too moist, add additional flour, a little bit at a time. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.

Oil a metal bowl, add the dough and turn to coat the entire surface of the dough ball with a thin coating. Cover with a clean towel and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour. 

  

Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface.

Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. I made mine into two balls and cut each of them like a pizza. 

Roll each piece into a long rope measuring 22 inches. Cut the dough into one inch pieces to make the bites!

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a small pot over high heat; add the baking soda. Boil the pretzel bites in the water solution in batches (about 10 bites at a time), each batch for about 30 seconds.

Remove with a large slotted spoon. Place pretzel bites on a lightly greased baking sheet, making sure they are not touching.

Brush the tops with the egg wash, and season liberally with coarse sea salt.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove to a baking rack and let rest 5 minutes before eating.  Enjoy!!

Note: I actually was not a fan of the cheese sauce in this recipe and when I make these again, I will definitely be looking into something more ‘nacho cheese-y’!

Homemade Pretzel Bites
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Pretzels
  1. 1 1/2 cups warm water
  2. 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  3. 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  4. 3 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  5. 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  6. 4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  7. vegetable oil
  8. 3 quarts water
  9. 1/2 cup baking soda
  10. 1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
  11. Coarse sea salt
For the cheese sauce
  1. ½ Tablespoon unsalted butter
  2. ½ Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  3. ½ cup milk
  4. 8 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated (I used both sharp and mild cheddar, approx. half of each)
To make the sauce
  1. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and allow to cook for one minute. Add milk and whisk gently, until slightly thickened. Remove heat and stir in grated cheese until completely melted and mixture is smooth.
  2. Add salt & pepper to taste, or kick it up with Sriracha or Tabasco sauce!
To make the Pretzels
  1. Combine the 1 1/2 cups water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl - stir and gently knead the dough until well mixed. The recipe calls for a stand mixer and dough hook, but I used a fork to combine the water, sugar, and yeast, my hands to mix the dough, and some good old-fashioned elbow grease to do the kneading.
  2. Add the salt and flour and mix (on low speed, if using a mixer) until combined. Continue kneading vigorously until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes (increasing speed if using a mixer).
  3. If the dough appears too moist, add additional flour, a little bit at a time. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a flat surface and knead into a ball with your hands.
  4. Oil a metal bowl, add the dough and turn to coat the entire surface of the dough ball with a thin coating. Cover with a clean towel and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
  5. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface.
  6. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. I made mine into two balls and cut each of them like a pizza.
  7. Roll each piece into a long rope measuring 22 inches. Cut the dough into one inch pieces to make the bites.
  8. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a small pot over high heat; add the baking soda. Boil the pretzel bites in the water solution in batches (about 10 bites at a time), each batch for about 30 seconds.
  9. Remove with a large slotted spoon. Place pretzel bites on a lightly greased baking sheet, making sure they are not touching.
  10. Brush the tops with the egg wash, and season liberally with coarse sea salt.
  11. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.
  12. Remove to a baking rack and let rest 5 minutes before eating. Enjoy!!
Notes
  1. *You can make the cheese sauce in advance and refrigerate until you are ready to serve. Just reheat on stovetop, stirring constantly.
  2. **I actually was not a fan of the cheese sauce in this recipe and when I make these again, I will definitely be looking into something more 'nacho cheese-y'!
Adapted from twopeasintheirpod
Adapted from twopeasintheirpod
Half Baked Cooks http://halfbakedcooks.com/

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