This Homemade Pretzel Bites recipe makes soft, salty, pretzels that are perfect for dipping in a cheese dip!
Have I mentioned lately that I love being a food blogger? I spent years pinning recipes that I swore I was going to try out and now I finally have an excuse to spend the whole day in the kitchen baking and cooking up delicious recipes. When Melinda said she wanted to make a Warm Chorizo & Beer Cheese Dip for the blog I was so excited because 1) Chorizo and Beer Cheese Dip sounded amazing and 2) I finally had a reason to try making homemade pretzels!
For years I’ve wanted to try making soft pretzels and it turns out it is pretty easy. I was really surprised to find that the dough recipe is pretty much exactly what I use to make my pizza dough. What makes a pretzel a pretzel is the baking soda water bath you dip it in before baking. Who knew?! The dough recipe is simple but you need to have a little bit of time set aside since it requires letting the dough rise for an hour or so. I made mine on a Saturday so I could get the bread started then let it rise while I did some laundry and cleaned up the kitchen. You start by sprinkling a package of yeast over a bowl of warm water and sugar. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and the yeast will start to bloom and become foamy looking. Now, I did this in the bowl of my mixer because I used my Kitchen Aid Mixer and bread hook attachment to knead the bread. You can certainly knead it by hand if you like either way works. When the yeast is ready add salt to the water and then start scooping in your flour a cup at a time while you have the bread hook going (or stir it with a spoon/spatula). Keep mixing it with your mixer until it forms a ball or if you are doing it by hand you will add a little flour to your counter top and turn the dough out on to it kneading for a few minutes and forming it into a ball.
Once your dough it ready place it in a lightly oiled bowl, flip it over a time or two to coat it in oil and cover it with a clean towel. Place it in a warm place and let it rise for an hour or so, or until it doubles in size. Now, my house is never warm enough to get a good rise from yeast dough. It will sit and sit forever and never double in size so I have a little trick I use. I preheat the oven to 200°F and then turn it off open the door and let it cool for about 10 minutes then put my bowl in the oven with the door cracked. It is nice and warm and my bread rises perfectly!
About 10 minutes before the dough is done rising get a big pot of water started. The pot should be hold 2-3 quarts of water and still be deep enough that water won’t splash up or boil over when you add the baking soda. Turn it to high and get the water to the point where it is almost ready to boil. Add the baking soda slowly and carefully (it will bubble up!). When the dough has risen turn it out onto a floured surface and cut it into 6 pieces. Roll each piece out into a rope about 1-inch thick and then use a sharp knife to cut it into 1-inch pieces. You can make these bigger or small based on your preference. Take each batch of dough to the water and drop the dough pieces into it leaving them for about 30 seconds before pulling them out and putting them on your baking sheet. Brush the pretzel dough with the egg wash and sprinkle with salt (use a salt with big pieces like kosher or sea salt). Bake them in a 425°F oven for 10 minutes or until they are golden brown.
- 1½ c Water, warm
- 2 Tbsp Sugar, granulated
- 1 package Active dry yeast (2¼ tsp)
- 2½ tsp Kosher salt
- 5 c All-purpose flour + more for rolling out dough
- 6 c Hot Water
- ½ cup Baking soda
- 1 Egg + 1 Tbsp Water
- Salt (Kosher, sea salt or pretzel salt)
- Fill a bowl (use your mixing bowl if you will be using a mixer to knead the dough) full of warm water and add sugar. Sprinkle 1 package of dough over the water and let it sit for about 10 minutes. It will become foamy.
- When yeast is ready add salt to the water and beginning adding flour a cup at a time. If you are using a mixer you will have the mixer running with a dough hook attached. If you are doing it by hand stir mixer with a spatula.
- Keep mixing until dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If you are doing it by hand pour the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead it for a few minutes forming it into a ball. If you are using a mixer it will form a ball on it’s own.
- Place dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl, tossing it in the bowl a bit to cover it with oil. Place a clean dish towel over the bowl and place it in a warm place to rise for about an hour, or until it has doubled in size. TIP: If your house is not warm enough preheat the oven to 200°F and then turn it off open the door and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Then place your bowl in the oven with the door cracked. It is nice and warm and the bread rises perfectly!
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- About 10 minutes before the dough is done rising fill a large pot with water. This pot should should be hold 2-3 quarts of water and still be deep enough that water won't splash up or boil over when you add the baking soda.
- Turn the heat to high and bring the water almost to a boil.
- Add the baking soda slowly and carefully (it will bubble up!).
- When the dough has risen turn it out onto a floured surface and cut it into 6 pieces.
- Roll each piece out into a rope about 1-inch thick and then use a sharp knife to cut it into 1-inch pieces.
- Take each batch of dough to the water and drop the dough pieces into it leaving them for about 30 seconds before pulling them out and putting them on your baking sheet.
- Brush the pretzel dough with an egg wash made from 1 large egg and 1 Tbsp of water mixed together.
- Sprinkle them with salt (use a salt with big pieces like kosher or sea salt).
- Bake pretzels in the oven for 10 minutes or until they are golden brown.
That’s it! Homemade pretzels that are perfect for dipping in creamy Chorizo and Beer Cheese Dip. They take a little time and effort but they are so worth it!