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Soft And Chewy Pretzel Bites- (Oven + Air fryer Recipe)

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This soft pretzel bites recipe is the perfect snack or appetizer to serve your hungry friends and family. Slightly crisp on the outside, but soft and tender on the inside, they are everything you’d expect from your favorite soft pretzel shop and perfect for dunking into cheese or your favorite sauce. And since they won’t take all day or need advance baking knowledge, they are the perfect recipe to involve the kids.

LET’S BE FRIENDS ON PINTEREST! WE’RE ALWAYS PINNING TASTY RECIPES

 

Pretzel bites , pretzel bites recipe , air fryer pretzel bites

This Recipe's Index

Homemade Pretzel Bites 

Homemade pretzel bites have the classic pretzel flavor you know and love. And this super easy recipe makes the perfect afternoon activity to do over the weekend. 

Our tasty pretzel bite recipe makes perfect, soft pretzels every time. 

What makes pretzel dough different?

Pretzel dough is very similar to doughs for bread and pizza crust, but there are a few steps that make them different.

First, the number of rise times and amount you work the dough is far less with pretzels compared to bread.

Secondly, the most important difference is the baking soda bath. This gives them the brown, shiny, and classic flavor when you bake them. 

Pretzel bites Ingredients

When you make pretzel bites, you’ll need these ingredients:

  • Warm water - The warm water helps activate the yeast.
  • Instant or active dry yeast - You need one standard packet found in the baking section of most stores.
  • Granulated sugar - The sugar helps to activate the yeast.
  • Salt - You’ll need both regular table salt and coarse sea salt to top the pretzels.
  • Unsalted butter - You could use a light tasting oil if you want to make this vegan.
  • All-purpose flour - When you make this, make sure the measurements are accurate. 

You’ll also need additional water and baking soda to make a baking soda bath.

How to make homemade pretzel bites in the oven

When you are ready to make the homemade pretzels, here’s what you’ll need to do:

pretzel bites step 1 instructions

 

  • First, combine the warm water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined. Once mixed, allow it to sit for 5 minutes to proof the yeast. It should start to bubble and foam when ready.
  • Next, add the flour and mix on low speed until combined. Once combined, increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. It should take about 5 to 6 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the correct consistency. Finally, remove the dough from the bowl.

pretzel bites step 2 instructions

  • Next, add a bit of oil to the Instant Pot and grease the insert well and then transfer the dough into the Instant Pot and roll it to cover the dough with oil.
  • Once coated, press the Yogurt setting button on the Instant Pot and ensure it is set to ‘Normal’. Finally, place the lid and let the dough proof for 1 hour 
  • As the dough rises, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • After 1 hour, remove the dough from the bowl of the Instant Pot and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces
  • Next, roll each piece into a long rope measuring 18 to 20 inches. Finally, cut the dough into one-inch pieces to make the pretzel bites. 

pretzel bites step 4 instructions

  • When the bites are ready, bring the water to a boil in a large pot over high heat and carefully add the baking soda. 
  • Next, boil the pretzel bites in the water solution in batches. We did about 20 bites at a time. You only need to boil them for about 15 seconds. If they go any longer the pretzels will develop a metallic taste.
  • As they finish the bath, carefully remove with a large, slotted spoon. Next, place pretzel bites on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray, making sure they are not touching. Finally, sprinkle each with coarse sea salt while they are still wet.
  • Finally, bake the bites in your oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Serve them fresh from the oven with cheese sauce or your favorite dipping sauces.

pretzel bites step 4 instructions

Making Air Fryer Pretzel Bites    

When you make the pretzel bites in the air fryer, follow all the instructions above for making the dough, shaping it, and boiling it. Once you have boiled the bites, follow these steps:

  • First, lightly spray the basket of the air fryer with olive oil. 
  • Next, place pretzel bites into the basket, giving them enough room to expand.
  • Finally, cook the bites for 7-8  minutes at 390 degrees F or until lightly browned on top.

Pro tips for perfect pretzel bites

When you make this pretzel bites recipe, follow these great tips and tricks:

  • Don’t skip the bath, it gives them the classic look and flavor
  • But don’t over cook them in the bath, they only need 15 seconds
  • Feel free to make fun shapes, just make sure to make them roughly even in size for even baking

Pretzel bites , pretzel bites recipe , aire fryer pretzel bites

Variations

Our soft pretzel bites recipe creates a basic, salted pretzel. You could try a few variations if you like by changing up what you top them with. Here are few suggestions:

  • Top with melted butter, cinnamon, and sugar
  • Experiment with different seasonings, like southwest, Indian, or your favorite spice blend
  • Try mixing in some shredded cheese into the dough right before shaping them
  • Mix in a hot pepper, like a jalapeno, and cheese right before making the pretzel shapes

What makes pretzel brown and shiny?

The brown, shiny color of the pretzel comes from soaking or spraying the pretzels with either a 1 to 2% solution of sodium hydroxide, also known as lye, or a similar solution made with sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda.

Either solution reacts with the starch in the dough. When the reaction occurs, a gel forms. As you cook the pretzels at high temperatures, the gel becomes hardened, brown, and shiny.

In our recipe, we use a baking soda bath to give the pretzels their classic brown and shiny appearance.

Pretzel bites , pretzel bites recipe , aire fryer pretzel bites

Do you have to boil pretzels before baking or air frying?

Yes, we recommend boiling the pretzels in batches for about 15 seconds at a time. 

That said, you don’t have to boil them first. You could skip the step altogether, but you will find that the pretzels will not have the characteristic flavor and texture when done.

What to dip pretzel bites in

When you make pretzels, half the fun is deciding what to dip them in. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Yellow, djon, or honey mustard
  • Cheese sauce
  • BBQ sauce
  • Marinara sauce
  • Cinnamon and sugar blend with butter
  • Your favorite homemade dips

Pretzel bites , pretzel bites recipe , air fryer pretzel bites

Pretzel Bites FAQ

The following are answers to frequently asked questions about pretzel bites.

Can you freeze pretzel bites?

Yes! You can freeze pretzel bites. When you freeze them, allow them to cool completely before placing them in an airtight container. 

You can then place the container in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Before reheating, allow them to thaw in overnight either on the counter or in the fridge.

Can you reheat pretzel bites?

When you want to eat the leftovers, you can heat them up either in the oven or microwave. If using the oven, heat it to 350 degrees and bake until warmed through. When using the microwave, heat them for a few seconds on an individual plate.

Are these Pretzel bites vegan and gluten-free?

Our pretzel bites are vegan if you use oil instead of butter, but they are not gluten-free. The pretzel recipe calls for all-purpose flour, which contains gluten. When you make them, you could try a gluten free flour version, but we have not tested it and can’t guarantee results.

Pretzel bites , pretzel bites recipe , air fryer pretzel bites

Other air fryer ideas

When you are hungry again and want more easy air fryer recipe ideas, check these out:

Let us know what you think

If you make this delicious recipe, let us know how it went! When you make this, be sure to take a pic and tag us on Instagram @dbellyrulesdmind or Facebook @thebellyrulesthemind!

Pretzel bites , pretzel bites recipe , air fryer pretzel bites

Pretzel Bites Recipe (Oven and Air Fryer)

Yield: 5 dozen
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes

This soft pretzel bites recipe is the perfect snack or appetizer to serve your hungry friends and family.

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast (1 standard packet)
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3 and 3/4 – 4 cups all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • Topping: coarse salt/coarse sea salt

For Baking soda bath

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 10 cups water

Instructions

Prepare the Dough

  1. First, combine the warm water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook until combined. Once mixed, allow it to sit for 5 minutes to proof the yeast. It should start to bubble and foam when ready.
  2. Next, add the flour and mix on low speed until combined. Once combined, increase the speed to medium and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. It should take about 5 to 6 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the correct consistency. Finally, remove the dough from the bowl.

Proof the Dough

  1. Next, add a bit of oil to the Instant Pot and grease the insert well and then transfer the dough into the Instant Pot and roll it to cover the dough with oil.
  2. Once coated, press the Yogurt setting button on the Instant Pot and ensure it is set to ‘Normal’. Finally, place the lid and let the dough proof for 1 hour 

Shape the Dough in to bites

  1. After 1 hour, remove the dough from the bowl of the Instant Pot and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces
  2. Next, roll each piece into a long rope measuring 18 to 20 inches. Finally, cut the dough into one-inch pieces to make the pretzel bites. 

Baking Soda Bath

  1. When the bites are ready, bring the water to a boil in a large pot over high heat and carefully add the baking soda. 
  2. Next, boil the pretzel bites in the water solution in batches. We did about 20 bites at a time. You only need to boil them for about 15 seconds. If they go any longer the pretzels will develop a metallic taste.

Sprinkle the Bites with Salt

  1. As they finish the bath, carefully remove with a large, slotted spoon. Next, place pretzel bites on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray, making sure they are not touching. Finally, sprinkle each with coarse sea salt while they are still wet.

Make Pretzel Bites in Oven

  1. As the dough rises, preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  2. Finally, bake the bites in your oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until they turn golden brown.
  3. Serve them fresh from the oven with cheese sauce or your favorite dipping sauces.


Make Pretzel Bites in Air Fryer

  1. First, lightly spray the basket of the air fryer with olive oil. 
  2. Next, place pretzel bites into the basket, giving them enough room to expand.
  3. Finally, cook the bites for 7-8  minutes at 390 degrees F or until lightly browned on top.

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Steve

Saturday 19th of March 2022

My Instant Pot doesn't have a yogurt button. What can I use instead?

Rob

Wednesday 23rd of February 2022

Shouldn't the prep time include the 1 hour of proofing? I know it's down time and we're not doing anything physical but it's still part of the prep!

Jacqueline Meldrum

Friday 11th of February 2022

I'm.nervous a out making them but your really simple instructions make me feel more confident to try them. Wish me luck!

Soniya Saluja

Saturday 12th of February 2022

Thanks Jacqueline, go for it you won't be disappointed.

Hayley

Friday 11th of February 2022

Love these chewy Pretzel! One of my favourite snacks.

Mahy

Friday 11th of February 2022

Great recipe to make next time I will organize a party. My guests will love these bites!

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