July 3, 2024

Soft Pretzel Bites

Craving bite-sized soft pretzels? Look no further! Make this dough ahead of the big game or a family movie night and fill your house with delicious smells of fresh soft pretzels as well as smiles from family and friends who eat these little guys. You will never guess they are gluten free! This recipe is adapted from two recipes on the Gluten Free On A Shoestring's blog about Aunt Annie's-Style Soft Pretzel Bites and Pretzel Rolls. You can easily change the shape of these combined recipes to make larger or smaller soft pretzels. I liked the idea of smaller, two-bite soft pretzels which aren't a serious labor of love. Try these!

Soft Pretzel Bites

Soft Pretzel Bites



For the Pretzel Dough:

  • 3 1/4 c (455 grams) Better Batter All-Purpose Flour, plus up to 1 1/2 c more
  • 1/2 c (43 grams) of one of the following: buttermilk powder, whey powder, or dry milk powder
  • 3 tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 c packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 Tbl unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c milk, warmed to approx 95 degrees

For the Baking Soda Bath:

  • 5 c water
  • 1 Tbl baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Melted butter
  • Coarse salt for sprinkling

Alternative Flavoring

  • Cinnamon sugar for sprinkling (1/2 c granulated sugar + 1 Tbl cinnamon)



Make the Pretzel Dough. Using a stand mixer and the beater attachment, combine the flour, buttermilk powder (I have also used dry milk powder with great success!), yeast, cream of tartar, baking soda, brown sugar, and salt in the bowl and gently stir to combine.


Add the apple cider vinegar, softened butter, and egg whites and mix well. With the mixer on low, slowly add the warmed milk and once it is beginning to mix in, increase the speed of the mixer and beat at medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Dough will be wet.


Scrape down the bowl with a spatula and turn mixer back on to low. Add additional Better Batter Flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough becomes cohesive and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl - this amount of flour may vary depending on humidity, but can be 1+ cups. The dough will be soft and hold together after adding enough flour.


Portion the Dough. Lightly flour your work surface and turn the dough out onto the bench, dusting it with a little more flour.


Divide the dough into portions just smaller than a golf ball, or larger if you want bigger pretzel bites. Gently form into a ball and place 1 inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.


Cover. Makes 3-4 dozen pretzel dough balls, depending on size. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft free location until they have slightly puffed and increased in size, about an hour.


Make the Baking Soda Bath. As the dough completes the rising process, combine the water and baking soda in a medium pot over medium-high heat on the stove and bring to a boil and also preheat the oven to 375 degrees.


Lower and Return. Use a slotted spoon to gently lower 3-4 dough balls into the baking soda water and cook until just puffed, turning frequently, about a minute. Return the par-cooked dough balls to the baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough balls. Use a pastry brush to coat all the pretzels with beaten egg and then sprinkle with coarse salt.


Bake. Bake the pretzel bites for 20-25 minutes, flipping them over toward the end of the baking process to brown the bottoms.


Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter and sprinkle with additional salt, if desired.


Serve with mustard dip (mix together 6 Tbl mayonnaise, 3 Tbl Dijon mustard, 3 Tbl honey, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder)


Idea! Make sweet soft pretzel bites instead! After baking, coat each soft pretzel in butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Yum! Craving a cheese dipping sauce? Try this super fast Nacho Cheese Sauce! 


 Adapted from Gluten Free On A Shoestring and Better Housekeeping