Shortcut Soft Pretzel Bites Recipe

After-School Special

These snacks are sure to be a hit for the before-dinner munchies.

Many school-aged kids have lunch early in the day, so by the time school wraps up, they’re likely more than a little hungry. The space between school and dinner can feel endless, and if you’re a parent, you’ve probably heard more variations of “I’m starving” and “What’s for dinner?” than you can count. Read on to find out what these Chattanoogans make to keep the growling tummies satisfied.

Photography by Rich Smith

“My family is sort of obsessed with soft pretzels, ordering them any time we see them on the menu at restaurants or local breweries, so we started making them at home a few years ago. From-scratch soft pretzels require a little bit of labor and some knowledge about yeast, but if you’re not a baker, you can grab pizza dough from the grocery store and make this shortcut version in no time (and without a baking degree). The baking soda boiling on these pretzel bites mimics the lye bath of traditional soft pretzels that gives them their tender, crisp exterior, so don’t skip it! We eat these often as a snack during family movie night, but we’ve also been known to serve them as part of dinner alongside smoky sausages and applesauce. Cheese dip or mustard is a must if you serve these as a snack.”

– Meghan Splawn

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soft pretzel bites

Shortcut Soft Pretzel Bites

Meghan Splawn
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Equipment

  • boiling pot

Ingredients
  

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 lb. store-bought pizza dough
  • 2 qts. water for water bath
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. pretzel salt or coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • Cheese sauce or mustard, for serving

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oven to 400°.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly coat the paper with non-stick spray.
  • Dust a clean work surface with flour and gently press the pizza dough into a thick, rectangular shape.
  • Using a bench scraper or knife, divide the dough into 1-inch thick ropes.
  • Working one rope at a time, cut the ropes into 1-inch pieces.
  • Once all the bites have been cut, cover them with a clean kitchen towel and let them rest while you prepare the water bath, about 20 minutes.
  • In a large pot, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil, then carefully add the baking soda – the water will bubble up quite a bit once the soda is added.
  • Working in batches of 6, boil the pretzel bites for 20 seconds, making sure to stir them around so they don't stick together.
  • After 20 seconds, carefully remove the bites using a slotted spoon or a spider and rest them on a baking sheet while you finish the remaining bites.
  • Brush the bites with the beaten egg and sprinkle with salt.
  • Make sure they are separated on the baking sheet so they don’t bake together and bake for 15 minutes or until dark golden brown.
  • Just out of the oven, brush the bites with the melted butter and serve.
  • Warm cheese sauce or mustard is delicious with these warm, savory bites.
Keyword after school snacks, snacks for kids, snacks for picky eaters, soft pretzel bites
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