Salted pretzel balls in a paper-lined basket with a football game on in the background.
Photography, Art Direction & Food Styling: Anthony Contrino

I’ve never met a soft pretzel I didn’t like.  If you’ve never made yeast dough, this is a good place to begin.  While the recipe may sound a bit complicated, it’s actually relatively simple.  All you need is some patience and some time.  These are best served the day they are made and pair well with Cheesy IPA Fondue (recipe HERE!) or Smoky Mustardy Mayo (recipe HERE!).

Soft Pretzel Bites

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Inactive Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 8



  • 2 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 cup warm water, 110 degrees
  • 1 ¼-ounce package instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • cup baking soda


  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of Kosher salt
  • Fleur de sel or pretzel salt


  • MAKE THE DOUGH. Dissolve the salt in the melted butter and set aside to cool.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the water, yeast and sugar to combine; let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Add the butter to the yeast mixture and whisk to combine.
  • Add the flour and mix, using the dough hook, until a slightly tacky dough forms; it should not stick to your fingers. If it is too tacky, add up to an additional ¼ cup of flour.
  • Lightly flour a clean work surface and knead the dough until smooth, about 5 minutes.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to a bowl that has been coated with non-stick spray.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Punch down the dough, flip and let proof for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large stockpot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil.
  • Add the baking soda and stir to combine.
  • When the dough has risen, cut it into quarters.
  • Roll each quarter segment into a rope; place plastic wrap or a clean tea towel over any dough not in use to keep it from drying out.
  • Using a knife or bench scraper, cut the dough into ½-ounce pieces, about the size of a half dollar.
  • Roll the pieces into balls.
  • Cook the dough balls, in batches, in the boiling water for 30 seconds.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked dough balls onto a sheet pan lined with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper.
  • Preheat the oven to 450-degrees.
  • Meanwhile, MAKE THE EGG WASH. In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk the egg and salt to combine.
  • Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the dough balls with the egg wash.
  • Sprinkle each ball generously with fleur de sel.
  • Bake the pretzel bites until deep golden brown, for 15-20 minutes.
  • Cool at least 15 minutes before serving.
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Author: Anthony Michael Contrino