Do you have a bread machine that you love? I adore my bread machine and use it to make the dough more than pretty much anything else. I don’t have to knead the dough or worry about it rising. It is the workhorse while I can get other things done. When we were getting ready to make soft pretzel bites to go with the Smoked Trout Dip and the upcoming Smoked Cheese Beer Dip, I never thought of making my dough by hand.
How to Make the Bread Machine Soft Pretzel Bites
Pour the water into the basin of the bread machine. Add flour and sugar. Dig a tiny hole in the center, place the yeast and close the lid. Turn the bread machine to the dough cycle, which should be about 90 minutes.
When the dough is complete, roll it out onto a lightly floured surface into an 18×24 inch square and make 1-inch long strips. Once they are in strips, cut them down into 1-inch pieces. You should yield about 48 1” x 1” pieces of dough.
Boil 6-8 cups of water and ⅓ cup of baking soda. Once it comes to boil, place 6-8 pretzel bites in the water for 30 seconds. You will see the pretzel bites dip down to the bottom of the pan and then rise to the top as they cook. Once 30 seconds are up, remove the pretzel bites and place them on a prepared sheet pan that is lined with a Silpat or parchment paper. Sprinkle coarse ground sea salt on top of the pretzels. Make sure to add the salt while the dough is still wet, so it sticks during the baking.
Cook them in the oven at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes. We did one batch for 8 minutes and one batch for 10 and we enjoyed the batch baked at 10 minutes more as it was toastier and a little bit browner.
Why Do I Need to Use the Baking Soda?
The baking soda is magic for this recipe! The boiling water starts the cooking process and the baking soda turns the water more alkaline, which changes the flavor and allows the pretzel bites to turn brown. Commercially, the professionals use a food-grade lye. For our purposes, a nice baking soda bath will do the tick just fine!
There is no way to make this step go faster so just turn on some music and knock them out. We were able to add seven or eight into the pot of boiling water at a time.
How Else Can You Serve These Soft Pretzels?
- As mentioned above, these go great with the Smoked Trout dip and we devoured the new Beer Smoked Cheese Dip!
- Another way to enjoy these would be to prep pizza sauce and use the pretzels to dip in them. Sprinkle the pizza sauce with a little bit of parmesan cheese to take these to the next level.
- Place dip in a small slow cooker and serve the pretzel bites at a potluck at work! They will be one of the first to go!
These are perfect to take these to the football parties, soccer matches, and afterschool snacks.
- 4 cups flour
- 1 packet yeast
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 ½ cup warm water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1 egg whisked
- 1/4 cup sea salt
Bread Machine Dough
- Using the dough function on your bread machine, fill the basin with water and add flour and sugar.
- Create a little indent in the center of the flour/sugar mixture and pour the yeast in there. There is no exact science here.
- Close lid and choose the dough function on your bread machine. Mine takes 90 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Once the bread machine dough is complete, remove and roll out on a lightly floured surface. It should roll out to be about 18×24 or so. Cut into 1 inch strips and then each strip into 1 inch sections. This should create around 36-48 pretzel bites.
- In a pan, heat up 6-8 cups of water to a boil. Add the baking soda in at the same time. Once the water begins to boil, drop in 6-8 pretzel bites at a time for 30 seconds. Remove from water and place on a sheet pan that has a Silpat or parchment paper on it.
- Brush each pretzel bite with the lightly whisked egg and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Cook in oven at 425 for 8-10 minutes. We liked how they looked at 10 minutes.