Cheese Pretzel Bites

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In this cheese pretzel bites recipe, homemade pretzel dough is wrapped around cheddar cheese, topped with sea salt and brushed with butter. Serve them as an appetizer, snack or on the side of your favorite bowl of soup.

4 Cheese Pretzel Bites, one open so the cheese inside is showing


It’s no secret that I’m mildly famous for my pretzel bread recipe, so I decided to take it up a notch by turning our favorite bread into cute little bites full of melty cheddar cheese! 

These pretzel bites are fairly easy to make, and the results are out-of-this-world delicious and totally worth the time it takes! Plus they’re a great appetizer or side dish to serve to really “WOW” your guests! 

front view of a cheese pretzel bite cut in half so the cheese in the center is visible

Cheesy Pretzel Bites: Ingredients & Substitutions 

overhead photo of the labeled ingredients in this Cheese Pretzel Bites recipe
  • Light Brown sugar. Dark brown sugar is a great substitute.
  • Whole Milk. 2% milk or half and half are the best substitutes.
  • Salted Butter. Unsalted butter works well.
  • All-purpose flour. Bread flour is the only other flour I have used to make this recipe. I do not recommend making any other flour substitutions. 
  • Cheddar cheese. For the best results use a high-quality cheddar cheese.
  • Coarse sea saltthis is sprinkled on top and should not be omitted or adjusted.
front view of a hand pulling apart a cheese pretzel bite with a melty cheese pull

How to Make Cheese Pretzel Bites

Let’s discuss how to make this recipe, and don’t forget to watch the video.

Make the Dough

Start this pretzel bites recipe by making the dough. It’s a, soft, pliable dough that turns out perfectly every single time. Check out this pretzel bread post for more detailed instructions, and don’t forget to watch the video. Here are a few tips: 

  1. Make sure all of the ingredients are room temperature before mixing. 
  2. Don’t add too much flour. The dough should be slightly tacky but still easy to work with. 
  3. Using a standing mixer to mix and knead makes it really easy, but you can also do so by hand. 
  4. You may put the dough in the bread machine set to the “dough cycle” for an even easier option. 
  5. Let it rise only once, until it’s doubled in size. 
two overhead photos showing how to make cheese pretzel bites dough before and after rising

Assemble

I suggest using a food scale to ensure each pretzel bite is the same size.

The weight of the entire recipe is around 800 grams, divided into 16 bites each one should be around 50 g. You can make more/smaller bites as well, just be sure to use enough dough to completely wrap the cheese on the inside!

two photos, the left is an overhead shot of the whole batch of pretzel bite dough on a food scale. The right shows one portion of cheese-stuffed pretzel bite dough being weighed

Cut the cheese into cubes, about 1/2″ to 1″ in size. Then form each portion of dough into a flat round discs large enough the fit the cheese cubes you cut!

This step is very important to ensure the cheese stays inside the pretzel bites and doesn’t leak out! Take the flat disc of dough and wrap it around the cheese. Pinch the seams together and roll the dough ball between your hands until it’s smooth. 

two overhead photos showing how to put cheese into homemade pretzel bites

Boil in a Baking Soda Water Bath

Just before you start rolling the pretzel bites, bring a pot of water to a boil. Once it’s boiling slowly add the baking soda. Be careful not to add it all at once, or the mixture will boil over and make a mess. 

Boil the pretzel bites for 60 seconds, flip and boil 60 seconds more. Remove them with a slotted spoon, gently shaking off any excess water. Note: I use a skimmer spoon like this to take the dough out of the boiling baking soda bath and remove excess water.

Cheese Pretzel Bites boiling in a baking soda bath, one being lifted out with a slotted spoon

Top with Salt

Transfer the boiled soft pretzel bites to a greased baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle them with coarse sea salt and bake. I like to bake them 8 at a time, so that they don’t have a chance to rise too much.

There is not a second rise in this recipe, you do not want them to rise after the boiling process or else they will become fluffy instead of dense and chewy like a soft pretzel. 

Cheese Pretzel Bites on a baking sheet before baking

Bake

Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating the baking sheet once halfway through. The homemade pretzel bites are done when the outside is nicely browned. 

Cheese Pretzel Bites on a baking sheet after baking

Brush with Butter

After baking immediately brush the soft pretzel bites with melted butter. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool slightly. 

butter being brushed onto one baked cheese pretzel bite

Serve

These cheesy pretzel bites are best served warm, because you get that ooey gooey cheese factor. Here are some suggestions for serving: 

front view of a cheese-stuffed pretzel bite cut in half so the cheese in the center is visible

Store

Store these soft pretzel bites in an airtight container at room temperature for 24 hours, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

Freeze

Freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Reheat covered in an oven set to warm.

overhead view of 8 cheese pretzel bites on a plate, one is cut in half so the cheesy center is visible

FAQs about Pretzel Bites

Can pretzel dough be refrigerated?

Yes! you can refrigerate the pretzel bites dough in a bowl tightly covered with plastic wrap. The dough will rise a little bit in the fridge. When you are ready to bake, remove the dough from the fridge to let it complete its rise and come to room temperature, then proceed with the recipe. 

How long can I keep pretzel dough in the fridge?

I recommend keeping the dough in the fridge for no more than 24 hours! 

How is a pretzel different from bread?

A lot of people wonder how a soft pretzel is different from bread! The answer is that the dough is boiled before it is baked!  Boiling the dough in the baking soda & water bath is the step in this recipe that gives this Homemade Pretzel Bread it’s pretzel-y identity!

How do you reheat soft pretzel bites?

There are two ways to reheat this pretzel bites recipe: 
In the microwave. Simply warm the pretzel bites in the microwave for 15 seconds if they have been kept at room temperature, 30 seconds if they have been stored in the refrigerator, and 60 seconds if they have been frozen. 
In the oven. Preheat the oven to 25o degrees F. Place pretzel bites on a baking sheet or in a baking pan and cover with foil. Bake for 15-30 minutes until they are warmed through. 

Overhead view of a homemade cheese pretzel bite cut in half so the cheese is visible

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Cheese Pretzel Bites

Laura
In this cheese pretzel bites recipe, homemade pretzel dough is wrapped around cheddar cheese, topped with sea salt and brushed with butter. Serve them as an appetizer, snack or on the side of your favorite bowl of soup.
5 from 4 votes
Course Appetizer, bread, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 16 pretzel bites
Calories 186
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Rising time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 35 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Pretzel bites:

Water bath:

Topping:

Instructions 

  • Combine yeast, water, and brown sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. Stir and let stand for 5 minutes (until foamy).
  • While yeast is proofing, melt butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Mix in milk and set aside.
  • Once yeast is proofed, add milk/butter to yeast mixture and mix on low speed with dough hook until just combined.
  • Add salt and flour and mix with dough hook until flour is fully incorporated.
  • Knead in a mixer until the dough forms a slightly tacky, but firm ball, you may need to add a little more flour 1 TBS at a time, but be careful, you want the dough to be a little tacky but not too sticky to handle.
  • Oil a large bowl, place the dough ball in the bowl, and cover with a damp towel in a warm place to let rise for one hour or until doubled in size.
  • After dough has doubled in size, preheat oven to 400 degrees F and grease a large baking pan, set aside.
  • Chop the cheese into 16, ½” cubes, set aside. (there will be extra cheese)
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and gently press out the air bubbles.
  • Make balls of dough the same size (NOTE: I recommend using a food scale to do this. The total weight of the dough comes out to be about 800 g, so each bite should weigh about 50 g).
  • Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. When the water is boiling, slowly add the baking soda a little bit at a time (Be careful not to add too much at once or you will have a baking soda/water explosion)!
  • Form each dough portion into a round, flat disc. Add one piece of cheese onto each disc and form a ball around the cheese. Make sure to pinch of any seems and roll them into smooth balls so no cheese can leak out. (Do not let it rise at all here! Straight from forming the ball into the water). 
Complete with all 16 bites.
  • Drop one of the pretzel bites into the boiling baking soda water. Boil for 60 seconds on each side, turning it once to guarantee both sides are covered. Use a slotted spoon to drain the excess water from the dough and place it on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Immediately sprinkle coarse sea salt over the pretzel bites to your specific tastes.
  • Repeat with each pretzel bite until you have used them all. (Do NOT let it rise here, the bites need to go straight from the boiling water into the oven. I recommend baking 8 at a time, so they don’t have the opportunity to rise).
  • Bake the pretzel bites for 12-15 minutes, rotating the baking sheet once halfway through baking. The bites are done when they are browned and bounce back when touched.
  • Once removed from the oven, immediately brush the tops of the bites with melted butter. Transfer to a wire rack to cool just enough to enjoy!

Video

Notes

Ingredient Substitutions
  • Light Brown sugar. Dark brown sugar is a great substitute.
  • Whole Milk. 2% milk or half and half are the best substitutes.
  • Salted Butter. Unsalted butter works well.
  • All-purpose flour. Bread flour is the only other flour I have used to make this recipe. I do not recommend making any other flour substitutions. 
  • Cheddar cheese. For the best results use a high-quality cheddar cheese.
  • Coarse sea saltthis is sprinkled on top and should not be omitted or adjusted.
Store
Store these soft pretzel bites in an airtight container at room temperature for 24 hours, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 
Freeze
Freeze in an airtight container wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 2 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pretzel bite | Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 1305mg | Potassium: 50mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 253IU | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating




8 Comments

  1. These were delicious and easy to make! I realized I needed a lot of flour to work with the dough (I’m new to making my own dough) and I did use the dough cycle on my bread machine which made it super easy. Any recommendations on how to stop them from sticking to the pan when baking? I tried parchment paper and I tried greasing the cookie sheet and both times they got stuck. Still tasted delicious though 🙂 Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe was easy to follow and the pretzels came out absolutely delicious! I used sharp cheddar for half the batch and mozzarella for the other half. I’m already thinking of making another batch! Highly recommend!