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Perfect Pretzel Bites with Cheesy Jalapeno Ranch Dip

Pretzel Bites bathed in butter and showered in sea salt are a addicting on every level! Pretzel Bites make the perfect snack, appetizer, and Game Day food. They are soft, buttery, chewy, salty and everything a pretzel should be. You can customize your homemade Pretzel Bites with different seasonings or just keep them simple and dunk them in my intoxicating Cheesy Jalapeno Ranch Dip. I’ve included How to Make Pretzel Bites, How to Reheat Pretzel Bites, How to Freeze Pretzel Bites and More!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 50 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 9 dozen

Ingredients

Perfect Pretzel Bites

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees F)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • sea salt

Jalapeno Ranch Cheese Dip

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 jalapeno, diced with seeds reserved
  • 1 tablespoon AP flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dry ranch seasoning mix
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 heaping cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz cream cheese, cubed and softened

Instructions

  • Combine the water, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a standard mixer. Let sit 5 minutes. Add salt, flour and butter and mix (using the dough hook attachment) on low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl. At this point, continue to knead for 3 minutes.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl if necessary, then spray the bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise in a warm place for approximately 1 hour, or until the dough doubles in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray with nonstick spray or line with nonstick baking mats.
  • Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or small roasting pan.
  • In the meantime, place the dough on a flat surface and divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 14 inch long rope. Using a pizza cutter or very sharp knife, cut the dough into one inches pieces.
  • Boil the pretzel bites in the baking soda water in batches of about 20 pretzel bites for 30 seconds per batch.. Remove pretzels with a large slotted spoon and place on prepared baking sheets, making sure they are not touching.
  • Brush the tops with the egg wash and lightly season with sea salt. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer bites to a cooling rack and let rest 5 minutes before eating. Serve with cheese sauce.
  • While pretzels are resting, prepare cheese sauce by melting butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add jalapeno (without any seeds), and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until softened. Whisk in the flour and garlic and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the milk then bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until slightly thickened, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low then stir in cream cheese until melted, followed by cheddar cheese, stirring until completely melted. Stir in ranch seasoning. At this point, taste and add desired amount of jalapeno seeds for heat and 1/8 or more pepper to taste. (I don't add salt because the pretzels are salty) If you prefer your cheese sauce a little thinner, then add milk to reach desired consistency.v
  • Dip pretzels in Cheesy Jalapeno Ranch Sauce and enjoy!

Notes

*30 seconds goes by very quickly! You might want to set a timer as leaving the pretzels in to long can result in a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Storage

Soft Pretzels are best eaten the same day and even better when still slightly warm. If you do have leftovers, then you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. 

How to reheat pretzel bites

You can microwave pretzel bites or bake them to retain their crisp-tender texture.  To bake:
  1. Place pretzel bites in an even layer on a baking sheet.
  2. Bake in a preheated oven for 3-5 minutes or until heated through.
  3. For added yum, brush with melted butter.

Make Ahead Dough

You can refrigerate your prepared pretzel dough for up to one day.  You can shape the pretzel bites while the dough is cold but allow the pretzel bites to rise some more before adding to the baking soda bath.

How to freeze pretzel bites 

  1. Let pretzel bites cool completely.
  2. Place them on a baking sheet so they are not touching and freeze until solid, about 1 hour (this flash freezing prevents them from sticking to each other).
  3. Place in a large freezer bag or smaller plastic bags for individual servings.
  4. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  5. When ready to eat, preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  6. Place on a baking sheet and bake from frozen for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through.
  7. Alternatively, you can microwave pretzel bites but they tend to get a little soggy.

How to freeze pretzel dough

Freeze dough in an airtight container for up to three months.  Thaw dough overnight in the refrigerator before using.  Just like cold refrigerated dough above, you will want to let the bites puff some more before adding to the baking soda bath.