Easy everything pretzel bites are the perfect bite-sized baking project. This basic pretzel dough has onions in it for maximum everything bagel flavor.
The best part? No fancy shaping required! Just roll out the onion flavored pretzel dough, cut it into snack sized pieces, and get ready make the everything bagel pretzel bites of your dreams.
Whether you're serving these as a snack or an appetizer, they go great with my raspberry honey mustard pretzel dip!
About Everything Bagel Pretzel Bites
I am so excited about these everything pretzel bites! They combine two of my favorite foods — homemade bagels and pretzels.
This recipe uses my soft sourdough beer pretzel recipe as a base, though I've swapped out the starter and beer for regular flour and water.
I've also added onions to the dough to really emphasize the everything bagel flavor throughout the dough.
Because the onions add a bit of water to the dough, I reduced the amount of water the recipe calls for. Depending on how watery your onions are, you may need to add a bit more flour to the dough while mixing!
I tested this pretzel dough in a bunch of different shapes so I could give you all of the best tips and tricks for how to get the dough and pretzel crust just right. Make sure you read through the post so you don't miss anything!
This is definitely not a traditional pretzel recipe — it's just my take on it with a fun everything bagel topping I really like!
Here are all of the ingredients you'll need to make everything bagel pretzel bites! Nothing too fancy or special, you should be able to get all of this at your local grocery store. See recipe card at the end of the post for quantities.
- All Purpose Flour - Regular all purpose flour is fine here. I use King Arthur Baking Company flour, and their all purpose flour has a slightly higher protein content than other flours which means chewier pretzels.
- Minced Onion - I recommend using a mini food processor or other type of food chopper to mince the onion if you can. The food processor doesn't just chop the onion, it also mashes the pieces, making them softer than if you were to just mince with a knife.
- Instant Yeast - Instant yeast is also sometimes called "rapid rise" or "bread machine" yeast. You can also use active dry yeast, but the dough may take slightly longer to rise. See recipe card notes for adjusting quantity for active dry yeast.
- Sugar - Plain white granulated sugar is just fine here, though you can also use brown sugar for a little bit more of a molasses-y flavor.
- Salt - I use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt which half as salty as other brands. If measuring by weight (which you should be!), it doesn't matter what brand of salt you use. But if you're measuring by volume and using a different brand of salt, even a different brand of kosher salt, cut the amount of salt in half.
- Melted Butter - Melt the butter first so it has a little bit of time to cool before you add it to the dough. I recommend unsalted butter, but if you only have salted butter, just reduce the amount of salt slightly.
- Water - Warm or lukewarm water. You don't want it to be hot, just slightly warm is ideal.
- Everything Bagel Blend - You can make homemade everything bagel seasoning or use your favorite store-bought everything bagel blend! I like King Arthur Baking's Everything Bagel Topping, but Trader Joe's Everything But the Bagel Seasoning will also work, as will Spicewalla's Everything Bagel Seasoning. Pay attention to the salt content of your everything blend — if you have a salt free blend, you may want to add pretzel salt to your everything bagel pretzel bites as well.
- Baking Soda - Boiling pretzels in a solution of baking soda and water is what gives them that classic pretzel taste. Make sure your baking soda is fresh, and that you have plenty of it before you begin boiling!
- Egg - To get a gorgeous brown pretzel crust and to help the everything bagel topping stick to your pretzel bites, you'll need an egg wash.
How to Make Bite Sized Everything Bagel Pretzels
Making this everything bagel pretzel bites dough is very simple and straightforward. Combine all of the dough ingredients — flour, salt, onion, yeast, sugar, and water — in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Remember, yeast is a living organism. Try not to put it in the bowl right under or on top of the onion or salt — they can kill the yeast.
Use a dough hook to mix the dough until it collects in a messy ball in the bowl. If your dough is sticking to the walls or bottom of the bowl, dust in more flour and continue mixing until it pulls clean from the bowl.
Increase the mixer speed to just below medium and knead the pretzel dough for 3-5 minutes until smooth and elastic. It should feel soft but slightly firm, and not sticky or pillowy. If it feels too soft, knead in some additional flour.
Pretzel dough is a relatively low hydration dough. Dough hydration is the percentage of liquid (usually water) in the dough compared to the total amount of flour in the dough.
In this pretzel dough, the onions contribute to the water content. Since not all onions have the same amount of water in them, you may need to make some adjustments to get the dough to the right consistency.
If your pretzel dough is too wet, soft, or sticky, your pretzels will not hold their shape when you boil them. You're looking for a dough that is smooth, supple, and has some elasticity to it. It should feel a like a slightly stretchy play-doh.
Here are two ways you can make sure you get the dough just right:
- If the dough seems very, very soft, slightly sticky, or pillowy after you finish kneading, dust in another tablespoon or two of flour and knead a little bit longer.
- Instead of adding more flour at the end of kneading, you could hold back about ¼ cup of water at the start of mixing, and add it slowly (1 tablespoon at a time) only if it seems like the dough isn't coming together during mixing or smoothing out during kneading.
Shape the pretzel dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased container to rise for 45-60 mins.
The dough should just about double in size. The best way to check if its ready is to press a finger into it.
If the indentation in the dough springs back and fills back in immediately and completely, let the dough rest a little while longer.
If the indentation in the dough fills in slowly and not all the way, your dough has risen perfectly. Move on to the next step!
Plop the pretzel dough out onto a lightly floured countertop and gently roll it into a rectangle about half an inch thick. Use a bench scraper or sharp knife to cut the dough into squares about 1x2 inches in size. These really don't have to be perfect!
TIP: Don't drag the knife or bench scraper in a slicing motion when you cut the dough. Move the blade in a straight up and down motion to get clean cuts without stretching the dough.
To get an even grid you can be finicky and use a ruler. Or you can eyeball it.
I usually eyeball my cuts by cutting the dough in half lengthwise, then dividing each half into thirds. Then I divide the dough in half in the other direction, divide each half in half, and divide each half in half again.
Boiling and Baking Pretzel Bites - Why Use Baking Soda
Like bagels, pretzels need to be boiled before you bake them. Unlike bagels, pretzels are boiled in an alkalized solution before baking. This is what gives them that slightly bitter, pretzel-y flavor.
Traditionally, pretzels are dipped in food grade lye. But we're not going to mess with that here. We're going to use baking soda.
Bring the baking soda bath to a high simmer/low boil. Work in batches to submerge and boil the pretzel bites for 45-50 seconds at a time.
Brush the boiled pretzel bites with egg wash, then dip the egg washed side in everything bagel seasoning blend.
You can just sprinkle the everything bagel seasoning blend on top of the pretzel bites — it's faster that way! But you'll get better everything bagel seasoning coverage if you dip them.
Other Everything Bagel Pretzel Shapes
You can use this dough to make a lot of other fun everything bagel pretzels in different shapes!
Instead of rolling the dough into a rectangle and cutting it into squares, you can also roll it into a 1 inch thick rope and cut it into 2" pretzel nuggets.
I tested this dough in a slightly larger pretzel bite shape — rather than being truly bite size, they're more of a two-bite situation. You boil them for the same amount of time, but they might need an extra few minutes in the oven for baking.
Same goes for the classic pretzel twist shape. You can pop over to my soft sourdough beer pretzel post for instructions on how to shape classic twisted everything bagel pretzels.
You could also do everything bagel pretzel knots, pretzel rolls, pretzel twists, etc. Just look up the different ways to shape. They should all boil for around the same time as the pretzel bites.
Bake time will vary depending on how thick your pretzel shapes are!
You don't need a lot of fancy equipment to make these everything bagel pretzel bites. But there are a few tools that will make it a lot easier! Here's what I used:
- Saute Pan (3 Quarts) - A high-sided saute pan 3 quarts or bigger is perfect for making pretzels. It's shallow, which means the water will boil quickly. And it's wide enough that you can fit a lot of pretzel bites in at once.
- Bench Scraper - A metal bench scraper with a sharp edge is the best way to cut these pretzel bites.
- Wire Spider - The best way to get the everything bagel pretzel bites in and out of the hot water without splashing. The pretzel bites are quite delicate, and the wire spider will give them plenty of support so they don't tear!
- Mini Dowel Rolling Pin - This is a fairly small batch dough, you don't need a huge rolling pin to roll it out. I used my trusty bamboo dumpling rolling pin.
These soft everything bagel pretzels are best eaten same day or within a day or two of baking. They are very small and will quickly start to dry out or go stale.
If you would like to save some everything bagel pretzel bites for later, I recommend freezing them!
To Freeze: Arrange on a clean lined sheet pan. Once frozen, store in a large airtight bag in the freezer. Reheat from frozen in a 350F oven for 10-20 minutes, or until soft and warmed throughout.
Practical Tips & Recipe Notes
- Get the water boiling before you begin rolling and cutting the dough. You don't want the pretzel dough hanging out too long once it's shaped. The dough will continue to rise while it rests and the pretzels will be airy and light, rather than having that dense, tight classic pretzel interior.
- An egg wash can be a plain beaten egg, or you can add a splash of water (about 1 teaspoon) and a small pinch of salt to help break up the egg proteins. This makes it easier to whisk and to brush on to the pretzel dough.
- Real garlic lovers can replace 5 grams of onion with a grated clove of garlic in the dough.
- If you only have active dry yeast, use 4 grams instead of 3 grams. Or keep the measurement the same, but just know your dough might take slightly longer to rise.
All of my baking recipes are designed to use weight measurements. This is because weighing your ingredients is much more accurate! Using a kitchen scale will give you the right ratio of water, yeast, salt, and flour so that your pretzel dough doesn't turn into goo in the baking soda bath.
I tested and developed this recipe using weight measurements. If I were to convert it to cups, I would be using Google — just like you would. And I wouldn't be able to promise you'd get the same delicious results! Buying a kitchen scale is worth it — they are very inexpensive and will make you a much better baker. This is the scale I use, it comes in lots of fun colors too.
Yep! If using frozen onions make sure to let them defrost and fully come to room temperature before adding to the dough. Otherwise the cold temperature will slow your dough rising.
You can, but I'll leave it to you to do the weight conversions for the baking soda to water ratio. While some pretzel recipes recommend using baked baking soda for a more intense pretzel flavor, the baking soda loses some weight when baked, and I think it's just easier to scoop plain baking soda out of the container and into the water so that's what I'm doing here. You'll need 90 grams of baked baking soda, so you'll need to start with more than that to account for the loss in weight during baking.
Everything Bagel Pretzel Bites
- 336 grams all-purpose flour
- 146 grams warm water
- 30 grams chopped onion
- 28 grams unsalted butter (melted)
- 8 grams sugar
- 3 grams instant yeast (1 teaspoon)
- 3 grams diamond crystal kosher salt (1 teaspoon, use half as much of any other brand if measuring by volume)
- 1 large egg (for egg wash)
- ½ cup everything bagel seasoning blend (for finishing)
- ⅛ cup pretzel salt (optional, if your everything seasoning doesn't have salt in it)
- 8 cups water
- ½ cup baking soda
- Mix. Combine dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Make a well in the center and pour in the warm water and melted butter. Mix with the dough hook on low-medium speed until a shaggy dough forms. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times.
- Knead. Increase speed to medium to and knead for knead 4-5 minutes until the dough is smooth and soft. If the dough appears to be tearing as it kneads, flick a few droplets of water onto the dough. If the dough is sticking to the bowl, dust in flour 1 teaspoon at a time.
- Rise. Shape the dough into a ball by tucking the ends under so you have a smooth surface on top. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rest 45-60 minutes in a warm spot until just about doubled in size. When you press a finger into it, the indentation should spring back just slightly.
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- When the hour rise time is almost up, whisk water and baking soda together in a wide, high-sided skillet and bring to a low boil. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set aside.
- Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured countertop. Use your hands or a rolling pin to gently stretch the dough into a rectangle about half an inch thick. Cut the dough into a 6x8 grid of rectangles about 1-1½ inches in size.
- Working in batches, boil the pretzel bites in the baking soda solution for 45-50 seconds. Use a wire spider to transfer them in and out of the hot water without splashing.
- Arrange the boiled pretzel bites on the prepared sheet pan. Brush the tops with egg wash, then dip the egg washed side in a small bowl of everything bagel seasoning. Sprinkle with pretzel salt, if desired.
- Bake 10-12 minutes at 450°F until deeply golden brown.
- Let cool on sheet pan for 5 minutes, then remove to rack to finish cooling.
- If you only have active dry yeast, increase the amount to 4 grams and stir it in with the water. Give it 3-5 minutes to hydrate before you begin mixing.
- Make sure the baking soda and water are heating up before you begin cutting and shaping the pretzel dough. You don't want the dough to sit too long after you shape it before you boil it or it will keep rising and you'll have very airy pretzels!
- You can swap out 5 grams of onion for 1 large grated garlic clove.
- A plain egg wash is fine, but you can also mix it with a splash of water and pinch of salt to help break up the egg proteins and make it easier to whisk.
- Check out my soft sourdough beer pretzels recipe for how to shape a classic pretzel twist! This recipe will make 6 classic soft pretzel twists.