Soft Pretzel Bites

Soft pretzels are the perfect little snack. These little pillows of amazingness are best served warm, with a mustard for dipping and dusted with some salt.

One of my good friends and fellow IACP member, Michelle Stern, just wrote a fantastic family friendly cookbook called The Whole Family Cookbook: Celebrate the goodness of locally grown foods. Last week when I received my copy in my hot little hands, not only was I so thrilled that Michelle’s first book was published, but I was so excited that her book makes cooking as a family really accessible! (something I am super passionate about!) Cooking with kids is something that I have always enjoyed! A few years ago, while babysitting in college, the kids and I would make baked goods together all the time. Now, as a personal chef, the kids are always in the kitchen with me! The youngest, who is now 10, is a little chef in the making! She if full of questions about baking and mixing and different ingredients and we have the absolute best time together in the kitchen. I love being able to educate her on techniques and healthy eating habits! And some of the flavor combinations she dreams up are totally amazing. We make an excellent team :)

Okay, so back to these soft pretzel bites. We made them the other day and they were a total success. (Plus, it was our first time baking with yeast together and it wasn’t a failure – woohoo) They were a hit with all the kids (and adults) and a recipe I will keeping in my back pocket for a very long time!

And now for the giveaway! I’m giving away 1 copy of The Whole Family Cookbook!! It will take you through breakfast, lunch and dinner along with everything in between! All you have to do is leave a comment here telling me your FAVORITE thing to cook with kids!! Is it chocolate chip cookies? Homemade pizza? Rice Krispie Treats? For an extra entry, head on over to the What’s Gaby Cooking facebook page and become a fan. If you’re already a fan – just leave another comment to let me know! I’ll randomly pick the winner on Friday (4/15) morning. (Must live within the US)

Soft Pretzel Bites & A Giveaway!

Prep Time: 60 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: Serves 10

Soft Pretzel Bites & A Giveaway!


  • 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups AP Flour
  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • Vegetable Oil, for the bowl
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 egg yolk
  • splash of water
  • course sea salt


  1. Combine the yeast, brown sugar and warm water in a mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook attachment. Let it hang out for 5 minutes until foamy. Add the melted butter and salt to the mixture and combine. Add the AP Flour while the dough hook is rotating. Next add the Whole Wheat flour and mix until the dough has formed a large mass.
  2. Remove from the bowl and let rest in an oiled bowl for an hour, covered with a kitchen towel.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  4. Place a large pot with 10 cups water on the stove and bring to a boil. Add the baking soda. Don't freak out when it almost bubbles over - it's normal - and it's kinda cool, so make sure the kids are around when you do it!
  5. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 14 inches long. Cut the rope of dough into little bite sizes pieces about 1 inch long.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, add about 20 to the boiling water at a time. Once they rise to the top of the water, about 30 seconds, remove with your slotted spoon to a paper towel to dry. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
  7. Transfer the bites to parchment lined baking sheets that you've sprayed with cooking spray.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and a splash of water. Brush the tops of each pretzel bite with the egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt. Transfer to the oven and bake until golden brown, about 10-16 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving!

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  1. Oh how convenient! April is National Soft Pretzel month [I guess you already knew that?] will try your recipe, those bites look so good!

  2. I cook with my granddaughter. She has her own apron and oven mit! She loves to help cook dinner for her Papa. Then, when she serves it, she tells him that I was a really good helper!

  3. My daughter is just getting to the age where she can help me in the kitchen. But she has a play kitchen that we “cook” in all the time! She loves making soup and pie. :)

  4. When I was a babysitter in college we’d make rainbow pancakes. (They were food coloring bombs!). We’d split our batter into six little bowls and make each one a rainbow color. Then you very quickly pour them onto the griddle, one after another in an arc shape and voila! When my baby gets older we’ll do the same thing, but with natural food coloring.

  5. This was going to be the first thing I made from Michelle’s book… but yours are just so beautiful I know I cant compete! Really fantastic job!

  6. It sounds a little funny, but my kids love to make risotto, from the sauteing of the onions to the adding of chicken broth and constant stirring they love it. I have pictures of them both in chefs hats at the stove with wooden spoons. I am proud of my kids and how much they enjoy “good” foods!

  7. My favorite thing to cook with kids is PIZZA! We make the dough, knead it, roll it into individual crusts, then each kid gets to build their own pizza from the assorted toppings. It is always a hit!

  8. My favourite cooking moment with kids is a wonderful afternoon with some smoothies and choco cookies!!

  9. Cooking with kids hmm… I’d say spaghetti and brownies. They are simple enough for me to help with the more taxing tasks but letting them feel like they’ve done most of the work :)

  10. It’s more like…what do my kids like to cook with me than the other way around! My kids love to make pizza with me. It’s messy, but they love it. :)

  11. I love to make pizza…..let them slice the mushrooms and olives with a lettuce knife and form the dough…..then assemble sooo fun!

    thanks for the chance to win

  12. My favorite thing to cook with kids is pasta – eeryone gets their hands dirty and has a blast then gets to eat an amazing pasta dinner afterwards!

  13. Gaby those pretzel bites look wonderful!! Gotta try making these with my kiddos. Love Michelle’s book, got it the other day :) xxoo

  14. Mmmmm, these are fantastic!! I can really say that because I tasted these as you were taking the pics!! Soooo wonderful and awesome to have met you this past weekend!

    One of my favorite things to cook with kids is brownies/blondies, it’s always fun to see them helping out mixing in the ingredients, and licking the bowl or spoon for you, too. Less dishes to wash!!!

  15. Ciao Gaby!, I’ m writing from Italy, is that ok for the giveaway?
    We always have fun in the kitchen , but I think our favorite are salads,ratatouille & pizzas, he really enjoy helping with vegetables & dough!
    I just discovered your blog, I’ll be around. :)

  16. Sounds so great! I can’t wait to try making my own (again). Last time was a bit of a flop, but I feel confident about these ones! My favorite thing to make with kiddos is baked goods (cookies in general, but cakes are good too!) Cooking is fun, but with baking you get to taste all sorts of stuff as you go, and also have the opportunity for some sweet variations in color to mix it up.

  17. hi gabby – nice meeting you saturday – these pretzels look yummy – the outside of the crumb cake was delicious…. i want some now :)

  18. I love to make as much as possible with them. Cooking is an important life skill and I hope they have a positive feeling with cooking and eating.

  19. I love to make pizza with my kids! They like to sample the toppings before we put them on so it gets a bit messy!

  20. Making homemade pizza with my nephews is the most fun because there’s so much to do so they don’t get bored. They love spreading the sauce, adding the cheese, and eating it, of course. This would be the perfect cookbook for my sister so she can cook with her sons more.

  21. Love these pretzel bites!! I always think making cupcakes and cookies are the best to make with kids. They get to be creative with how they want to decorate them!

  22. My favorite thing to do with my 2 year old in the kitchen is bake. He likes to measure ingredients and stir them together :) I look forward to many years of cooking with him and any other children I may have!

  23. One of our favorites is the ultimate comfort food, matza ball soup (or as my grandson calls it “Monster Ball Soup”. Always been a favorite for the kids and they love to cut up the carrots & celery and of course, roll the matza balls.

  24. I absolutely love cooking with my nephew (who is 5 and a half). It doesn’t matter what we’re making he is always helpful, with this apron and chef’s hat. The most fun, though, has to be when he taught us the recipes that he learned cooking at school! I wish I cooked in preschool! I would love to share this book with him to keep him cooking :) Thanks!

  25. Thanks for the giveaway, our favorite frequent together thing is making my oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies.

  26. I don’t have kids myself, but I cook with my cousins who are 10…we love grinding our own peanut butter on a grinder their dad has!

  27. My favorite thing to cook with MY kids is pizza. Every Friday night, we have Family Movie Night with homemade pizza and popcorn. It’s great!

  28. I like to make any kind of cookies with the kids because they love to eat the dough. Chocolate chip are a favorite, or anything with chocolate.

  29. I love making different christmas cookies with my nephews. They mainly help topping the cookies (pr sometimes more the pans) with sprinkles, chocolate kisses, M&Ms, etc. They are good about taste-testing the cookies to make sure they are done properly.

  30. Chocolate Chip cookies are our fave thing to bake together – I think it may be that the boys get to have the title of “quality control” for the chocolate chips :D

  31. I enjoy making anything with kids that involves decoration: cakes, cookies, mini pizzas, etc. I love to see how they choose to design their food!

  32. My favorite thing to cook with kids is, by default, cookies. However, I also love taking kids to the local market and letting them pick a few ingredients – then we make something from that! Sometimes we end up with pie, or a simple salad, or a full casserole or dinner!

  33. I love to bake with my two and a half year old. She loves to help measure, stir, and of course taste! We will eventually work our way up to cooking but she can just about manage a spoon and a bowl these days!

  34. My little guy (3yrs) loves to help me cook just about anything in the kitchen, but the most enjoyable thing to make together, in my opinion, is homemade bread. The look on his face when I let him have a bit of the dough to make his own loaf is priceless – just picture a little boyish smile dusted with flour – definitely my favorite!

  35. I love to involve my kids in as much cooking as possible- pizza, marinades, cookies, cakes, icing, and dips are just a few. They love it and have done it since they were tiny! They live it!

  36. I can’t wait to make these, they look so scrumptious! Thanks for the opportunity to win such an interesting looking cookbook. Pizza is probably a number one favourite.

  37. My favourite thing to make with kids is Peanut Butter Butterscotch and Shredded Wheat Easter Nests! So much fun to mold the nests into muffin tins and then drop tiny jelly beans in as eggs. The kids I babysit love it :)

  38. I have an entire section in my blog recipes for kid friendly, easy snacks. Pretty much ALL of my recipes are easy though :)

    Fave things are things like homemade energy bars and raw vegan cookie dough bites. So easy and kid approved :)

    And I saw your pretzel bites on tastespotting! I feel honored that I saw them in person :)

  39. I have never really cooked with kids but my mom loved making sugar cookies with us when we were little so maybe I will pass that on to some kids one day.

  40. I know you want to know my favorite thing to cook with kids but I’m going to give you what I liked cooking when I was a kid. I spent every summer with my Grammy and Pop-pa and they loved farmers markets. I would shuck the sweet corn and my Pop-pa would prepare racks of ribs we had picked up from a farmer. It was these experience that taught me girls can grill!!! I guess after years working in an office it shouldn’t have surprised them when I went back to culinary and pastry school and know cook for a living. It’s those early lessons that help shape who we are.
    I HAVE to make these pretzels….I have 9 different mustards just screaming to be dipped into them.

  41. I love to bake BREAD with my my children – the good, old-fashioned way – no bread machines for us! Kneading by hand is still the best therapy and the finished product so comforting as the rising yeast fills the house with its unique scent alerting all who enter of the fabulousness-in-the-making. The baking process only adds depth to what the brain is already anticipating with a finished product – still warm from the oven – the best comfort food eve! Sadly, it’s becoming a lost art thus crucial that we pass the lessons on – through endless creativity – as a torch-bearing gesture across the generations!

  42. I love making snickerdoodles with the kids. They love to roll them into balls and then in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

  43. My favorite thing to make as a kid and w/kids are cupcakes. I love any kind of cupcake, but especially lemon cheesecake – that’s my favorite!

  44. my 11-year-old brother and i bake all the bday cakes for my family – and chocolate chips ALWAYS find their way into the batter/icing/decoration/mouth. Necessities.

  45. MY favorite thing to make with kids is … surprise, surprise … meatloaf! It’s basically dump and mix and they love to get their hands messy when mixing the ground beef!

  46. Sugar cookies with my niece! We don’t get many cookies out of the recipes because she loves eating the dough!

  47. It’s like you read my mind! I’ve been thinking about researching how to make pretzels lately, and boom, here’s your post on tastespotting! Wonderful, looking forward to trying it out.

  48. CUPCAKES! My daughter is such a budding cupcake chef! My kitchen is a distaster most of the time, but I have to let her cut loose. 13 and planning her trip to Cupcake Wars…LOL! She gets the whole family involved and we have a blast together!!! The mess is so worth it and getting to clean up together and eat yummy cupcakes too…I wouldn’t trade it for the world! :)

  49. This is great! My son keeps begging me to make soft pretzels, and these look SO much easier! : )

  50. My favorite thing to cook with my kids and their friends are cupcakes. Specializing them with colored sugar, gummy worms, and especially making butterflies with the top of another cupcake cut in half for the wings.

  51. Smoothies, where you can customize your own, or cupcakes – anything you can decorate is always fun!

  52. I love cooking with my kids (age 2 and 4). My 4 year old already wants to be a baker chief when she grows up. We love making cookies, bread and pizza.

  53. This seems like a popular choice, but pizza is definitely my favourite, what with throwing flour around, roling the dough, smooshing the sauce and putting assorted toppings on, it’s just meant to be made with kids!

  54. I made these today and can’t stop eating them, so good. Thanks for the recipe.

  55. I made these today and can’t stop eating them, so good. Thanks for the recipe.

  56. Pizza! By the time it’s ready for the oven my two year old has already eaten a full meal. Cold pizza sauce, lots of yummy cheese and handfuls of fresh veggies!

  57. I love doing the French “riz au lait ” it could be compare to the rice pudding but the ”riz au lait ” is the best ! and kids love doing this recipe :)

  58. I love doing the French”” riz au lait ” with kids kind of rice pudding but so far the ”riz au lait ” is soooo yummy . I have to try to do those Pretzel bites looks soooo good ! hummmmm

  59. Our favorite recipe to do with my Two daughters
    Is a old recipe past down generation
    Alsatian recipe : semolina cube fried in butter
    You can serve them with a butter lettuce
    Fresh sunny side eggs or for the sweet tooth
    Honey or apple compote, Yum, Yum

  60. When I was younger, I always loved making personal pizzas. One year, I had that for my b-day party and in addition, we made jumbo personal cookies. It was a blast for us when we were eight :) It would still be fun now!

  61. A real interesting breakfast I attended once involved giving a plastic bag of beaten eggs to the kids, and telling them to fill it with their selection of cheeses and vegetables. Then they were cooked sous-vide style and everyone had their own scrambled eggs. Very clever idea that kids got a kick out of!

  62. Wow. The texture of these was great but I found them to be REALLY salty (especially if one were to add add’l salt at the end). I wish I’d trusted my intuition and used much less.

  63. The kids and I LOVE to make pizzas together. We’ve been making them since my oldest was only a year! They also love to help me make soup! They love to add all the different parts! Thanks so much for the chance! I hope I’m not too late!

  64. I was just wondering what’s another way to mix these up, because I’m assuming that when you say “dough hook” you are using a Kitchenaid mixer.. ? I have a bread machine, but not sure if that would do the trick. I reallyyy want to make these with my kids, but I am not good at kneading by hand at all, and I don’t think that would work here anyway. Any tips?

  65. My favorite thing to make with my 9 year old b/g twins is not really a set recipe – or sometimes not even something you’d really want to eat! Let me explain – my kids enjoy going into the kitchen and with my permission and help for ideas they “create” their own recipes for “drinks” and “sandwich spread” and what have you! They concocted a somewhat edible version of lime soda with real lime juice, sugar, vanilla flavoring, etc., and have created some amusing peanut butter spreads and snack mixes. They enjoy experimenting, I enjoy watching their creativity and we all get a good chuckle during the tasting session! Otherwise, we also enjoy making cutout cookies and decorating to our hearts desire!

  66. I made these and wrote about them here. The recipe you posted was super simple and easy to follow, and resulted in a ton of delicious pretzel bites. Thank you for sharing!

  67. My favorite thing to cook with my kids would have to be no bake cookies and/or soda cupcakes.. MMM. They love to cook and when they are older and on their own they will be able to feed themselves without having to depend on their girlfriends to do it for them. :)

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