Thomas J. Story
Total Time
1 Hour 30 Mins
Makes about 18 bites

Pretzel bites break free of the mall! Start with storebought pizza dough and you’re practically done—just roll the dough into strips and cut them up. A quick dip in an alkaline baking-soda bath makes the pretzel bites turn a glossy brown as they bake, while leaving the insides chewy-soft.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 450° with racks in upper and lower third.

Step 2

Shape dough: Divide into 8 equal portions. Roll each into a 1/2-in.-wide rope, dusting lightly with flour if they’re sticky; then cut each rope into equal pieces 2 to 2 ½ in. long (they’ll shrink a bit, but will expand again as they rest). Let rest in a warm place, covered with a kitchen towel, until doubled, about 20 minutes. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and dust lightly with flour.

Step 3

Meanwhile, bring 2 quarts water to a rolling boil, covered, over high heat. Slowly stir in baking soda (it will foam up).

Step 4

Drop ¼ batch of dough pieces at a time into boiling water solution and cook 20 to 30 seconds (any longer and they’ll taste metallic).

Step 5

With a slotted spoon, transfer dough pieces parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets. (If making savory pretzels, sprinkle immediately with coarse salt. If making cinnamon pretzels, transfer to a large bowl, drizzle with butter, and toss to coat; then lift back onto baking sheets.) Repeat with remaining dough pieces, adding 1 cup of hot water to pot after each batch and returning to a boil, covered, before adding more dough.

Step 6

Trim ends of dough pieces if you like. Bake until deeply browned and crackly, switching positions halfway through baking, about 15 minutes.

Step 7

For cinnamon pretzels, transfer to bowl of remaining melted butter and toss to coat. Return to baking sheet, then sprinkle lightly with cinnamon sugar and toss to coat.

Step 8

Serve pretzel bites warm, with dips.

*For vanilla glaze, sift 2 cups powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Add 10 tbsp. whipping cream and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Whisk to blend. If it seems thick, whisk in another 1 tbsp. cream. Makes about 1 cup.