Pumpkin Pretzel Bites
Soft pretzel bites are one of my favorite foods in the entire world. Salty, soft, warm, chewy– so many yummy things to love about a good soft pretzel! I’ve been super excited to try a pumpkin version, and these did not disappoint!
Ok, wait! Before you scroll down to the bottom of the post to scope out the recipe and decide to leave once you see that I like to boil my pretzels before baking… I just have to say: don’t be scared of the boiling! It’s just boiling water, y’all! That’s really all there is to it! It’s not scary. You’ve done it before. You know the mechanics. It’s just a little hot water bath before baking the dough, no big deal.
I like can appreciate a good non-boiling pretzel recipe. It’s nice to skip out on that every once in a while when I’m just not in the mood for an extra step. But the boil is what makes this taste like a pretzel. Otherwise, it’s just salty bread!
So stick with me for a few extra minutes in this recipe, and just trust me!
Ok, so we’re not scared of boiling the dough, right? Good.
Now we can talk about some FUN stuff, like… DIPPING! Can you even imagine the dipping possibilities for these? Chocolate sauce, Nutella, caramel, honey butter, cinnamon butter, cream cheese frosting! The list goes on and on!!
I decided to dip these in a salted butter and coat them in cinnamon sugar. It hit the spot for me perfectly! But be warned, if you’re coating these in butter, they pretty much need to be served right away while warm, because they’ll get a little soggy otherwise (which you can kind of see in these photos if you look closely).
If you’re not serving them right away, move them to a wire rack to cool and save the butter for serving time!
Another note on these– I added sea salt to my pretzels before baking, because I LOVE a good salty-sweet combination. If you’re not into salty on your pumpkin, simply omit :)
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
- 2 Tablespoons granulated white sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 cup pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- optional: sea salt or pretzel salt for sprinkling
- optional: 1/2 cup cinnamon sugar for coating
- Preheat oven to 425ºF. Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
- Place the butter and milk into a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds until warmed through and butter starts to melt. Whisk for about 30 seconds. If the butter melts into the milk, it's warm enough. If it doesn't, microwave for another 10-15 seconds until it does.
- Sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk. Sprinkle the sugar over the yeast. If the sugar and yeast don't fall under the surface, swirl gently until they are submerged in the milk/butter mixture. Let sit until foamy.
- Add the flour, salt, and pumpkin pie spice into the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Add the yeasty liquid, the pumpkin puree, and the egg into the dry ingredients and mix with the bread hook attachment. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the edges as needed.
- Once a dough ball has formed in the center of the bowl on the bread hook, continue to knead on the hook for 5 more minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Forming the pretzels:
- This recipe can make quite a lot of pretzel bites, so I like to form about half of the dough into large soft pretzels, and cut up about half of the dough into pretzel bites. This part is TOTALLY up to you. The cooking process will be the same no matter how you form the pretzels, so choose whatever method appeals most to you...
- Pinch of palm-sized balls of dough to work with. Roll the dough ball into long ropes, maybe 1/2 inch - 1 inch in diameter. From this point, either form the icon pretzel twist shape (pinch dough together at the bottom of the twist) or cut into one inch pieces for bite sized pretzels.
- Prepare a large pot of boiling water (approximately 8 cups) over medium-high heat, and dissolve the baking soda into the water. Working in small batches (about 10 pretzel bites or 4 pretzels), place the formed pretzel dough in the boiling water for about 30 seconds.
- Use a slatted spoon to remove the dough from the boiling water, and place on prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with sea salt or pretzel salt if desired. Bake pretzels/pretzel bites for 10-15 minutes. Baking times will vary with different ovens, so watch your first batch carefully to gauge the correct time for your oven and avoid burning!
- Optional: drizzle with butter and dip the pretzels in cinnamon sugar to coat. Serve immediately if doing this, because the butter will make the pretzels soggy after a bit.
- Also consider dipping the pretzels in chocolate sauce or caramel!
Don’t miss a bite!
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