Spicy Pretzel Bites

overhead shot of the spicy pretzel bites on newsprint food paper with a beer cheese and parsley.

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Take pretzel bites to the next level with Spicy Pretzel Bites. Soft pretzel balls smothered in Buffalo sauce, a dash of cayenne pepper, and coarse sea salt then baked into a crispy pretzel ball! Soft and chewy inside with a salty spicy crust.


For the Pretzel 
1 and 1/2 cups warm water
1 packet rapid rise yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 and 1/3 cups all purpose flour
Sea salt for topping
Cayenne pepper for topping
1/3 cup baking soda

For the Buffalo Sauce
4 tablespoons salted butter
2 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 cup hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar

For the Beer Cheese Sauce
8oz block sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup of beer (your choice but I used Blue Moon)
3/4 cup half & half
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


1. First add the warm water to a large bowl and pour in the packet of rapid rise yeast. Stir and let sit for at least a minute. Whisk in the salt, melted butter, and the brown sugar. Stir in the flour 1 cup at a time, reserving the last 1/3 cup on the side. Flour your hands and begin to knead the dough into a circle.

2. Knead the dough for at least 3 minutes, and as you knead gradually add in the last 1/3 cup of flour so that it isn’t sticky. After 3 minutes, place the dough in a bowl, cover and let it rise for an hour.

3. While the dough is rising make the Buffalo sauce. In a small pot melt the butter. Once melted, add the flour and whisk to combine, breaking up any clumps. Next, add the hot sauce, Worcestershire, garlic powder, brown sugar, and vinegar. Stir to combine, making sure the brown sugar has dissolved. Reserve about 1/3 cup on the side for dipping the final pretzels, the rest will be used to brush the tops of the pretzels before baking them.

4. As the hour is coming to an end, bring a large pot of water to boil, preheat the oven to 425 degrees, and lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Once boiling VERY CAREFULLY add the 1/3 cup of baking soda a little at a time. I can’t stress this enough, you must be very careful when adding the baking soda. Make sure the water isn’t to high to the edge of the pot because once you add the baking soda it foams up FAST. So go slow, and only add a little at a time. 

5. Once the baking soda bath is ready and the dough has risen, begin making the pretzel bites by breaking off clumps of the dough about the size of a golf ball and gently molding it into a soft circle. The tops don’t have to be perfectly smooth. Once you’ve got all the bites made, working in batches drop them in the boiling baking soda water and boil them for 20 seconds. Using a slotted spoon or strainer spoon, carefully remove the pretzels and place them on the baking sheet. Try not to get too much of the baking soda water on the pan or they could stick when baking. Brush the tops of the pretzels with the Buffalo sauce, sprinkle with a dash of cayenne, and sprinkle with the sea salt. Bake for 16-18 minutes until golden brown.

6. Almost done! While the pretzels are baking, make the beer cheese sauce! Melt the butter and add the flour, whisking to combine. Add in the beer, half & half, mustard, Worcestershire, garlic powder, salt, pepper and paprika. Stir to combine and cook for 3-5 minutes, then add the cheese a little at a time, whisking after each time so that the cheese melts. Simmer another 3-5 minutes until thickened.


Ok we made it, time to eat! Serve the Spicy Pretzel Bites with the beer cheese and the Buffalo sauce that was set aside from step 3. Enjoy! 

Keywords: spicy pretzel bites