Chewy, salty pretzel bites are served with a whipped feta and pesto dip. These Pretzel Bites are easy to make and make the perfect snack for serving a crowd!
- 150g whole milk, lukewarm
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp active yeast
- 565g all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 50g extra virgin olive oil (I used Delicato by Filippo Berio)
- 130g light beer, at room temperature (alternatively you can use water or milk)
- To boil: 1/4 cup baked baking soda (see notes), plus 6 cups water
- Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water
- Pretzel salt to finish (optional)
Whipped Feta and Pesto Dip
- 420g block of feta, drained if in brine, at room temperature
- 40g Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice (optional)
- Lots of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 jar (190g) Filippo Berio Grilled Vegetable Pesto
- Place the lukewarm milk, brown sugar, and the yeast in a medium sized bowl, and stir to combine. Leave for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, place the flour and salt, and mix briefly to combine.
- Add the milk mixture, olive oil, and the beer to the dry ingredients, and mix on low for 2-3 minutes, until the dough begins to come together. Increase the speed to medium, and knead for a further 15-20 minutes, until the dough is smooth and stretchy (it needs a little more kneading than you expect).
- Shape the dough into a ball, and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm spot for 45 minutes to an hour, or until doubled in size. This initial rise can also be done in the fridge overnight (see notes).
- While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 450°f / 230°c. Line three baking sheets with silpats / silicone baking mats, or very well greased parchment paper (see notes).
- Turn the dough out onto a work surface (do not flour), and divide into 6 pieces. Cover with plastic and keep covered while not using.
- Roll each piece of dough into a long thin rope, about 24 inches long. Using a knife or bench cutter, cut into 2 inch lengths to form your pretzel bites (they may seem skinny but they puff up in the water bath and when baking). Space evenly on the baking sheet.
- In a large, shallow pan (I used a frying pan / skillet), combine 1/4 cup baked baking soda and 6 cups of water. Heat until the solution is steaming, then turn off.
- Place one tray's worth of pretzels into the warm water, and soak for 15 seconds, then turn over and soak for a further 15 seconds. Remove from the water using a slotted spoon and arrange on the trays.
- Brush each pretzel bite with egg wash and sprinkle with pretzel salt. Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until deeply golden brown.
- Repeat the process with the remaining pretzel bites (see notes for my suggested process)
Whipped Feta and Pesto Dip
- Place the feta, olive oil, lemon juice, and black pepper into the work bowl of a food processor. Mix until smooth, then add the Filippo Berio Grilled Vegetable Pesto, and mix again to combine.
- Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge until ready to serve - best served slightly chilled.
- When ready to serve, transfer to a serving bowl and finish with olive oil and chopped chives (optional).
- Store leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container.
I found it easiest to set up a production line when I was making these - I rolled out some dough and then made one tray's worth of pretzel bites. I then soaked them in the soda mixture, and baked them off. While they were baking I prepared the next tray.
I fitted 1/3 of the dough (so two dough balls worth) on each baking sheet - this may vary depending on your baking sheet size. You can keep any dough you are not working with either covered with plastic on your work surface, or in the fridge.
Keywords: Pretzel bites, whipped feta, pesto, snacks, game day snacks