Soft Pretzel Tots

Appetizers, Snacks

There’s this game…not sure if you’ve heard of it…but it seriously is all consuming. Like, it swallows people for like 4 months out of the year. They join fantasy leagues. (We’ll get back to that in a second…) They scream at the television. Become depressed if their teams loses. Wear pieces of cheese on their heads. Stand in negative 30-degree temperatures…

It’s called football. You’re familiar with this, right?!

And fantasy leagues…really, boyz?! Really?! When I finally had the mental energy to pay attention to the explanation I got one of my dude friends, I was totally disappointed. I mean, statistics…off of how players play. UGH! Snoozefest, USA.

I do like boyz, though. And boyz like football so I guess by proxy I like football, too.

And I dig football food, obvi. Wings and celery and cheese sticks and nacho cheese and chips and snacks!! I can get down.

Enter…pretzel tots…

HOLD THE PHONE!! Are soft pretzels baseball food?! Ugh…don’t answer that…whatevsies…let’s just go with it.

These pretzel tots are pretty awesome. Remember when I made Churro Tots?! These are the savory version. Sorta.

They start from a pretty simple dough with some yeast and flour and butter and a little sugar and salt. There are two rises. Typical dough behavior.

I rolled out the dough into a long 22-inch tube. And then I cut 1-inch pieces. And since I wanted them to be round, I simply rolled the dough into (NOT) perfect circles, dropped them into some boiling water and then brushed ’em with some egg wash and sprinkled big salt on each of them.

Oven. Out. In some mustard.

They’re everything a prezel should be: soft and chewy on the inside and salty with a delightful crust on the outside.

Next time I’m gonna play around with different dipping sauces. Maybe mix some harissa with some mustard. Or toss a little curry powder in some mustard. I dunno. But it’s gonna get crazy.

POLL TIME: Are my nails really unicorn/Lisa Frank?! That’s what Teri said. I think maybe they are. I got a little crazy with the nail polish layers at the salon the other day. 🙁

Soft Pretzel Tots

Recipe tweaked from Alton Brown

Print this recipe!

1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt or coarse Sea Salt

Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.

Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 22-inch rope. Cut the dough into 1-inch pieces; using your two hands, one-by-one, roll them into circles. Place the balls (or tots) onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.

Place the pretzels tots into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel tot with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt (or coarse sea salt). Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

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Leave a Reply

  • Reply Nicole September 16, 2011 at 6:42 am

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I love pretzels and little pretzel tots are the perfect snack!

    Kisses from HK,

  • Reply Lisa Lou September 16, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Sounds yummy!

  • Reply Gastronomer September 16, 2011 at 11:33 am

    LOVE your writing style and this recipe is beggin’ to be made! Good luck with fantasy season 😉

  • Reply Katrina September 16, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Ooooohhhh I just love these! What an awesome idea. I’m going to try these asap.

  • Reply Sara September 16, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    These look delicious!! I’m doing a whole wheat thing though…how do you think these would turn out using whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour? Would appreciate any tips you can give! Can’t wait to try these!

  • Reply Sue/the view from great island September 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    These are the cutest thigs ever…I want to stuff them with teeny hot dogs!

  • Reply Sue/the view from great island September 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    These are the cutest things ever…I want to stuff them with teeny hot dogs!

    • Reply Adrianna September 16, 2011 at 4:57 pm

      Oh that would be awesome and gross all at the same time. DOOO IT!

  • Reply Katie September 16, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    These are the perfectly sporty and dainty. Love it! I’m also thinking a kinda spicy beer cheese sauce would be super delicious, and those fans who wear pieces of cheese on their heads would go nuts.

  • Reply Kiran @ September 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    I tried a pretzel once, never liked it. It was not soft at all.

    These does look delicious and inviting. I must try 🙂

    • Reply Adrianna September 16, 2011 at 4:57 pm

      I don’t do crunchy pretzels ever. You’ll like the soft ones, though!

  • Reply Erin September 16, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    I loooove football. At least college football. And I would love it even more to have these at my side on Saturday.

  • Reply Christy September 16, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Seriously LOVE your nails!! And the recipe looks delish too!

  • Reply Emily D. September 16, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    1) I want to put an entire batch of these pretzels into my mouth.
    2) When I saw your nails in that one picture I thought, “I am definitely doing glitter nails today”.

  • Reply kitty quintana September 16, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    I dig the nails,and those little pretzel tots are a perfect size!;)

  • Reply Amanda @ Fashionably Plate September 16, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    These look amazing! I also LOVE the nails! Teach me your ways, please!

  • Reply Allison September 16, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Love the nail polish!! And the recipe 🙂

  • Reply Michelle September 16, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Yum yum yum yum yum!

    I’m glad you called these tots because calling them balls could have led to some great dirty jokes. My mind can be found in the gutter most days. Today is no exception.

    Happy Friday!

    • Reply Adrianna September 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm

      Soft Pretzel Balls sound terrible. And gross. 🙂

  • Reply Erin September 16, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    These looks absolutely delicious. Can’t wait to make them myself!!

  • Reply Sarah September 16, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    We’re not huge football people in our family, but I think these would be good as an after school snack! Maybe some cinnamon sugar on top and a cream cheese dip!!!! MMMM!

    And I’m a total girl and have three daughters so sparkly fingernails are a must around here! 🙂

  • Reply Bev Weidner September 16, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Those little tots can tot their way into my mouths and tot their way down into my belly.


  • Reply Valerie September 16, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    I must make these this weekend! Where does one find pretzel salt?

    • Reply Adrianna September 16, 2011 at 7:33 pm

      Actually, I just changed the pretzel salt ingredient because I’m not sure. I searched everywhere and couldn’t find it…SOOO I just used some really coarse sea salt that I found at whole foods. It was a little pricey (like $5) but I figured I’d use it for other things. I bet coarse kosher salt would work just fine, too. 🙂

      • Reply Ashlee February 3, 2013 at 1:39 pm

        Yes, kosher salt works great! Today is the 3rd time I’ve made these and they’ve been delicious every single time! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply TheFoodGospelAccordingtoRuth September 16, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    You are hysterical!!! This could be one of my favorite posts….definitely just forwarded this to my best friend requesting we make these STAT!

  • Reply jennifer September 16, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    WOW! This might just be my favorite post I’ve seen in a long time! Love the sparkle nail polish too ; )

    Happy Friday,

  • Reply laura @ glutton for nourishment September 16, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    my husband and i are totally not into football, but we are definitely into soft pretzels. i will have to try these!

  • Reply Lara September 16, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    I don’t know where you are, but here it is beginning to feel like fall. I’d trade the disco ball nail polish for some autumn colors 🙂 Embrace the change of season!


    • Reply Adrianna September 16, 2011 at 9:02 pm

      It’s still technically summer. AND I live in LA. But trust me, once it starts to get crisp and cold, I’ll be down with the fall nail colors. Stay tuned….:)

  • Reply France September 16, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I think the best part is that not only do they dip, but there’s no fussing with twisting and wrapping. Love it.

  • Reply Lisa @ The Cooking Bride September 16, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Okay, I’ve always shied away from making pretzels because of the whole twisting the dough into a knot thing, but I could do this.

  • Reply Cas September 16, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    NOM NOM NOM! These sound sooooo good. Bookmarking this and DEFINITELY making them. 😀

  • Reply winston salem paint contractor September 16, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    I get these at the mall all the time

  • Reply Amanda (onceuponarecipe) September 16, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    These look absolutely delicious, and cute too! Cuteness is a bonus when it comes to food. I also like boyz…does this mean I should be making some pretzel tots? 😉

    • Reply Adrianna September 16, 2011 at 9:00 pm


  • Reply Teri Lyn Fister September 16, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Its funny that no one is talking about your Lisa Frank nails in the comments. Probably because everyone agrees with me! Also, cute tots.

    • Reply Adrianna September 16, 2011 at 10:51 pm


  • Reply Betty @ scrambled hen fruit September 17, 2011 at 4:54 am

    Please tell me I don’t have to be a football fan to make these! So cute- they look seriously addictive. 🙂

  • Reply Koko @ KokoLikes September 17, 2011 at 5:18 am

    YUMMY! These are great for entertaining, can’t wait to try them!

  • Reply Clarkie @ Beloved Green September 17, 2011 at 5:43 am

    I agree with Koko, these would be perfect for entertaining, or even a tailgate party (I have football on my mind this weekend!)

  • Reply danielle September 17, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    I have this recipe and love them! I actually made them for the first time for the super bowl last year. I even throw the uncooked dough tots into the freezer, so I just have to bath and bake them for a “quick” (or at least quicker) snack. they are so good!

  • Reply Andrea September 17, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    I love soft pretzels and love the idea of pretzel bites even more! These look so tasty, especially with the big chunks of salt. Good job!

  • Reply Melody September 17, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    I LOVE the nails and the pretzels look awesome. I’m excited to check out the rest of the site. MS

  • Reply Elizabeth September 17, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    I’m going to go with Bev on this one. Those little tots can tot their way right into my tummy right tottin’ now.


  • Reply Lillian September 17, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    LOVE your recipes, LOVE your writing, LOVE you! (blog love can be real love right? in a way?)

    Keep it coming!

  • Reply Adam September 17, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    These look AMAZING! Beautiful photography!

  • Reply Holly Henderson September 18, 2011 at 1:59 am

    You r an evil genius.

  • Reply CouponClippingCook September 18, 2011 at 5:11 am

    These are so fun and cute. I’m sure the middle of them is sooo tasty (of course the outside too). They would for sure be a hit at a get-together….they’re so unique.

  • Reply Anne September 18, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    TOTES AWESOMESAUCE! DEFINITELY sending these to my crazed football brother at college. Guess who’s his favorite sister now?

  • Reply Mandi September 18, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    This is the perfect solution for the fact that my local Wetzel’s Pretzel’s shut their doors with me outside on my knees crying. No more pretzel bites with cheese sauce! Here is the fix for the pretzels now I will hunt down a good cheese sauce…

  • Reply Aubrey Devin September 19, 2011 at 4:06 am

    Pure genius. And loving the nail polish. Way-to-go. xo

  • Reply Danielle September 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    If you join fantasy football, you will like the game much more (especially if you didn’t grow up with a team)! And, isn’t it always great to say you beat the boys?!

  • Reply Yum Alert: Soft Pretzel Tots | The Luxury Spot September 19, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    […] (Recipe tweaked from Alton Brown via A Cozy Kitchen) […]

  • Reply Amy September 19, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    I made these tonight. Simple and so delicious. They came out exactly as advertised. Thanks for posting this, I will be making soft pretzel tots many more times.

  • Reply Jeanna September 21, 2011 at 1:11 am

    Love this recipe. I made some this past week and my husband about knocked his computer over to get to them fresh out of the oven. I plan on making them again and again. Thank you for sharing.

    • Reply Adrianna September 21, 2011 at 5:58 am

      YAY, Amy and Jeanna. That makes me super happy!

  • Reply Lindsay September 21, 2011 at 4:48 am

    I know this is A Cozy KITCHEN (love allll of your recipes!), but can you puh-lease do some sort of post on your fabulous nails/favorite colors/where you get these amazing sparkles??? I would love you even more than ever!

    • Reply Adrianna September 21, 2011 at 5:54 am

      HA! I love nail polish almost as much as I love food so I’ll see what I can do!

  • Reply Amanda September 21, 2011 at 8:17 am

    JUST the receipe I was looking for! thanks much 🙂


  • Reply Sausage Stuffed Pretzel BItes | The Spiffy Cookie September 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm

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  • Reply Becky September 21, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    I made some larger pretzel rolls recently but these smaller tots are a great idea for football snacks! Will have to make some soon : )

  • Reply Laura @ A Healthy Jalapeño September 22, 2011 at 12:49 am

    These look wonderful. Just the right bite of pretzel with the dash of salt. I love it and I love your blog.
    Laura @ A Healthy Jalapeño

  • Reply [email protected] September 22, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    These look great! I absolutely love fresh homemade pretzels. Maneuvering the braids has always been tricky for me, these look like a mighty adorable solution to that dilema.

  • Reply Jennifer September 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    I loved this recipe! I made it yesterday for some friends that came over to watch the big game (Bears vs. Packers), and everyone was raving about how good they were. I already sent over the link to your blog to a few of my friends. Thank you so much for posting, and I look forward to trying out other recipes!

  • Reply Paige September 29, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Just made these! I had all the ingredients and I was bored. And let’s face it, pretzels bites rock. Turned out very good! Never thought I could make a pretzel before. I used kosher salt but finer because that’s all I had. Just posted my picture on FB so everyone can be jealous. I’ll be sure to share the recipe if someone asks though. 😉

  • Reply Pretzel Tots! | liberatedmuffins October 5, 2011 at 9:18 am

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  • Reply You Are My Fave October 11, 2011 at 7:01 am

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  • Reply Trisha October 19, 2011 at 3:15 am

    I really like the look and sound of these pretzel tots, will be trying it out soon. This is my first time visiting and I can’t wait to see the rest of u’r site!

  • Reply Viviana November 3, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Fantasy Football? And what about Fantasy Baseball? And football games? And baseball games? My husband follows all of the above…the most wonderful time of the year for me? The 6 weeks in between the Superbowl and the beginning of baseball season. LOL!

    By the way, these look yummy 🙂

  • Reply Barbara November 21, 2011 at 5:44 am

    Thanks for the recipe!! Just made them tonight and they turned out perfect. I have never had luck with pretzel recipes before but this is a real keeper!!

  • Reply Heather December 6, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    I made these the other day for the first time, and they were such a hit with everyone that I’m making them again today! They were delicious!! Thank you ! 🙂

  • Reply heather December 15, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    You’re nails look awesome and I can’t wait to try this recipe!

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  • Reply Alex February 4, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    These look awesomeeee!!!!! Soft pretzels are my weaknes……

  • Reply Karie February 4, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    I know it really shouldn’t be any concern but do you have the nutritional value (spec. calorie count) for these I just fear that these could be kinda addicting and to know what I should limit myself to would be great lol.

    • Reply Adrianna February 4, 2012 at 9:12 pm

      Unfortunately I don’t.:(

  • Reply Cassie February 5, 2012 at 12:02 am

    These look far too amazing! Do you think they would turn out if I used margarine instead of the butter? We have a dairy allergy so butter is a no-go.

  • Reply Sophia February 5, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Another success! Also made them with hot dogs! The main course to your jalapeno poppers 🙂 Thank you!!!!!

  • Reply Via February 5, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    I want to make these, put with store-bought dough. Any suggestions?

    • Reply Adrianna February 5, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      This recipe is pretty different than a usual store-bought pizza dough, so I’m unsure. Sorry!

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  • Reply DixieWitch February 6, 2012 at 7:06 am

    Excellent idea. Made these for the super bowl and they were a huge hit. I did make a change. I stead of brushing with egg wash and sprinkling with salt, I baked them plain then dipped in melted butter and tossed in a cinnamon sugar mixture. Yummy!

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  • Reply Alex February 10, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Would these still get as brown without the egg wash?

    • Reply Adrianna February 10, 2012 at 6:46 pm

      They’ll turn a slightly, dull brown. They won’t have that pretty golden sheen to them. They’ll taste the same tho!

  • Reply Alex February 10, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Oh and also I don’t have a mixing bowl with a dough hook….would it work if I just used a hand mixer?? Thanks!!!!!!!!!!

    • Reply Adrianna February 10, 2012 at 6:47 pm

      No hand mixer. If you don’t have a stand-up mixer, you can make this by hand, it’ll just take a little strength and you might sweat a little!

      • Reply Alex February 12, 2012 at 5:17 pm

        so this is probs a dumb question but how would i do it by hand? and maybe if i sweat a little that would give me a good excuse to eat them all 🙂

        • Reply Adrianna February 12, 2012 at 10:44 pm

          Not a dumb question! So when you get to the part where it says: “turn the stand-up mixer on, using the dough hook…” You’re going to actually going to mix everything by hand, or using a wooden spoon. And when it says “knead the dough for 4-5 minutes in the stand-up mixer,” you’re also going to do that by hand. You want the drop the flour mixture onto a lightly floured surface (like your kitchen counter) and knead. (If you don’t know how to knead, here’s a good video: ) Note: Your dough is going to look much tougher than the dough pictured. So don’t worry about that. Hope this helps!

          • Alex February 17, 2012 at 6:40 pm

            Thank you!!!! I’ll let you know how they turn out

          • Alex February 23, 2012 at 7:18 pm

            so i mixed the pretzels by hand and didn’t add the egg wash and they were still super brown and tasted fantastic!!!!

          • Adrianna February 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm

            Yay! So glad.

  • Reply Mariah February 12, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    This recipe sounds delicious! The batch seems large though for just me and my husband. Is it possible to freeze the dough? If so, at what point? Would you still boil them and then freeze? Or would you complete the recipe it all the way and then freeze the already cooked ones?

    • Reply Adrianna February 12, 2012 at 10:46 pm

      I would make them all the way through, including baking and then freeze them. Should work just fine. 🙂

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  • Reply Zendi Ruggles March 1, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    DELICIOUS!! so happy. just like the ones at the soft pretzel places at the mall. THANKYOU!!

    • Reply Adrianna March 1, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      YAY! So glad they worked out.

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  • Reply Dee June 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    I’m from Philadelphia, so pretzel season is 365/6 days a year!
    I am gonna try these since, pretzels everywhere else that I have lived taste like Super Pretzel . . . and if I wanted a nuked pretzel, I’d just eat those! 😉

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  • Reply Melissa September 11, 2012 at 10:53 am

    My husband and I have made soft pretzels a couple of times, but I think I like these little “tots” are my favorite! We just made them for a Sunday Football Kickoff get-together. They were a big hit, especially with the beer dip we made 🙂
    Thanks for the recipe, it was delicious!!

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  • Reply sarah December 27, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    I just made these, they are AMAZING!! So good!!!! I have made other pretzel recipes and this is the absolute best! They were very easy to make and delicious!!!! Thanks so much for posting this recipe!!

  • Reply Theresa January 1, 2013 at 1:52 am

    So good!!! I made them to dip into cheese fondue!! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  • Reply Holly Jo January 8, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    These were amazing! Perfect soft little pretzel bites!
    The only problem I had was they stuck to the parchment paper. 🙁 Otherwise, they were really really good! Thanks for the recipe!

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  • Reply Little Kitchie February 3, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    I’m about to make these! Just curious, what does the boiling water step do for the pretzels? I’ve made other soft pretzels before and never done this step.

    Looking forward to trying these!! 🙂

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  • Reply Lauren Bux February 4, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Oh my goodness, I made these for the Superbowl last night and they were FAB!! I actually served them with a Bier Cheese fondue that I made and they were a huge hit! The texture is fantastic on these things! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Reply Heide M. February 11, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Thanks for posting this recipe.

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  • Reply Lisa March 7, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Made these and love them! Any tips on how to store them tho? I made them for a party and stores them in a plastic bag and two days later the outsides of them were soft but the insides were hard?

  • Reply Claire May 28, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Making these for a birthday. Nextmonth.

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  • Reply Tiffany July 7, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    OMG! I make the regular recipe all the time. The last time I made it, I was wondering about making bites. This just gave me the go ahead. :). Thanks! I’m going to have an ecstatic 3 year old when she wakes up from her nap!

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  • Reply linda November 16, 2014 at 5:48 am

    can i use a bread machine to make dough?
    thank you

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme November 16, 2014 at 9:39 am

      Sorry, I’m not sure, I’ve never used a bread machine.

  • Reply 5 Things in October - An Eventful Life December 30, 2014 at 12:07 pm

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  • Reply MIRANDA September 27, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    hey i was wondering what measurement was used for the baking soda…is it 2/3 tablespoon ??
    Not that really experienced about this cooking thing. Hoping to do this for a school practical

  • Reply DG December 22, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    It’s really 2/3 cup of baking soda. When you boil them in the baking soda water it gives them a tangy bite in the flavor. These are so good! I’ve made them for years. I make a double batch and feeeze them after boiling them. Then I pop the frozen bites in my oven as needed. You can also freeze the dough. You can make them into traditional pretzel shapes if you want. Sometimes I do that. Usually I just cut the rope into bite sized pieces and boil those. I don’t even bother making them into balls.