There’s nothing like a soft, chewy pretzel bite to curb your snack cravings. These lemon poppy seed soft pretzel bites are perfectly bite-sized and are extra delicious when dipped in a cool, creamy honey yogurt sauce.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Red Star®
Soft pretzels are one of my favorite snack foods. There’s a shop in the mall that has the best soft pretzel bites and I just have to have them anytime we go.
Today, I’m excited to be sharing a spring inspired pretzel bite recipe that you can make at home. There really are only so many ways you can make soft pretzels and have them come out perfectly soft and chewy.
I learned the basics last year when trying to make maple bacon fat soft pretzels. Several recipes were tested until I achieved the best texture for my taste. I think you are going to enjoy and appreciate this recipe.
These Lemon Poppy Seed Soft Pretzel Bites are a fun new twist on my favorite soft pretzel recipe. They are some of the best sweet pretzel bites I’ve ever eaten. And so full of spring flare! They are full of lemon and honey flavors with loads of poppy seeds speckled throughout.
Homemade soft pretzels aren’t difficult to make, but they do take time. I suggest reading through all the instructions before you begin and plan ahead.
Tips for making Lemon Poppy Seed Soft Pretzel Bites at home:
The most important tip is to use high-quality yeast. We’re using Red Star® Active Dry Yeast for these soft pretzel bites. I’m a huge fan of Red Star® and have been for as long as I can remember. It yields consistent and reliable results.
Using bread flour for soft pretzels is by far the best route to take. You want a dough that is stiff and sturdy. It’s an absolute must! The high gluten content in bread flour is what will give the pretzels that chewiness that is so well loved.
You want to let the dough double in size before shaping it. This will increase the lightness of the texture inside the pretzel. I love a soft pretzel that is chewy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
Shape the dough by dividing it into 8 equal size pieces. Roll each piece into a 20-inch rope and cut the rope into 1 and 1/2 inch slices. If the dough is difficult to roll out and continues to shrink back, let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes. This will give it some time to relax. Relaxed dough is easier to manipulate.
The pretzels need to go into a water bath before baking. This is crucial for developing that dark shiny surface. It also helps keep the pretzels from puffing up too much in the oven. In a way, it sort of “sets” the dough.
The water bath is simply water and baking soda. Boil the pretzel bites in batches for about 20 seconds. That’s all they’ll need. Just a quick dunk.
Feel free to sprinkle some coarse sugar over them just before baking. I tested this recipe with and without it. I love the extra sweetness it provides. And as the pretzels bake, the sugar will melt and caramelize on the outside. It’s worth the extra step it takes to sprinkle it on.
Bake them up until they are the desired color of golden brown. Some folks like their pretzels to be darker in color and some like them to be lighter. Just be careful not to underbake or burn them.
Serve the lemon poppy seed soft pretzel bites with a dip made of yogurt, honey, and a little cinnamon. Enjoy!
Lemon Poppy Seed Soft Pretzel Bites
For the pretzels
- 2/3 cup warm water 110-115°F
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 2 and 1/4 teaspoons Red Star® Active Dry Yeast (1 envelope)
- 3 and 3/4 to 4 and 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup poppy seeds
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 10 cups water
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1 tablespoon coarse sugar optional
In a small bowl, stir together the warm water, brown sugar, and yeast. Let sit for about 5 minutes, until the yeast is dissolved and foamy.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (a wooden spoon can also be used), combine 2 cups of the flour and salt.
Add the butter, honey, and milk to a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until the butter has melted and mixture is steaming but not boiling. Pour the milk mixture into the flour. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and poppy seeds; stir with a whisk. Add the yeast mixture and stir with a whisk.Turn the mixer on medium low speed and gradually add 1/4 cup at a time of remaining flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Press a finger into the dough. If it bounces back, it is ready to knead.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently for about 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a lightly oiled bowl. Brush a little oil over the top and cover the bowl with a tea towel. Place the bowl in a warm place to rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two large baking sheets with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
Using a sharp knife or the edge of a bench scraper, cut the dough into 8 equal portions. Roll each portion out into a 20-inch long rope. If the dough wants to shrink back, let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Cut each rope into 1 1/2-inch pieces.
Bring 10 cups of water with baking soda to a boil. Drop 10 pretzels at a time in to the water bath and let sit for 15 to 20 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place them onto the prepared baking sheets.
Brush the pretzels with beaten egg. Sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar just before going into the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and serve with honey yogurt dip. The pretzels will remain fresh for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
Make the dip:
Combine the yogurt and honey in a small bowl. Stir until well combined. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the top and use a spoon to swirl in into the yogurt mixture.