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Ham & Cheese Pretzel Bites

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For New Year’s Eve, I wanted to make an easy appetizer that was at least a little impressive.  These pretzel bites were perfect, except that I poorly planned my timing so that I was making them as our guests arrived.  Little did I anticipate that our guests were going to finish making some of their dishes in my kitchen, too, so I was a bit distracted on making these. So distracted that they turned out with an unappetizing appearance.  Fortunately, they still tasted great!  A few days later, we were invited to our friends’ to watch the UFC fight, so I made another batch of these to bring with us.  This time I didn’t have to hurry to free up my kitchen, so their appearance was much more appealing!

Contrary to what it seems, it doesn’t take much effort to make these.  Just whip up the dough, let it rise for 2 hours, shape the pretzels, let rise again for 30 minutes, then boil and bake! If you’re anything like me, you’ll have the itching to pinch the sides of the rolls shut, but don’t.  Some of the ham and cheese might ooze out, but that’s fine.  They puff right up in the oven, resulting in the perfect soft pretzel texture.  Served with your favorite mustard dip, these buttery, salty bites will have you asking for more!

Ham & Cheese Pretzel Bites

Printable Recipe

Yield: 48 bites

1 package (1/4 oz) active dry yeast (or instant yeast)
2 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar, divided
1/4 cup warm water (110-115˚F)
1 cup warm milk (110-115˚F)
2 1/2 to 3 cups flour
1/2 cup finely chopped ham (about 3 ounces)
1/2 cup shredded cheese of choice (I used cheddar)
6 cups water
4 teaspoons baking soda
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1-2 Tablespoons coarse salt

Combine the yeast, 1 tsp brown sugar, and warm water in a large bowl. Set aside until foamy, 5-8 minutes.  (If using the instant yeast, you can skip this step and just add it to the flour.) In another bowl, stir together the remaining 2 Tbsp brown sugar and warm milk until dissolved.

Add 2 1/2 cups flour and milk mixture to the yeast. Stir with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Add the remaining flour as needed. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead a few times, forming a smooth ball.

Brush the inside of a large clean bowl with olive oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm, draft free area for about 2 hours, until dough has doubled in size and bubbles appear on the surface.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 equal pieces. Lightly dust your hands and rolling pin with flour. Roll one of the four sections into a 12×4-inch rectangle. With the long side facing you, gently press 1/4 of the ham and cheese into the bottom third of the dough, and roll as tightly as possible, starting with the end that has the filling. Cut into 12 1-inch pieces and transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining 3 portions of the dough.

Let rest, uncovered, at room temperature for 30 minutes. (Again, if using instant yeast you may choose to skip this step as it only requires one rise.) Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400˚F.

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add the baking soda and reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Boil pretzels in batches, cooking about 20 seconds each, turning once. They should be slightly puffed. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them back to the baking sheets.

Bake until puffed and golden-brown, about 15 minutes.

Brush warm pretzel bites with melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Source: Adapted from Pink Parsley

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33 Responses

  1. Love these! Your’s look delish – so pretty and buttery!

  2. These look fantastic. YUM!

  3. Mmmmm, these look gooood. I bet they are totally yummy to snack on. As a matter of fact I’m making soft pretzels for the first time today. If all goes well I’ll be giving these a try soon.
    ~ingrid

  4. Okay, we need to make these. I would like to make some for the Super Bowl party. They look really yumcious.

  5. i almost laughed at that sentence because i would TOTALY be itching to pinch the sides. they look yummy! awesome job.

  6. Oh, yum! I make some little pretzel rolls filled with cheese, but I’ve never thought about adding ham. Sounds delicious!

  7. I’m hoping to try making these babies tomorrow- so excited!!!

  8. I made these last night and they were so fun, and yummy!!! I loved making them and eating them. I love your pic too. thanks for sharing the recipe!

  9. Wow. Absolutely delicious and exact to the recipe. With some left over “batter,” my husband made pretzels and those were amazing too. Thanks!

  10. […] 8. Ham & Cheese Pretzel Bites […]

  11. […] Here are a few of the sources for them: EzraPoundCake Pretzel Bites (where I saw them originally), Pennies on a Platter Pretzel Bites, and most recently Annie’s Eats Pretzel […]

  12. This dough was wonderful and the pretzel bites were a super hit at my house! Thanks for the great recipe… its a keeper!

  13. […] maybe I exaggerate, 2 kilos max. Pennies on a Platter showed up on Tastespotting with these beauties and so the deed was done. They say there are no new stories in the world, and similarly, no new […]

  14. […] Goat Cheese and Almond Stuffed Dates- Beantown Baker (Photo courtesy of Beantown Baker) Ham & Cheese Pretzel Bites- Pennies On A Platter  Fresh Figs with Goat Cheese and Peppered Honey- Love and Olive Oil […]

  15. Hi Nikki!

    I almost forgot to mention, I made these earlier this month and they were a HUGE hit with my husband and his friend – They couldn’t stop eating them! Here’s a link to my post about them, with credit to you: http://comfortofcooking.blogspot.com/2010/08/ham-cheese-pretzel-bites.html

    Thanks for the great recipe! I’ll be making these again and again, I’m sure.

    Georgia

  16. Mmmmm… They look delicious. I could go for a plate (or two) right now!
    The only way these could be any better is if they were pepperoni pizza pretzel bites 🙂

  17. Wow, these look great and perfect for snacking on while watching college football. Thank you for the great recipe – I am going to try these on Saturday!

  18. Any clue on whether these can be frozen (and at what stage of the recipe)? I want to make these for a 10am gathering but don’t want to be up at 6am to wait for all the rises. I can’t wait to try these!

    • Hi Lauren,

      I think I would just make them the night before, refrigerate them and pop them in the oven for a few minutes right before serving. If you need to make them days in advance, then again, I would just freeze them already baked and then throw them in the oven to warm them up when ready to eat. Since you need to boil them right before baking, then you won’t have to mess with it right before your gathering.

      Let me know what you end up doing and how it works! 🙂

      Nikki

  19. […] & Cheese Pretzel Bites Recipe adapted from Pennies on a Platter Makes 48 […]

  20. I wish I could upload a picture! I made this tonight– I was worried it did not rise enough but it taste awesome!! I made a few with just pretzel. Yum yum.

  21. Sorry – just to clarify your comments on making these in advance – would you prep UP TO the point of boiling/baking, then do both right before serving? Or would you completely make them in advance, and then reheat them in the oven before serving? Thanks! They look great!

    • Hi Jami,

      When I prep them in advance, I always go ahead and bake them the day or hours before then refrigerate. Right before serving, I’ll pop them in the oven at the normal temp to warm them up. I’m sure you can prep in advance up to boiling, then freeze or refrigerate, but haven’t done it so don’t really have tips. I’m guessing you would need to let the dough rise for 30 minutes again before boiling once you’re ready. But, just a wild guess. Hope that helps!

      -Nikki

  22. I tried making this as a snack for my kids and they definitely loved it! My wife loved it too. Thanks a lot for sharing with us this easy to make recipe. So delicious! Please do share more recipes in the future. Kudos!

  23. These were a huge hit! I planned on making them for the Superbowl, but wanted to test it out first. I made them tonight for dinner and served them along side of tortilla soup. I followed the recipe to a tee, but had to sprinkle a bit of garlic powder on top. Mmmmmm! My (extremely picky) husband said he LOVED them! Thanks for the great recipe.

  24. How come my pretzel dough was so sticky? It was almost impossible for me to handle. After I unfortunately had to give up a few along the way (because of the stickiness), the ones that survived tasted awesome! I just wish I didn’t have to struggle with it to get there. Help!

    • Hi Jessie,

      Without being there with you, I can’t tell you why your dough was sticky. There could be many reasons, such as temperature, humidity, accidental wrong measurements, etc. But, if it is as sticky next time, try adding a little more flour so it’s easier to work with. I’ve actually had to do that before and they always turned out fine in the end. 🙂 Hope this helps!

      -Nikki

  25. What would you use as a dip for these? I’m just thinking about presentation. I’m sure they’d be awesome by themselves, just curious what I should serve ’em up with!

  26. […] Steelers fan, so I guess I’ll be cheering for them. More importantly, I’ll be making these or these. Which would YOU want to eat on game […]

  27. These were THE favorite at my superbowl party. Suprisingly easy even though the directions sound complicated. I have a feeling I will be asked to make these for many future parties!! Thank you!!

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