Pretzel Bites from Pillsbury Pizza Dough
Updated: Apr 20, 2020
I watched many videos on the Tasty YouTube channel about making pretzels. I didn't want to make the dough myself, so I thought I'd use Pillsbury pizza dough. From the different videos, I saw the key to making pizza dough into soft pretzels was a little baking soda water bath.
This is a pic of the best batch yet. There were a few experiments before it looked this good. :) Read on below. Recipe and instructions are at the bottom of the post.
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - Lunch: Attempt #1
I bought some Pillsbury pizza dough. I wanted to make a pretzel roll bun for a roast beef and cheese sandwich. In the sped up cooking videos, the dough is only in the water/baking soda for a few seconds. I followed the directions on the canister, which said to bake at 400 degrees. I think I baked it for around 15-18 minutes covered with foil.
RESULT: Maybe a fail. :)
We are good at this?
The result resembled a malformed :) pretzel bun with a little bit of the pretzel coloring and it tasted good, but not exactly like a soft pretzel. It didn't look like the videos at all. :)
I did a little research on the internet and found this recipe. I found out that you have to give the little pieces of dough a baking soda bath for 2-4 minutes and wait until they fluff up, double in size and float to the top -- before baking!
Because the videos I watch are sped up and hyperfast, it only seemed like a few seconds and messed me up. Haha. :)
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - Dinner: Attempt #2
Try, try again. :) Another thing about me is that if I'm in the mood for something, I will eat it for several meals in a row. This also goes back to the not wanting to buy lots of ingredients. If I have some ingredients, I'll just eat the same meal for a few days or try to figure out how to make different recipes with those ingredients.
Anyways, armed with my new knowledge that the dough has to take a bath for minutes, not seconds, I tried again. I also experimented with the temperature on my oven and time cooking. That is another tip: When you are trying out recipes, you have to figure out the temperature and timing for your oven. It may not match the recipe. :)
Here, I used 2 pints of water to 1/4 cup of baking soda - for the baking soda water bath. I dropped the dough in until they fluffed up, doubled in size and floated to the top, probably about 2-4 minutes like the recipe said.
I baked at 425 degrees for probably 20-25 minutes (covered with foil for first 20 minutes and then uncovered for 5 minutes.)
RESULT: Getting better; almost a success. :)
We are good at this? / We are good at this!
They were really good! They had the consistency of a soft pretzel -- crispy on the outside and soft on the inside!
They were maybe a little too crispy. I might have left them in a little too long. :)
I ate my little Pretzel bites with Mission Cheddar Cheese dip.
Thursday, October 17, 2019: Attempt #3
I did the same baking soda water bath.
I baked these at 425 degrees for 15 minutes covered and uncovered for 5-7 minutes at 450 degrees.
We are good at this!
They really look and tasted like soft pretzels. As you can see, I also added some Birds Eye spinach to the Mission cheddar dip to add a little healthiness. :)
Friday, October 18, 2019: Attempt #4
I baked these at 425 degrees for 15 minutes covered and uncovered for 3-5 minutes at 450 degrees.
We are good at this! Best batch yet.
This was a little snack.
Btw, nutritional info for these little guys. So 1/6 of the Pillsbury premade pizza dough is 160 calories. This is 1/12 of the canister or about 80 calories. Each pretzel bite is about 27 calories. Not too bad. :)
Monday, October 18, 2019: Attempt #5
This post is primarily to give some more information about the baking soda water bath
Bring 2 pints of water with 1/4 cup of baking soda to a medium boil. You don't have to be too exact.
Here are some pics before & after boiling the dough for 2-4 minutes. You can see in the after photo, the dough fluffs up, is about twice its size and floated to the top. Then, you use a slotted spoon to collect the dough to drain out extra water before baking.
Another tip: Put cooking spray or oil/butter on both the tray you are using and the foil that you are using to cover the dough during the first part of baking. This will prevent sticking. Some of the recipes call for covering with parchment paper, but I never have that.
Also, I think some of the recipes call for applying an egg wash before baking. This is to help any pretzel salt or salt stick better and also to give a better glistening color after baking. I happen to have eggs in the fridge now, but I usually don't. All of these attempts/experiments were made without applying an egg wash and they turned out pretty well.
Recipe: Pretzel Bites from Pillsbury Pizza Dough
~ Pillsbury pizza dough
~ Baking soda water bath (2 pints of water with 1/4 cup of baking soda)
1.) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2.) Bring 2 pints of water with 1/4 cup of baking soda to a medium boil. You don't have to be too exact.
3.) Add pieces of dough to the baking soda water bath. Leave in until the dough fluffs up, is about twice as big, and floats to the top (~2-4 minutes). You can make them into traditional pretzel shape or any shape you want. You can make them as big or small as you would like.
Note: It will take longer to bake the bigger you make them.
4.) Use a slotted spoon to remove the dough from the baking soda water bath and place the pieces of dough on a tray with cooking spray or butter/oil.
5.) Cover the dough with a piece of foil that also has cooking spray or butter/oil on it.
6.) Put in the oven (425 degrees) for ~15 minutes.
7.) Remove from the oven and uncover. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and put them back in the oven uncovered. Leave in until brown and crispy on the outside (5 minutes).
RESULT: Delicious soft pretzel bites with 2 ingredients (Pillsbury pizza dough and baking soda) plus water!
Add salt to taste if you would like and serve with your favorite dip/sauce. I like cheese dips like the Mission cheddar sauce.