These homemade Soft Pretzel Bites are both fun to make and eat! Serve them with a warm gooey Beer Cheese Dip for the BEST addition to any appy spread, game-day, or party! Warm out of the oven, these are totally addicting!
In a large bowl of a stand mixer add the water or milk, yeast and sugar. Stir to combine and let sit for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to activate
Add the flour, melted butter and salt to the bowl and stir to combine, using your hands to knead the dough when it becomes too difficult to stir. On a clean lightly floured surface, knead until smooth, around 5 minutes. Alternatively, if using a stand mixer, use the dough hook on medium speed for 4-5 minutes until the dough is smooth. The dough should be slightly firm to touch. If the dough is too sticky add 1/4 cup more flour.
Transfer dough into a large greased bow, cover with a damp tea towel or cloth and place in a draft-free warm area to rise until doubled (around 30-40 minutes).
Preheat the oven to 425 F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine baking soda with the 8 cups of water in a large pot and bring to a boil.
Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. Working on one piece at a time, roll the dough into a rope around 3/4" thick. Cut the rope into 1" pieces and set on the baking sheet, repeat with the rest of the dough.
Carefully drop the pretzel bites into the boiling water, working in batches depending on the size of pot. Boil the pretzel bites for 30-40 seconds, remove from water and set on the other prepared baking sheet. Repeat with all bites (you will need both baking sheets to bake them).
Brush the tops of each pretzel bite with egg wash and sprinkle with the coarse salt and Everything Bagel Seasoning if using. Bake for 10-13 minutes until golden brown.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted whisk in flour until smooth. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
Pour in the beer and slowly whisk in the milk or cream a little at a time. Once smooth, stir in the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt, pepper and jalapeño (if using).
Add in the shredded cheddar cheese and whisk until melted and sauce has thickened. Let simmer and serve warm.