Best Homemade Soft Pretzels

Last updated 02/20/2020 | , |

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These delicious soft pretzels are a snap to make, and so much tastier than the ones at the mall. Take a bite of a homemade pretzel, fresh out of the oven, and you'll never go back.

These delicious soft pretzels are a snap to make, and so much tastier than the ones at the mall. Take a bite of a homemade pretzel, fresh out of the oven, and you'll never go back.

The kids have entered a new stage in life, that I'm going to call The Always Hungry Phase. Even my rib-sticking Oatmeal-Cinnamon Waffles don't fill them up like they used to.

(I can see my mom now, frowning through the computer screen. Yes Mom, I am feeding your grandkids. Don't worry.)

These soft pretzels are delicious, filling, and you know exactly what's in them. They have a little bit of crunch, and a soft, tender interior that tastes great with homemade cheese sauce, grainy mustard, and even spaghetti sauce. Yum!

soft pretzels

Tools Used to Make Homemade Soft Pretzels

Here are the tools I recommend to make this recipe quickly and easily:

KitchenAid mixer: to knead the dough for you

Bench scraper: also called a pastry cutter; used to divide the dough

Spider: for putting the shaped pretzels into the boiling water

Half-sheet baking pans: please don't use nonstick cookie sheets (here's why)

Pretzel salt: it's different from table salt and won't melt when baked. You can substitute with kosher salt if necessary.

pretzel salt


More homemade recipes your family will love:

Incredible Orange Chicken

Caramel Corn without Corn Syrup

Perfect Copycat Rice-a-Roni


How to Make Homemade Soft Pretzels

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups warm water

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 1/2 teaspoons yeast

4 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup butter, melted (half a stick)

2/3 cup baking soda

1 egg

Instructions:

Combine the water, sugar, kosher salt, and yeast in the bowl of your mixer. Swish with a fork to combine and let it sit for a few minutes.

Our house is pretty cold, so it’s hard to get yeast breads to rise in winter. If this is true for you also, turn your oven on to 200 degrees F and set the timer for 10 minutes—after that, turn the oven off. This will give your dough a nice, warm place to rise.

Sift the flour into a separate bowl. Once the yeast mixture has a few bubbles on top, add the flour and butter to the mixer bowl and mix on low with the dough hook until everything is combined. Then change to medium and knead for 4-5 minutes, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

pretzel dough

Is your oven off? If it’s been on longer than 10 minutes, shut it off and leave the door open for a bit.

Grab an ovenproof bowl and spray it with nonstick spray. Put the dough in, cover the bowl with a damp towel, and place in the oven to rise. After about an hour, it will double in size and look like this.

pretzel dough after rise

Bring it out of the oven and plop it on a clean, dry counter. Divide the dough into eight equal pieces using your bench scraper.

pretzel dough on counter

Pretzel Shaping Instructions

Roll each piece into a long rope. Reeeeeeally long...much longer than you think you'll need. You'll see why it needs to be so long when we twist it into a pretzel shape.

Start your pretzel by making a U with your dough rope.

roll out pretzel dough

Then cross the ends over each other...

shape pretzel dough

cross them over twice more...

shape pretzel dough

and stick the ends down with a dab of water. Shazam! You have a pretzel.

pretzel before boiling

Fire up the oven again, this time to 450 degrees F. Fill a large pan half-full with water and bring to a boil and add the baking soda. Do this carefully--it will really fizz up.

Using your spider, slip the pretzels into the boiling water one at a time. Cook each one for 30 seconds, and then put them on a parchment-lined baking pan.

pretzel water bath

Make an egg wash by mixing one egg and a tablespoon of water. Once all of your pretzels are on the cookie sheet, brush them with the egg wash and sprinkle with pretzel salt.

pretzel egg wash

Bake until dark golden brown, about 12-14 minutes. Then place on a wire rack for a few minutes until they’ve cooled down enough to eat!

pretzels baked

closeup of baked pretzel

Best Homemade Soft Pretzels

Yield: 8 pretzels
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

These delicious soft pretzels are a snap to make, and so much tastier than the ones at the mall. Take a bite of a homemade pretzel, fresh out of the oven, and you'll never go back.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Combine the water, sugar, kosher salt, and yeast in the bowl of your mixer. Swish with a fork to combine and let it sit for a few minutes.
  2. Our house is pretty cold, so it’s hard to get yeast breads to rise in winter. If this is true for you also, turn your oven on to 200 degrees F and set the timer for 10 minutes—after that, turn the oven off. This will give your dough a nice, warm place to rise.
  3. Sift the flour into a separate bowl. Once the yeast mixture has a few bubbles on top, add the flour and butter to the mixer bowl and mix on low with the dough hook until everything is combined. Then change to medium and knead for 4-5 minutes, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Is your oven off? If it’s been on longer than 10 minutes, shut it off and leave the door open for a bit.
  5. Grab an ovenproof bowl and spray it with nonstick spray. Put the dough in, cover the bowl with a damp towel, and place in the oven to rise. After about an hour, it will double in size and look like this.
  6. Bring it out of the oven and plop it on a clean, dry counter. Divide the dough into eight equal pieces using your bench scraper.

Pretzel Shaping Instructions

  1. Roll each piece into a long rope. Reeeeeeally long...much longer than you think you'll need. You'll see why it needs to be so long when we twist it into a pretzel shape.
  2. Start your pretzel by making a U with your dough rope. Cross the ends over each other, then cross them twice more, and stick the ends down with a dab of water. Shazam! You have a pretzel.
  3. Fire up the oven again, this time to 450 degrees F. Fill a large pan half-full with water and bring to a boil and add the baking soda. Do this carefully--it will really fizz up.
  4. Using your spider, slip the pretzels into the boiling water one at a time. Cook each one for 30 seconds, and then put them on a parchment-lined baking pan.
  5. Make an egg wash by mixing one egg and a tablespoon of water. Once all of your pretzels are on the cookie sheet, brush them with the egg wash and sprinkle with pretzel salt.
  6. Bake until dark golden brown, about 12-14 minutes. Then place on a wire rack for a few minutes until they’ve cooled down enough to eat!

Notes

These soft pretzels are delicious, filling, and you know exactly what's in them. They have a little bit of crunch, and a soft, tender interior that tastes great with homemade cheese sauce, grainy mustard, and even spaghetti sauce. Yum!

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What will you serve with your pretzels?

finished soft pretzels

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Pam

Hey, I’m Pam! I created Brown Thumb Mama to share my homesteading journey and help you live a greener life. Ready to learn more? Check out my Free Resource Guides, or my Shop to learn more.

10 Comments

  1. Mary on March 21, 2014 at 6:17 am

    Thanks so much! These turned out great and were a perfect Lenten treat! We had a great time making them! Your photos and steps were very easy to follow.

  2. leana on December 15, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Would all purpose flour work for this recipe? Thanks

  3. Cindy on October 2, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Pretty good. I would bake mine less than 11 minutes though, because after 11 minutes, the bottoms were just too dark to be tasty. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Sequin on September 19, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Can you use instant yeast? My boys would love these!

    • Pam on September 20, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      Absolutely! You’ll use a bit less than 2 teaspoons of instant yeast.

  5. omamas on March 21, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    wow!! These look AWESOME. Not overly complicated. And I miss soft pretzels. Thanks for bringing them back to me!

  6. Irene on February 11, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Thanks BrownThumbmama!

    I froze some of them to be toasted in the toaster oven by #24 when he is hungry. He is always hungry since he is 9, so this isn’t going to be around too long.

    • ray on August 18, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      At what point did you freeze them? Before cooking, or after?

      • Pam on August 18, 2014 at 9:32 pm

        Ray, I froze them after cooking.

  7. Tree Huggin Momma on January 31, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    Those look yummy and I know my girls would love them. I am going to have to give them a try soon. I also find that because my house is cold the rise thing is tough, I take and boil a kettle of water then put my bread (in a glass bowl) in the oven pour the water into a shallow stone and close up the oven door. This is usually enough to warm and rise the dough. Would be interesting to know which method uses less energy as I would use the energy efficient method (probably about the same).

    Thanks for the recipe. I might brush mine with some chopped up garlic or other spices as well…

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