Homemade soft pretzels are salted on the outside and soft on the inside.
I’ve shared my best tips below to make sure these come out perfect every time!
An easy from-scratch dough is folded into pretzels, boiled, and brushed with an egg wash before being baked.
The Perfect Homemade Recipe
You likely have soft pretzel ingredients at home in your pantry already.
This easy recipe walks you through the steps to creating better-than-bought pretzels right from your very own oven! Warm with a golden exterior, a soft chewy interior and the texture you know and love from your favorite pretzel stand.
The great thing about making pretzels at home is that you know exactly what goes into them and they can be topped with anything you’d like (from sesame seeds to cinnamon and sugar).
FLOUR This recipe uses all-purpose flour for the perfect consistency.
YEAST 1 packet of active dry yeast is equal to 2 1/4 teaspoons. Mix the yeast with a bit of sugar & water and let is sit until foamy (5-10 min). Once foamy, it can be combined with the flour.
It is important to check the expiry date on your yeast, if it’s out of date your dough will not rise properly.
BAKING SODA/WATER BATH Before baking, the prepared pretzels will be dipped in boiling water with baking soda in it. This gives the color and texture to the exterior of the pretzel.
EGG WASH An egg wash is brushed over the pretzels before baking. It is optional but helps the toppings to stick and makes the pretzels pretty and shiny!
How to Make Soft Pretzels
This recipe is made from yeast bread dough that is curved into pretzel shapes, boiled then baked. A quick overview of the steps needed:
- PREPARE DOUGH This is a typical yeast dough and can be made in a stand mixer. After the dough has risen, divide into 8 equal parts.
- SHAPE DOUGH Roll into ropes and shape into pretzels (how to fold pretzels below).
- BOIL Gently lower into boiling water for several seconds.
- BAKE Remove, drain and brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with topping. Bake until toasty brown.
Soft baked pretzels can be customized into different shapes and sizes. It’s fun to turn into initials for the kids. Or, simpler shapes, like pretzel sticks.
How to Fold a Pretzel
- Roll each piece into a 24-inch rope.
- Form the dough into a “U” shape.
- Cross the two ends over each other.
- Fold the ends down to the bottom of the U shape to form a pretzel.
What Does the Boiling Do?
Once the pretzel is formed, it is lowered into boiling and baking soda for a few seconds. This changes the pH of the outside and gives it that beautiful brown color.
This also gives the flavor we love in pretzels and starts the crust formation which finishes in the oven.
How Important is Egg Wash?
Egg wash helps all those tasty toppings adhere to the curved surface of the pretzels. In addition, the egg and water wash will give pretzels a golden brown sheen and satisfying crunch.
For a softer crust, use the whole egg. A wash made from egg white only and water will produce a harder, crisper exterior.
- kosher salt
- sesame seeds
- everything bagel seasoning
- cinnamon sugar
- cheddar cheese & thinly sliced jalapenos
The Best Dippers for Soft Pretzels
Even soft pretzels are on the dry side, so an array of dips will always be welcome. Tangy mustard is always popular. Here are some other options that make the best soft pretzel dips.
- Beer Cheese Dip – Classic combo
- Honey Mustard Sauce – a great dipping sauce for pretzels!
- Fluffy Pumpkin Pie Dip – Perfect for sweet pretzels
- Dijon Mustard – or spicy mustard
- Homemade Pizza Sauce – sprinkle pretzel with parmesan cheese before baking
Did you make these homemade soft pretzels? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
Oven Baked Soft Pretzels
- 1 ½ cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 pkg)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 oz butter melted
- 10 cups water
- ⅔ cup baking soda
- 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- kosher salt
- Combine water, sugar, salt, and yeast in a stand mixer. Let sit 5-10 minutes or until foamy.
- Add 2 cups flour and the butter to the yeast mixture. With a dough hook, mix on low. Continue adding flour a bit at a time until combined.
- Knead in the mixer with the hook until the dough is smooth, about 5 minutes (or knead on the counter by hand about 10 minutes).
- Remove the dough, place in an oiled bowl and cover. Set in a warm place and allow to rise 60 minutes or until the dough has doubled.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F and line baking pans with parchment paper. Bring water and baking soda to a boil.
- Divide dough into 8 pieces and roll each piece into a 24" rope. Form the dough into a "U" shape. Cross the two ends over each other and fold down to the bottom of the U to form a pretzel shape. Repeat with remaining pretzels.
- Gently place pretzels on a large spatula and lower into the boiling water. Let boil 10-15 seconds. Gently lift out of the water, let excess drip off and place on prepared pan allowing at least 2" between pretzels.
- Brush each pretzel with egg wash and sprinkle with salt.
- Bake 12-14 minutes or until golden.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)