Oven Baked Soft Pretzels

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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.
Oven Baked Soft Pretzels in a wooden bowl with salt

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).

Oven Baked Soft Pretzels ingredients

Ingredients

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It is important to check the expiry date on your yeast, if it’s out of date your dough will not rise properly.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.

Preparing dough for soft pretzels

    • 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.

Dough for Oven Baked Soft Pretzels on a cutting board

How to Fold a Pretzel

  1. Roll each piece into a 24-inch rope.
  2. Form the dough into a “U” shape.
  3. Cross the two ends over each other.
  4. 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.

Raw Oven Baked Soft Pretzels on a baking sheet

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.

Variations/Toppers

Oven Baked Soft Pretzels on a baking sheet garnished with salt

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.

Did you make these homemade soft pretzels?  Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Oven Baked Soft Pretzels in a wooden bowl with salt
4.81 from 41 votes
Review Recipe

Oven Baked Soft Pretzels

Prep Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 8 pretzels
Author Holly Nilsson
Deliciously soft, slightly chewy pretzels with a perfect exterior.

Ingredients

Dough
  • 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
Water Bath
  • 10 cups water
  • cup baking soda
Topping
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • kosher salt

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Instructions

  • 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.

Recipe Notes

Yeast Use Active Dry Yeast. Check the expiry date on your yeast, if it's out of date your dough will not rise properly.
To Make without a Stand Mixer I use a stand mixer to knead the dough. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can knead on the counter for about 10 minutes.
To Boil the Pretzels place each on a large spatula and gently lower into the boiling water. Use a large slotted spoon to gently remove them from the water.
To Form into Pretzel Bites Divide dough into 4 pieces and roll into a 24" rope. Cut rope into 2" pieces. Boil as directed and bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden.
Egg Wash For a softer crust, use the whole egg. A wash made from egg white only and water will produce a harder, crisper exterior.
Topping Variations Try sesame seeds, everything bagel seasoning, cinnamon sugar or cheddar cheese & thinly sliced jalapenos.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 304, Carbohydrates: 51g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 40mg, Sodium: 654mg, Potassium: 103mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 210IU, Calcium: 25mg, Iron: 3mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword homemade pretzels, how to make pretzels, Oven Baked Soft Pretzels, soft pretzels
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Oven Baked Soft Pretzels in a bowl with a title
Oven Baked Soft Pretzels in a wooden bowl with writing
Oven Baked Soft Pretzels in a bowl, raw Oven Baked Soft Pretzels on a baking sheet

 

About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. Amazing flavour. Instead of an egg wash, I brushed it with butter after they were baked. Nice flavour without a topping.4 stars

  2. Omg, this recipe is amazing! Thank you! Followed your instructions to the letter. My new oven is a bit intense so I reduced baking time for a couple of minutes, and coated the parchment paper with butter in spray. Pretzels were fantastic! Will be making them for the fam again this weekend!5 stars

    1. I haven’t tried the recipe without butter. I’d think you could replace the butter with oil. Enjoy Jenny! Let us know if you try it!

  3. Hello Holly, would it be possible to use already made pizza dough from my local pizzeria if I don’t have a mixer with a dough hook?

    1. Hi Denise, we haven’t tried making pretzels with pizza dough but it should turn out. They might have a slightly different flavor and a little less sweetness but otherwise, it should work.

  4. Made those today and vanished in 23 minutes!!!!!
    They were amazing tasty fluffy. I kneaded the dough by hand. No problem at all.
    And i sprinkled Himalayan pink salt.
    We devoured them with honey mustard and strawberry jam.
    Recipe saved!
    Thank you

  5. Had to bake longer than recipe called for was too dark outside and was still too raw inside. Used exact recipe and oven temperature.1 star

    1. Oh no, I am sorry to hear that Laurie! I have made this recipe many times with great results. Were you able to divide the dough into 8 pieces roughly 24″ long? Your pretzels were possibly thicker than mine, which could cause them to not fully cook before the outside browns.

  6. Second time making them. I was told they were perfect and got a Paul Hollywood handshake from my youngest. I found the beer cheese makes a lot so I cut the recipe in half which was just enough. Will be making again. Thank you for sharing the tips too.

  7. They are really tasty but I had to peel the bottoms off because they stuck to the parchment paper. What did I do wrong?4 stars

  8. Hi,
    I just made this pretzel recipe. I do agree with another review that the dough was a little sticky. It made rolling them and shaping tricky. But they were fluffy & so yummy!
    I did 11 minutes in the oven and it was a near perfect bake.
    Thanks for the recipe! I will be making them again soon!5 stars

  9. These tasted really good, but my dough was incredibly sticky and they stuck to the parchment paper. I could only eat the tips of them. Not sure what went wrong.

  10. These were so easy and taste amazing! I was wondering if I could freeze the pretzels before baking (after boiling?) and then thaw and bake for company.

    1. Hi Patty, we have only made this recipe as written but I don’t think freezing them before baking would work.
      I would follow the recipe as it is written, allow to cool completely, then move them to airtight containers in the freezer. (Layer with parchment to avoid sticking.)
      When you’re ready to bake the frozen pretzels, bake them at 450°F for 5 minutes. Let us know how they turn out if you try this method!