Skip the mall pretzels, homemade soft pretzels are delicous. Crispy and golden brown on the outside and fluffy and chewy on the inside.
Made with ingredients you likely have in your pantry, this pretzel recipe is easy. Roll the dough into ropes, twist into pretzels, give them a quick dip and then bake.
Sprinkle them with salt and serve them warm, or enjoy them with melted cheese or mustard. Try serving them with a cold beer, German style.
Oven Baked Soft Pretzels
- It’s always fun to recreate street fair favorites at home.
- Homemade soft pretzels are made with a handful of ingredients you likely have (and no preservatives).
- They’re budget-friendly since they use just a few pantry ingredients.
- Swap out the salt and try different toppings (like cinnamon sugar or everything bagel seasoning).
- Soft pretzels can be baked and frozen as an anytime snack or appetizer.
- Experiment with different shapes like breadsticks, pretzel bites, knots, or hearts.
Ingredients for Soft Pretzels
Flour – Since it has more gluten, bread flour is best for soft, stretchy pretzels, but all-purpose flour can also be used.
Yeast – Use active dry yeast, equal to 2 ½ teaspoons, and make sure to check the expiration date. To “proof” the yeast, dissolve it in water and sugar and let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it becomes foamy. If it doesn’t foam, discard it.
Baking Soda Bath – Before baking, dip the pretzels into a boiling water and baking soda bath to give the exterior a perfect chewy texture and color.
Egg Wash – Use an egg wash to give the pretzels a shiny golden brown exterior and help the salt (or seasonings) stick better.
Salt (& other toppings) – Use kosher salt or coarse salt or, try cinnamon sugar, jalapeno cheese, everything bagel seasoning, or sesame seeds. Make them to order to please every palate!
How to Make Soft Pretzels
These easy steps will have your family in pretzel heaven in no time!
- Prepare The Pretzel Dough: This is a typical yeast dough and can be made in a stand mixer.
- Shape Dough: Roll into ropes and shape into pretzels (how to fold pretzels below).
- Baking Soda Bath: Gently lower into boiling water for several seconds.
- Bake: Remove, drain and brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with topping. Bake until toasty brown
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.
Storing Soft Pretzels
- Homemade oven baked soft pretzels will keep in the refrigerator for up 1 week, and in the freezer for up to three months.
- Thaw at room temperature. This soft pretzel recipe is best served warm. To reheat, wrap in foil to prevent over-browning the exterior. Warming or thawing in the microwave will toughen them and is not recommended.
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.
The 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.
What to Dip Soft Pretzels In
The only thing better than a soft pretzel is a soft pretzel in a great dip! Keep it simply with grainy mustard or
Did you make these homemade soft pretzels? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
Oven Baked Soft Pretzel
- 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
- In a stand mixer, combine water, sugar, salt, and yeast. Let sit for 5-10 minutes or until foamy.
- Add 2 cups flour and melted butter to the yeast mixture. Mix on low with a dough hook. Gradually add more until the dough is combined.
- Knead the dough with a dough hook in the mixer until the dough is smooth, about 5 minutes or knead by hand on the counter for 10 minutes.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and set in a warm place to rise for 60 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F and line baking pans with parchment paper. In a large pot, bring water and baking soda to a boil.
- Divide dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into a 24-inch rope. Shape each rope into a pretzel by forming a "U" shape and crossing the two ends over each other, then folding them down to the bottom of the "U". Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Gently place the pretzels on a large spatula and lower them into the boiling water. Boil for 10-15 seconds, then gently lift them out of the water and let excess drip off. Place the pretzels on the prepared baking pans, leaving at least 2-inches between them.
- Brush the pretzels with the egg wash, then sprinkle with kosher salt (or toppings as desired).
- Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the pretzels are golden.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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I made these for the first time today and they were fabulous!! Turned out great
Perfection! They turned out nice and golden with the perfect chewy texture inside. My husband was craving pretzels and your recipes never disappoint.
I am so disappointed I could not get the dough to stretch to 24 inches. It kept going right back when I worked with it. They were very thick and the bottom burned before they were done. I hid them so none would see what a mess I made. Won’t be making this recipe again. The birds might like them though.
Did you let it rest for the full 60 minutes and make sure the dough doubled in size? Before rolling out the dough did you work it again? Freshly kneaded or worked dough becomes stuff and the gluten relaxes as it sits. Did you make sure to use a scoop and level method for measuring the flour? Over measuring the flour will create a dry dough which will make it hard to roll. Also ensuring your dough is not cold will help! I hope this helps Mary!
Amazing flavour. Instead of an egg wash, I brushed it with butter after they were baked. Nice flavour without a topping.
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!
Hello. Can the butter be eliminated?
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!
Made these tonight. Family loved them and they were so easy to make!!
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?
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.
just made this recipe, hmmm had problems rolling out the individual pieces, until I found a video on how to roll out the dough. They are not pretty looking but good, will make another batch for sure
Can I use a good processor instead of a stand mixer to make this recipe?
I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure Vicki. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!
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.
You’re very welcome Lynn!
They turned out amazing! Can I make the dough the day,keep in refrigerator and boil-bake the next day?
I haven’t tried making the dough ahead of time, let us know how it works out for you!
Had to bake longer than recipe called for was too dark outside and was still too raw inside. Used exact recipe and oven temperature.
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.
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.
LOL! So glad you loved this recipe Julie!
Nothing to write home about. Still on the search for the perfect mall pretzel.
They are really tasty but I had to peel the bottoms off because they stuck to the parchment paper. What did I do wrong?
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!
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.
I’m sorry to hear these didn’t work for you, Athena! Is your baking soda expired?
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.
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!