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.
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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