Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels + Video

Or try my cheesy pretzel twists.

How to make easy homemade soft pretzels in less than 45 minutes. Don't forget the easy spicy cheese sauce! Recipe on

Happy Monday!

I know we’ve done this before. Soft pretzels are nothing new around here.

But listen up. We’ve never gone into making easy homemade soft pretzels in great detail. And we’ve certainly never watched it here before. Especially that tricky shaping step! Which, after you’ll learn today, isn’t difficult at all. If you have zero skill in the kitchen, you can make homemade soft pretzels. Soft pretzels that LEGIT taste better than the ball park and dare I say it? Auntie Anne’s.

Did I just go there? Oh yes, I did.

How to make easy homemade soft pretzels in less than 45 minutes. Don't forget the easy spicy cheese sauce! Recipe on

This recipe, which first appeared on my blog in 2012, comes from Kevin’s side of the family. Kevin taught me how to make them 5 years ago. I was utterly clueless about where to begin with soft pretzels and yes, my husband taught me everything. I remember feeling pleasantly surprised at the ease and speed– it took us only 30 minutes to make 1 batch!

Over the years, I’ve added a smidge of melted butter and brown sugar to the dough– just to achieve that Auntie Anne’s flavor and texture. Furthermore, we’ve introduced the baking soda bath. While it sounds strange, this step is what gives pretzels that iconic flavor, golden brown texture, and super soft interior. If you get the water boiling ahead of time, it really only adds 5 minutes to the entire process. We do it every time now. It’s worth it!

We’ve also made them bite-sized and stuffed ’em with cheese.

There’s no wrong way to shape a pretzel, but let’s stick with tradition today. I have a lot of photos of the process and right before the recipe, you can watch a quick video tutorial. I promise you’ll no longer feel intimidated working with yeast, shaping pretzels, or the baking soda bath. I gotchu!!

How to make easy homemade soft pretzels in less than 45 minutes. Don't forget the easy spicy cheese sauce! Recipe on


Let’s chat about the dough. You need the simplest, most basic ingredients possible and I guarantee each one is in your kitchen right now. Warm water, 1 packet yeast, melted butter, brown sugar, salt, flour.

How to make homemade soft pretzels on

How to make homemade soft pretzels on

How to make homemade soft pretzels on

Let the yeast foam in the warm water for a sec, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix. You can use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, a hand mixer, or– like you’ll notice in the video– no mixer at all. Pretzel dough is no diva. Work with what you’ve got.

Guess what? You don’t have to wait to let this dough rise. YES YES YES!! Well, we’ll let it rest for 10 minutes while you get the baking soda + water boiling on the stove but that’s it. Don’t have any patience? This is the recipe for you. By the way, did you know that some pretzel recipes call for rising overnight? I bet they’re remarkable pretzels but I’m majorly satisfied with this ultra quick dough!

Now it’s time to shape.

How to make homemade soft pretzels on

How to make homemade soft pretzels on

How to make homemade soft pretzels on

Roll 1/3 cup of dough into a long 20-22 inch rope.

Twist the ends and fold over. That’s a pretzel!

How to make homemade soft pretzels on

How to make homemade soft pretzels on

Now drop the pretzels into the boiling water + baking soda. Let them boil for 20-30 seconds each, then place onto a baking sheet. This pretzel dough makes 12 regular size soft pretzels, so I use 2 baking sheets. 6 on each.

Sprinkle with salt and bake in a hot oven.

That’s it, you’re done.

How to make easy homemade soft pretzels in less than 45 minutes. Don't forget the easy spicy cheese sauce! Recipe on

And if you want to kick your soft pretzel status into major high gear, add some kicked up cheddar cheese sauce. I mean, is cheese sauce ever just an option? DUH. I updated the recipe so now it’s a new and improved method with the same irresistible melty, spicy, cheesy magic. Check it out!


How to make easy homemade soft pretzels in less than 45 minutes. Don't forget the easy spicy cheese sauce! Recipe on

Monday, you’re beautiful!

Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels


  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) warm water (lukewarm-- no need to take temperature)
  • 1 packet active dry or instant yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and slightly cool
  • 3 and ¾  - 4 cups (460-500g) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Baking Soda Bath

  • ½ cup (120g) baking soda
  • 9 cups (2,160ml) water


  1. Whisk the yeast into warm water. Allow to sit for 1 minute. Whisk in salt, brown sugar, and melted butter. Slowly add 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon (or dough hook attached to stand mixer) until dough is thick. Add 3/4 cup more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. If it is still sticky, add 1/4 - 1/2 cup more, as needed. Poke the dough with your finger - if it bounces back, it is ready to knead.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for 3 minutes and shape into a ball. Cover lightly with a towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. (Meanwhile, I like to get the water + baking soda boiling as instructed in step 6.)
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  4. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut dough into 1/3 cup sections.
  5. Roll the dough into a 20-22 inch rope. Take the ends and draw them together so the dough forms a circle. Twist the ends, then bring them towards yourself and press them down into a pretzel shape.
  6. Bring baking soda and 9 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Drop 1-2 pretzels into the boiling water for 20-30 seconds. Any more than that and your pretzels will have a metallic taste. Using a slotted spatula, lift the pretzel out of the water and allow as much of the excess water to drip off. Place pretzel onto prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each with coarse sea salt. Repeat with remaining pretzels.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and serve warm with cheese sauce. Pretzels may be stored in an airtight container or zipped top bag for up to 3 days (they lose a little softness).

Make ahead tip: Pretzels freeze well, up to 2 months. To reheat, bake frozen pretzels at 350°F (177°C) for 20 minutes or until warmed through or microwave until warm. The prepared pretzel dough can be refrigerated for up to one day or frozen in an airtight container for 2-3 months. Thaw frozen dough in the refrigerator overnight. Refrigerated dough can be shaped into pretzels while still cold, but allow some extra time for the pretzels to puff up before the baking soda bath and baking.

Did you make a recipe?

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

More pretzel recipes:

Soft Pretzel Bites with Spicy Cheese Dip

How to make easy homemade soft pretzels in less than 45 minutes. Don't forget the easy spicy cheese sauce! Recipe on

How to make easy homemade soft pretzels in less than 45 minutes. Don't forget the easy spicy cheese sauce! Recipe on


  1. So I was desperate one morning when I woke up and realized that my daughter needed to bring something to school for their National Heritage celebration and I had wanted to make some soft pretzels because we’re mostly German. I’d forgotten. So at 5:30 am I was quickly scouring the web looking for a quick recipe and here was it. It was fast and really good. Thank you.

  2. Do you have to use Baking soda or can I use baking powder

  3.  Can oil be used instead of butter?

  4. I made these yesterday and they turned out great! I was really happy with how forgiving the dough was. My fiance helped (he’s a cook, not a baker) and I was worried that he didn’t use warm enough water to activate the yeast but they came out delicious 🙂

  5. These are amazing! My family loves them. They are super easy, which is a bonus for me!

  6. Just made these today, and Wow! I don’t normally post comments, but thank you for this!! I’ll be checking in more often.

  7. 1/2 cup of baking soda?! We did that and dropped the pretzels in for less than 20s and they still had a metallic taste. I give this recipe a 2/5 because of the baking soda. I would use a lot less. A lot of bagel recipes use just a teaspoon or so and get similar results.

  8. Hi Sally

    Thanks for sharing your recipe. I tried it, it was great. One issue is that it tasted like metal, which I’m guessing cause of the baking soda water. Any idea why? Is it I boil in water too long or the baking soda amount should be lesser?


    • Check if the pan/pot you used for the baking soda water bath was made of aluminum. Aluminum and baking soda create a reaction, which causes the metallic taste. I use a deep stainless steel sauce pan with my baking soda bath and it works out great!

  9. Hi Sally! I’m planning on making these for Superbowl! This is my first time making soft pretzels so I’ve been reading through all your recipes. I noticed on your pretzel bites that you brushed them with an egg wash before baking. Should these be brushed with an egg wash as well? Thank you for your help!

  10. Do you have any tips for making these gluten free? I was planning to swap with Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour 1:1 but it’s my first time using gluten free flour. Do you know if I need to add anything else to the dough?

    • Hi Emma! I have no experience baking with gluten free flours, so I don’t have any tips for you. Maybe another reader will have some insight? Let me know if you try anything!

  11. I’ve tried a few pretzel recipes over the years. Most haven’t been all that good. We live in the Rocky Moutains I find the altitude really messes things up. This recipe I followed to the letter and they came out perfect. ❤️

  12. Wow! These were amazing, and so easy to make. I think I have gone to pretzel heaven. Thank you for posting this recipe. 

  13. Do you think I could boil them and bake a few days later?

  14. Made these tonight. It was my first time making soft pretzels at home. My sister used to make them all the time growing up. It was fast and easy to do. I struggled with forming the pretzel shapes so my wife helped out. The pretzels turned out great and the cheese sauce was delicious! Thank you Sally.

  15. I read somewhere that for a shortcut to the baking soda bath, you can dissolve a tsp of baking soda in a cup of water and brush it onto the pretzels as a wash. Have you tried that before? Thanks again for the wonderful recipe!

  16. When my granddaughter visited we made these. She is beginning to show an interest in baking – yippee. This was her first yeast adventure and it was successful! We used some of your Everything Bagel topping on about half of our pretzels – that was a yummy treat.

  17. Just want you to know that whenever I search a recipe, if Sally’s Baking Addiction comes up I click that one and use it–no need to waste time clicking other recipes. Every one of your recipes I’ve used has turned out STELLAR results. Thank you and please keep sharing your genius!

  18. I don’t have brown sugar on hand. Do you know if it is possible to use a combination of white sugar and molasses instead?

  19. Delicious and fixed my random craving in a fix!

    This was a huge hit in my family and everyone enjoyed these pretzels. along with the nacho cheese. I will be adding this to my all time favorites because YUMMY!

  20. Can wheat flour be substituted for all-purpose flour?

    • Hi Elizabeth, I suggest sticking with all-purpose flour. Or you can try half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour. The more whole wheat flour you use, the denser the pretzels will taste.

  21. Soooo delicious!!!! My 10 year old daughter and I made these today and we both say we’re never buying one at the mall again. Thanks for the great recipes. Everything I’ve tried has turned out perfectly. 

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