30 Minute Homemade Soft Pretzels

Soft pretzels are so much easier than you think! This recipe will take you little time and effort. Top them with salt, cinnamon-sugar, and dunk in your favorite pretzel dips.

30 Minute Homemade Soft Pretzels - soft, chewy, and EASY! Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

I always thought homemade pretzels were time consuming, an arduous task, an impossible recipe to master, and quite honestly… a headache to make. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised when Kevin and I began our pretzel making journey at 8pm one evening… and ate them fresh from the oven by 8:30pm. They are much more bread-y and roll-like than standard pretzels, but I kinda like that.

Today I’m sharing a homemade pretzel recipe taking you less time than it takes to get a fancy manicure. Less time to cool a cupcake. I make a lot of cookies and it’s safe to say that these pretzels are SO much easier than any cookie I’ve ever made. A homemade pretzel recipe that is SO simple… you’ll wonder why pretzel making seems so hard.

There is NO mixer needed and all of the 5 (yes, 5!!) ingredients are probably sitting in your pantry right now. Except for the water, which shouldn’t really count as an ingredient, right?!

30 Minute Homemade Soft Pretzels - soft, chewy, and EASY! Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

And for all of you looking to make a few healthier resolutions next week, I’m happy to share that these pretzels are whole wheat! With a miniscule fat content as well. And I must speak from experience here, they will be the best running fuel to come out of your oven.

Let’s begin our quick little pretzel making journey, shall we? First, you’re going to stir a packet of yeast into a bowl of warm water – 1.5 cups of water to be exact. Do not be afraid of yeast! Trust me, I was too. But you are not waiting for any dough to rise in today’s recipe. It’s simply another ingredient, like adding salt or something. Not so bad, right?

Give the water and yeast a nice mix around in the bowl. There will be some yeast lumps floating around. That’s ok, I promise. Next, add a bit of sugar and salt. Mix, mix, mix by hand. Easy easy easy.

No electric mixer required to make this pretzel dough! It’s a miracle recipe.

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

30 Minute Homemade Soft Pretzels - soft, chewy, and EASY! Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Next, stir in your flour. If you’ve been counting, that’s the fifth and final ingredient. Use 3 cups of flour at first. I used 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 2 cups of all-purpose flour* (read below for notes about the taste/texture of the whole wheat vs white flour pretzels).

As I mixed the dough, I added about 3/4 -1 cup more of all-purpose flour. Keep adding flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Poke the dough with your finger – if it bounces back, it is ready to knead.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes and shape into a ball. With the floured surface, I ended up using 4.25 cups of flour total.

How to Make Homemade Pretzels

Time to (rock &) roll. No rolling pin required! Just your hands and a sharp knife. Cut ball of dough into 1/3 cup sections. Honestly, this measurement does not have to be exact. Use as much or little dough for each pretzel as you wish – the size of the pretzel is completely up to you. My pretzels were standard size, like the frozen soft pretzels you buy from the store, and I used 1/3 cup of dough for each pretzel.

Roll the dough into a rope. As even in diameter as you can get it. My ropes were twenty inches long. Again, this measurement will depend on how large you want the pretzels. Shape the pretzel. Once you have your long 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. You all know what pretzels look like, but here is a helpful visual.

30 Minute Homemade Soft Pretzels - soft, chewy, and EASY! Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

At this point, you can go ahead and dunk your pretzels into a baking soda/boiling water bath. I did it for these pretzels. This step takes a bit more time and I didn’t use it for the pretzels you see here. Doing that step will create that iconic golden brown exterior and pretzel taste. But again, you can skip it because you’ll be broiling the pretzels for a quick 5 minutes.

Time for an egg-wash. I hardly count this as an ingredient. Simply beat an egg, pour it into a shallow bowl or pie dish, give the shaped pretzel a nice bath (both sides) and sprinkle with salt. I used coarse sea salt – the kind you fill your grinder with. You could also use pretzel salt, which is sold in specialty baking stores. Or cinnamon sugar.

(See below for a cinnamon-sugar soft pretzel photo and how-to!)

Now it’s time to for the oven. Bake for 10 minutes at 425F degrees. Watch the pretzels rise, expand, and get all puffy in the oven! Turn the oven to broil for the last 5 minutes to get the tops nice and brown. Only do this step if you did not do the baking soda bath I mentioned a few paragraphs above. Be sure to watch them closely in this step – you don’t want them to burn.

30 Minute Homemade Soft Pretzels - soft, chewy, and EASY! Recipe by sallysbakingaddiction.com

*A preliminary note: Most of the photos in this post show a pretzel made with half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour. I must share with you that using all white flour will give you fluffier pretzels. Always a good thing! The whole wheat version is soft, but it is much chewier and heartier than the all-white flour version.

The picture above show the pretzels made with strictly white flour (no whole wheat flour). They are lighter in color and a bit fluffier. We like them both ways though!

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30 Minute Homemade Soft Pretzels

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 pretzels
  • Category: Snacks
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Soft pretzels are so much easier than you think! This recipe will take you little time and effort. Top them with salt, cinnamon-sugar, and dunk in your favorite pretzel dips.


Ingredients

  • 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 (8g) granulated sugar
  • 3 and 3/4 – 4 and 1/2 cups (480-530g) all-purpose flour + more for work surface (or mix of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour) (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  2. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir with a spoon until fairly mixed, about 1 minute. Some clusters of yeast will remain. Add salt and sugar; stir until fairly combined. Slowly add 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon until dough is thick. Add 3/4 cup more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. If it is still sticky, add up to 1/2 cup more. Poke the dough with your finger – if it bounces back, it is ready to knead.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes and shape into a ball. With a sharp knife, cut ball of dough into 1/3 cup sections. This measurement does not have to be exact – use as much or little dough for each pretzel as you wish – the size of the pretzel is completely up to you.
  4. Roll the dough into a rope with an even diameter. My ropes were twenty inches long. This measurement will depend how large you want the pretzels. Once you have your long 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. See above for link to visual instructions.
  5. This fifth step is optional: Whisk 9 cups of water and 1/2 cup baking soda together in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Place a pretzel onto a large slotted spatula and dip into the boiling water for 20-30 seconds. Any more than that and your pretzels will have a metallic taste. The pretzel will float. Lift the pretzel out of the water and allow as much of the excess water to drip off. Place pretzel onto prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the pretzels. Read why this is a good option here. But again, it’s not necessary and I did not do it for these pretzels.
  6. In a small bowl, beat the egg and pour into a shallow bowl or pie dish. Dunk the shaped pretzel into the egg wash (both sides). Place on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes at 425°F (218°C). Turn the oven to broil and bake for 5 more minutes to brown the tops. Watch closely to avoid burning. I do the 5 minute broil no matter if I do step 5 or not.
  8. Allow to cool and enjoy. Serve warm or at room temperature. Pretzels may be stored in an airtight container or zipped top bag for up to 3 days (will lose softness).

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Pretzels freeze well, up to 2 months. To reheat, bake frozen pretzels at 350°F (177°C) for 20 minutes or until warmed through. 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.
  2. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.

Keywords: homemade soft pretzels

Aren’t soft pretzels easy?

For the cinnamon-sugar version, bake the pretzels as directed without an egg wash. Remove them from the oven after 10 minutes. Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter and brush the tops of the pretzels with it. Mix together 1/3 cup granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Sprinkle over each pretzels. Return to the oven for 5 more minutes at 425F. (do not broil).

Cinnamon-Sugar Soft Pretzels - homemade pretzels are so much easier (and quicker) than you think! Use my easy dough recipe.

How has everyone’s holiday been so far? Lots of sweet treats, family, walks, champagne, and puppy time here!

Sarah and Sally

Learn how to make the EASIEST soft pretzels at home! Grab the recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com
Very easy soft pretzels made at home! This is a family favorite recipe.

569 Comments

  1. For some reason, I had always feared using yeast and baking breads. I knew your recipes were fool proof, hence I decided to try baking these pretzels and apparently I nailed it. It was soft and buttery and slightly chewy.. Damn it was just perfect.. And it was my first attempt !!! I even refrigerated some for the next day. And when I microwaved it the next day, it was still soft and fluffy.. Thanks Sally for making me feel like a pro in the kitchen !!!

  2. I like to try new recipes and this one was one of the best for pretzels i made a double batch and my family of 5 devoured them almost instantly and know there asking for more. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

  3. Love this recipe!!! My boyfriend asks for these to be made for dinner once a month. We’re not big fans of cheese sauce, so we cut a block of sharp or mild cheddar into small cubes and sprinkle them on top of the pretzels. Put them back into the oven and bake just until the cheese is melted. Serve with yellow mustard or ranch. An easy recipe to make and tastes great, thanks for sharing!

  4. Remember that time I made soft pretzels and didn’t eat 3 immediately? Me neither. These are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and I blame Sally that my husband gave me judgy-pretzel-bingeing looks (#noregrets).
    No rise time? Heck yessss. Used bread flour (because I randomly had some, not because I am fancy/organized). Added water to double the volume of the egg wash and got a nice finish with no eggy flavor. Baking soda bath = easy and worth it. I did have to bake them longer (both initial bake and final broil). They were soft, chewy, salty perfection. Sliced and toasted the next day with cream cheese YUM. I actually bought (!!!) more bread flour to make pretzel bagels using this exact recipe and I’m pretty sure it will make everyone want to be friends with me.

  5. Turned out as expected. I made it with a 4 year old two 5 year olds my 13 yr old and myself. We did dip our dough into the boiling water as suggested and everything turned out great. After removing from the oven I did baste with butter and salt again. The kids loved them!!

  6. This was so good!!! I really loved it and I didn’t even do the boiling part! At the end I covered with butter and salt again and it was perfect! I do have one thing to say though. This took a lot longer than 30 min. to make, so I would say to increase how long it takes to 45 min. because it messed up my schedule a little. Still, awesome pretzels.

  7. Omg amazing!!! Pretzels in less than an hour? I didn’t believe it as my pregnant cravings almost convinced me to drive 10 miles to the mall to buy a pretzel. I found this recipe at 7.30pm. By 8.45 I’ve eaten 2 of them dipped in butter and had to call my husband to tell him I just discovered the most amazing recipe for pretzels ever! Super happy woman right here.

  8. My husband was craving soft chewy pretzels but not the pub’s high prices. I found this recipe and gave it a go. It’s great! I used a stand mixer to mix and knead the dough. I only needed about half cup extra flour when it was done kneading and was still a bit wet. I did the boiling step on 7 of 8 pretzels and judging from how pale the 8th “test” pretzel looked it’s a must-do step. I had to use bread flour and it worked out fine. Lastly, I sprinkled chook chicken salt on a couple of the pretzels and it was divine!

  9. I made these tonight, they were amazing! I did the baking soda boil for 25 seconds each. I divided the dough into 8 pretzels and they just barely fit on one tray. I let the dough sit about 20 minutes after kneading while the water came to a boil. The time to dip the pretzels in the water and the egg bath was just enough to preheat my oven.

  10. Amazing! Absolutely amazing! My son and I made these last night and I couldn’t believe it was so easy. Not to mention how good they were. Omg, I’m in love! I want to make these pretzels every day now, so good fresh out of the oven. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

  11. Greetings from California! My daughter and I made this recipe last night. It’s a good recipe and the pretzels turned out so delicious! Thank you!

  12. I hate to be the person who wants to venture away from the recipe but can you use bread flour? Only because I have some I need to use!

    1. Sure can! Your pretzels will be nice and chewy – bread flour is a great sub. I use it all the time in this pretzel recipe!

  13. Haven’t had soft pretzels in over 3 years, and tonight I had a craving for them. With the craze going on, there was no way I was going out and getting them, so I google a recipe. Yours looked simple, so I gave it a go. I used Einkorn wheat all purpose flour and because I don’t eat sugar, I used an equal amount of honey, but other than that, I followed your recipe to a “T”. I don’t normally follow recipes, but yours was easy, quick, and came out PERFECT even tho I live at an elevation over 5000’ above sea level! These are definitely my go-to recipe for pretzels from now on! Also, someone said they were gonna used this recipe to make pretzel bagels… I will be trying that for sure! YUM!! Thanks sooo much!

  14. These are very easy and taste great! I’ve been wanting to make homemade pretzels but was always scared. These are easy, even for a beginner. We choice the baking soda bath too, fyi. 🙂

  15. Is there something I could use in place of the egg? Just use some water to moisten the dough and then add the salt? My son has an egg allergy.

    1. Hi Marie, I haven’t tested this recipe with an egg substitute (such as flax “eggs”) but let me know if you try it.

  16. I made this today and everyone LOVED them! since it made 8, I made four sweet and the other four savoury. Believe it or not, it was sold out within an hour!

  17. Had not attempted wheat soft pretzels before, and they turned out great. The egg wash was a new addition for me. A bit messy, but the end result was delicious!! Love that I found another use for my packets of “pizza dough” yeast 🙂

  18. During the great lockdown I wanted something to lift the family’s spirits for breakfast. A recent purchase of giant pretzels that vanished in record time prompted my search. Your recipe worked so well, although I took a little longer. I made the mix into 12 of which only 2 survived 30 mins after they came out of the oven. Proper pretzel flavour. Did 50/50 sweet to savoury and the family simply can’t decide which they prefer – apart from ‘more please’. Used half and half plain flour to bread flour and did the bicarbonate bath (simply because I’ve never done it before) . Now on to planning a Namibian themed supper – there is an upside to staying at home.

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