30 Minute Homemade Soft Pretzels

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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.

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!

Homemade Soft Pretzels

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


  • 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
  • 3.75 - 4.25 cups (480-530g) all-purpose flour + more for work surface (or mix of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling


  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 425F degrees. 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).
  9. 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. 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.

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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.

In the fall, give my Pumpkin Praline Soft Pretzels a try.

Pumpkin Praline Soft Pretzels

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.


    1. Would these freeze well after baking? They look  perfect. I’m thinking about making a bunch to pack for my daughters lunch. That and mini pizzas with your whole wheat pizza crust which is amazing! Would those freeze well after baking?

      Thanks again!

      1. You could use all WW flour, but the pretzels will taste a little heavy. They freeze well, see the make ahead tip 🙂

    2. I just recently discovered White Whole Wheat flour. It has all the nutrition of regular whole wheat and is not bleached. Its just a different variety of wheat, and i have found that I can make any recipe using 100% white whole wheat without it comoromising quality. Normal whole wheat you would generally add more sufar and oil to make it softer and more palatable, but no need if you can find white whole wheat in your area.

  1. For the bites, any different instructions? Pretzel making has always scared me but this seems easy enough to try. But thinking I’d prefer bites, plus no fancy pretzel shape to screw up!!

  2. Just made these and although a little tricky to shape, they turned out so well! (Even with the extra ” help” from my four year old twins)

  3. I had great difficulties making a rope. 

    So I just made sticks. They’re currently baking. Once cooled going to see if my toddlers like them. Need a new snack.

    Thank you for the recipe. I’ll have have to work on my dough making. 

  4. My kids and I loved these! And I just wanted to say your recipes ALWAYS turn out perfectly! I don’t know why I even browse Pinterest first when I’m looking for something – I need to just go straight here! If you don’t have a recipe for it, I probably don’t need to bake it! 😉 Thanks so much!

  5. We tried the all whole wheat pastry flour! it was fantastic, and so quick. My family thought they were the best pretzels they had ever had, and we just came from Leavenworth’s pretzel bakery. I love the broil at the end with the egg wash, they were golden brown, cruncy crust and soft inside. Perfect. Thank you so much. 🙂

  6. I just attempted to make these and seem to be the only person, as far as the comments go, who couldn’t make it work! The dough was too wet, so I added more flour and then when I went to knead it, it turned into a gluey, sticky, unmanageable mess. I added some more flour which just made it worse. Where did I go wrong ladies?

    (At least, I currently have some lumpy blobs cooking in the oven…perhaps they will taste good! But I’d love to try this again and see if I can make it work)

    1. Don’t know what you did wrong. I make this recipe frequently and they always turn out great. I use 4 cups of flour, 2 cups whole wheat, 2 cups AP. I also double the salt cos that’s just my personal taste bud for salt. I’ve also added chia seed to the dough and I’ve made them with poppy seeds added to the dough. This is my go-to recipe. Thanks Sally!

  7. Have the dough mixed up to take to the daycare tomorrow. Going to have the children shape them. Fun times for everyone.

  8. Hello! I’m about to attempt these. I don’t often see an egg wash in a soft pretzel recipe. Is it necessary? I’m planning on making with a classroom full of preschoolers and I try to avoid raw eggs when I can!

      1. Thanks! My batch yesterday came out great. I did 4 toppings: cinnamon- coconut sugar, nutritional yeast and garlic, onion herb, and pink salt! I’m going to try pretzel dogs next week!

  9. Hi, I am making this recipe tomorrow and if all goes well I will take the rest of the dough and make some more for my grandparents the day after. My stand mixer has a dough hook so I was wondering if that would be easier to make the dough or would change the texture. My grandparents’ favourite flavour pretzel when we buy them is vanilla and sugar, so should I brush with vanilla extract diluted (or full?) and sprinkle with sugar? Thank you!

  10. Thank you for the delicious recipe. We made these with regular flour and skipped step 5, but will make them again with wheat too. A favorite recipe for sure, 5 stars!

  11. Hello Sally. it looks amazing. . but am i gonna to bake it directly after kneading?. i mean there is not break after kneading to let the dough rise and rest?!!..
    i have made many recipes but it was hard to maintain a shape as the dough was really elastic and it shrinks once after rolling the rope.. so i am excited to use yours.. Thank you

  12. Thank you for posting your recipes. What is the purpose of adding yeast to the dough if it is not given time to rise?

  13. Hi Sally!!! These taste amazing – they are so soft and the coarse salt on top is so good. I needed a little something extra, so I dipped them in Nutella…..which made them even better! (I mean, duh….Nutella 😉 )

  14. Can you double this recipe. We are going out of town and I want to make around 24 and freeze them. Would that work?

  15. Hi Sally,
    Thank you so much for this recipe. It was really easy to follow and my pretzels turned out amazing! My family loved them!

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally