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!

Print

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.

577 Comments

  1. I made these with half wheat flour and half white flour yesterday for our New Year’s Eve snack, and topped them with cinnamon and sugar. Husband loved them, but said they needed something to dip them in. I knew he meant something sweet, and I was ready to be out of the kitchen for the evening, so I popped open a can of Betty Crocker Whipped Cream Cheese frosting and plopped a dollop on his plate for dipping. It was such a good combination that he ended up having a second one 🙂

    Since the pretzels were still hot, I slathered frosting on the rest of them and it melted into a sweet, delicious coating that sealed in the cinnamon and sugar. So much for trying to make a healthy snack, but we decided that the wheat flour made up for all the added sweetness 😉

    This was my first time making soft pretzels, and it was unbelievably easy. The hardest part for me was making them look like pretzels, I didn’t roll the ropes skinny enough, but that didn’t affect the taste. They were delicious right from the oven last night, and also when heated 20 secs in the microwave today. Thanks for the recipe! Happy New Year!!

    1. Hi Sharon! First of all, thank you so much for the heartfelt comment! I’m glad you took the time to let me know just how much you all loved these pretzels! I adore how easy they are to make. I, too, like them with whole wheat AND white flour. I’ve tried them with cinnamon sugar too – SO good that way. And I like your idea for dipping into cream cheese frosting! You must be a genius. 🙂 So clever! The melty frosting over the warm pretzels… now that sounds like perfection! We actually made some of them yesterday (with all white flour) and dipped them in honey mustard. Thank you again for the comment and Happy New Year!!

  2. I love these! I usually dip cinnamon sugar pretzels in cheese sauce — totally weird, I know… but soooo good.

    1. yes! i love the chewy dense texture the whole wheat flour gives the pretzels too! Still quite soft, but much more chewy than the white flour version. Thanks Anna – and yes! pizza pretzels. Do it!

  3. Hello, Sally! I found your recipe on Pinterest. I was wondering if these pretzels could be made into pretzel bites. I have never made pretzels before, and I think that it would be easier to make them into pretzel bites.

    1. Hi Mariela! Glad you found me on Pinterest. These can definitely be made into pretzel bites – just roll the dough into logs, depending how thick you want the bites. Then cut them into little 1-2 inch squares, dip into the egg wash and cover with salt.

    1. I have made many pretzel bites in the past. Havent tried this particular recipe yet, but from my experience most bread products generally freeze well after they are baked so i would advise baking them ahead of time and freezing in zip lock freezer bags to keep them fresh. Be sure they are completely cooled before placing in the freezer bags. They reheat in the oven, or toaster oven beautifully. You can also use a microwave to reheat them, but micro cautiously in short increments, checking frequently as not to overheat them or they will become tough.

  4. Makes me so mad that I don’t have any yeast! Lol After reading this recipe, I am in desperate need for some soft pretzels. I also want to try your white chocolate pretzel cookies:)
    -Much Love,
    Carolina

    1. Thanks Carolina! Both the cookies and these pretzels are SO easy to make! If you go to the store to buy yeast, you have to let me know how the pretzels turn out!

  5. I am a pretzel addict and LOVE the idea of wheat pretzels!!! What do you think of using brown sugar instead of white ? Seems like a good combination with the wheat. I’m going to make them not quite so healthy though and slather them in melted butter! LOL . Thanks for the recipe, can’t wait to try it tomorrow with the kiddos.

    1. Teri – brown sugar is a great replacement for the white sugar – especially with the whole wheat flour, you are right. And the butter? I already want your version of these pretzels. Let me know how they turn out! Thanks Teri.

  6. I made these pretzels today for the first time but instead of making pretzels out of the dough, I made hamburger buns and they were amazing!!!! I followed the recipe exactly but just shaped them into good sized disc shapes instead of the standard pretzel shape. My family loved them! I already had the ingredients so it was cheaper to do this than to buy hamburger buns for our hamburgers we had for lunch. Thank you so much for this easy recipe!!!

    1. Hi Aimee! Wow! I’m so glad this recipe worked as buns. I’ve never tried that before. I’m glad you loved them so much too. And thank you for reporting back! It’s very helpful to know.

  7. This looks amazing! I’m making them tonight for my family.
    Has anyone here tried making them Gluten Free? My boyfriend is allergic to gluten so Id like to have that option available if I make them while he’s over sometime time.

    1. Hi Emily – we’re not gluten free, so I’ve never made them as such. Let me know if you try them out as a gluten free snack. Thanks so much!

  8. I can’t wait to try making these with my grandaughter tonight, instead of whole wheat flour i think i’m gonna try white whole wheat flour cause i have few family members if they look whole wheat they won’t even try them cause its “WHEAT” lol. Thank you for the recipe.

  9. Oh my gooooooodness. Soft pretzels are one of my ultimate food weaknesses to start with, and now you’ve made them this easy!? I just made these and they are spectacular. They’re so simple and they taste phenomenal, and I swear, the aroma when these are baking just permeates the house and is completely heavenly. Definitely a keeper recipe; I just know I’m going to be making these over and over again.

    1. Hey Jennifer!! SO glad you made these and that you love them! I can’t believe how easy they are either. The smell is so captivating. I can hardly wait to sink my teeth into one. 🙂 Thank you so much for reporting back!

  10. Hi Sally! I am sorry if I just didn’t get it right, but is it 10min baking time PLUS 5min broil or 5min baking and 5 min broil? Thanks for your answer!
    Greets from Germany! 😉

  11. We had these today as a family. We were so surprised at how quickly it went from mixing to eating! Very yummy, and the egg makes it look simply gorgeous!

  12. Just made these!!!! Holy moly they are good!!!! I don’t even need to dip them in anything, they have enough flavor as is. I just 2 cups whole wheat flour and 2 cups white flour and they were perfect 🙂

  13. These are awesome! I tested them out last night by making them into heart shapes. It worked well so I know they’ll be a hit for my daughter’s Valentine’s Day party at school 🙂 I used all white whole wheat flour so they’ll be healthier, too. She is almost seven and loved them so I know her friends will like them along with the brownie bites I’m making for a sweet treat.

    1. Hey Emily! That is SO great to hear. And the heart shapes – how perfect. I want to try them with all white whole wheat flour next time. Thanks for letting me know! You’re a fabulous mother for sending her with such fun treats. 🙂

  14. Just wanted to share a variation I tried tonight. I’d been dying to try these the last few weeks, and this afternoon was seized by the idea that I MUST make one more snack before the Super Bowl, so this was a perfect, quick option. I ended up doing regular salted (with honey mustard!), cinnamon sugar, and garlic parmesan. I just did a garlic butter spread, slathered it on before baking, and then sprinkled fresh parmesan on just before broiling. They were great (though not quite as pretty as yours), and my husband LOVED them!

    1. mmmm all of your variations sound AMAZING Robin! Especially the garlic parm. 🙂 I need to try them like that! Thanks for reporting back about them!

  15. Hi I found your site on foodgawker, I haven’t even looked at all your other goodies yet because I am infatuated with these pretzels! I am hoping to make them tomorrow and bring to a gathering tomorrow night.. my questions is: Do they taste good cold? I have no way except for maybe a crockpot to keep them warm, would a crockpot work or is it not needed? I love that you respond to your comments and am hoping that I am not giving you too short of a notice. TIA

    1. Hi Diane! So glad you found my website. I like these pretzels at room temperature or warm. I don’t like them cold very much. I don’t think a crockpot would do the trick to keep them warm though. Will they be stored in teh refrigerator? I suggest keeping them out.

      1. Thank you for the quick response! Hoping to make them into pretzel bites and I was going to keep them out of frig. As long as they taste good room temp. these are on my list to make tomorrow, thanks again 🙂

  16. This is the recipe I have been absolutely craving since our move “across the pond” to France…and you have made the idea of yeast-based baking seem much less intimidating to me!…Thank you for that!…I have a question…we do not have the “Baker’s Fav” Red Star Yeast here…Would you recommend using a regular powdered yeast (in small packets) or the quick-rising “instant” varieties of packet yeast…or even fresh?… I so want to re-create the simple pleasure of a warm, salty soft pretzel with a honey mustard….perfect fare to celebrate
    certain Super Bowl VICTORIES….right??!!!

    I lived in the ‘Burgh….so anything but a Steeler’s-involved thing seems a tad “sad”…but my absolute best friend in life is from Baltimore…and I love everything and everyone affiliated with this incredible town…

    I am a recent discoverer of your site…but already seriously addicted to your amazing writing and culinary skills (did I mention photography prowess?)…and the sheer variety and concise “how it’s done” instruction…Such a fan…albeit new!

    1. Hi Donna! Don’t be intimidated by yeast! I was too at first and it’s not so bad at all. Especially with these pretzels – you don’t even have to wait for the dough to rise, so it’s just like any other ingredient being thrown into the bowl. I just suggest red star yeast because it’s what I always buy and is my favorite, but any yeast will do fine here. I’d go for the instant variety packs. And yes! We are VERY MUCH celebrating the Ravens here in Baltimore this week!! Woo hoo! I’m not a HUGE football fan but it’s all been SO exciting as you can imagine! I’m so glad you are loving my website and thank you SO much for the thoughtful and sweet comment. 🙂

  17. I am a huuuuge lover of soft pretzels – whenever I go to the movies or walk into Target and smell soft pretzels I go crazy! I’ve been looking for an easy homemade recipe for ages, now, and I am so excited that I found yours. My boyfriend and I made them last night and they were a huge hit, thank you for sharing.

    http://foodie-on-foot.blogspot.com/2013/02/homemade-soft-pretzels.html

    1. I am the same way, Jamie! When I go to the mall or to the movies. 🙂 I love soft pretzels! I’m so glad you loved them! Can’t wait to go check them out!

  18. Sally… please accept my apologies for not providing the direct link back to your blog on our guest post from Erin. It was an error on my part. Erin provided the link to me, but when I copied her post the link didn’t copy and I didn’t notice.
    Love your pretzels, by the way!! I have a very similar recipe that I made with my Girl Scout Troop several years ago, and a few of them are still making it. I love when they text me pics of their versions.
    And I’m eager to try Erin’s version! The Orange Zest is a favorite of mine, and her substitution of the whole wheat is right up my alley. My daughter would adore her addition of the raisins as well. I can’t remember if my recipe uses extra gluten, but that usually makes things easier.
    Great recipes, both of you! Again, so sorry for not being prompt in linking back to your post.

    1. Hi Kim! I appreciate the comment, thank you so much! I have plenty of variations of these pretzels and can’t wait to share them with my readers. I love making pretzels at home! The pretzels you see here are whole wheat. 🙂 It makes me think I’m being healthier. Thanks again Kim, I appreciate it!

  19. Hi Sally! I just stumbled upon your site last week and these pretzels called out to me immediately! They were so quick and easy I couldn’t believe it. My fiancé requested cheese in his so I added some shredded cheese to half the dough and they were amazing! Thanks so much for sharing!!

    1. Hey Bailey! I love your idea of adding cheese to the dough! That’s a must try next time. 🙂 Thanks for reporting back! I love how easy these are too.

  20. Thank you so much for the pretzel recipe! So easy yet delicious! I am currently in Louisiana doing a year of service and I wanted to make a special treat for the Salesian Sisters I live with as well as the Youth Center I help at! Thanks so much! I will keep using this simple recipe all Lenten Season long and years to come! God Bless!

    1. That’s SO nice to hear. Thank you so much for reporting back about them! I love how easy these are, especially for how wonderful they taste. 🙂

  21. Hey Sally,
    I came across your site months ago and have made several recipes and loved them all to bits. recently i have been with both lactose and gluten intolerance’s and started literally crying as all my favourite foods became obsolete from my diet. Needless to say I am now trying to adjust to this new lifestyle and these pretzels are the perfect thing for my school lunches! they work amazingly with gluten free flour 🙂 (had to add alittle more flour then required) but they turned out perfectly and taste de-lush!

    thanks for the recipe

    1. Hey Courtenay Elise! That is so tough. You poor thing, I can’t imagine how hard that must be. Nonetheless, I am SO happy to hear that you can enjoy my pretzels with gluten free flour to fit into your new diet. That’s incredible to hear! Thanks for letting me know 🙂

  22. Hello! I was wondering for future reference how you can double the recipe. I have been looking online and as a general rule some people say to double everything except the yeast but because, in this recipe, you are not waiting for the dough to double in size would you then double everything including the yeast? I teach at a school and it is a staff lunch tomorrow so I am making a large quantity of pretzels. This time I am making 1 batch of half whole wheat with salt, and a separate batch with all purpose and sugar cinnamon. But I was just wondering about doubling the recipe in the future when I am just making one time or simply splitting the batch into different toppings instead of the bases being slightly different. Hopefully that made sense! haha.

    1. Hey Heather! I’ve never doubled this pretzel recipe before, so I don’t want to steer you wrong. I would just make two batches side by side and bake all the pretzels that way. That seems easiest!

  23. I have been trying to find a recipe that my kids at school could do easily without all of the boiling. So I am really excited to try these out. We are going to make them for our medieval night event. Thank you for all of the pictures because that will help my students.

    1. Hi Kasi! I’m so glad you found my recipe then. Let me know how the students do with the pretzels. It’s one of the easiest recipes for pretzels that I’ve ever found. Thank you!

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