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.

543 Comments

  1. I wasn’t 100% convinced that this recipe would be an “authentic” pretzel. Was I wrong! So easy and so quick and so good! I used white flour and did the bath. I really hate to admit it but…I ate 3 of them right away! So good!

  2. Hi, I have been trying your recipe’s for quite some time and they always turn out excellent. But I don’t know what happened today, I followed step by step this recipe with all purpose flour and boil in baking soda water too but they were not soft, some were crunchy and some were chewy,,, can you guess and correct me what possibly could be the reason please. I tried the cinnamon sugar version and on half I just sprinkled some cheese. Thank you

  3. Hi Sally,
    I just found your website recently, and I love it! I plan on buying your recipe book soon!
    This recipe was a hit, I’ve made three batches already and also used the dough as a pizza base – delicious!!

    Thank you for making such wonderful recipes!

  4. Hi Sally,

    Years ago while still living with my parents, I made pretzels, but they were so time consuming, I stopped making them. Your recipe simplifies the steps and I will try it. Thanks for making it easy. I will try the whole wheat version.

  5. Aloha Sally,

    Thanks so much for your recipe that I found through pinterest! I have been craving pretzels, as we do not have many options here on Maui…the only pretzel shop we have is pretzel maker…and while they’re OK, I do not prefer them because they’re more of a “sweeter” taste. I like pretzels that aren’t as sweet (Such as Wetzel Pretzels). Are these more on the sweet side? THanks so much! Love your blog. Mahalo!

      1. Thank you so much for your quick response, Sally! You have no idea how excited I am to try this recipe! I’m going to make a batch of the dough while at work today and bake them at home! Also wanted to let you know I made your cake batter cookies a couple of months ago to take on a family fishing trip and everyone LOVED them. Have a great day!

  6. i made these this weekend and they turned out fabulous! My sister took one bite and said “Wow, these really taste like pretzels!” I was amazed at how little time they took. I opted for the baking soda bath and it didn’t really add much time! Thank you Sally!-
    Bella, the 12 year old family baker

  7. Hi Sally

    Wow this recipe looks fab, thank you! I’m really looking forward to trying it out later.
    I’m just wondering if you could give me a hand with converting the measurements please…Do you know how many grams/ounces one of your cup measurements works out at please? I’ve looked around online for conversions and as they all vary by as much as 50g (quite a lot!) I thought I’d ask you direct!
    Thank you!!
    Emily 🙂

  8. Love these pretzels! Have made them many times for my family with and without the baking soda bath. I’m making them for a party and plan to make them 1 day before. How do you suggest I package them to keep them fresh? sometimes it seems the pretzels can get wrinkled…I think as they toughen up over time. Will the baking soda bath be more or less helpful in keeping them from becoming tough too fast? Thanks!!

    1. The baking soda helps, Jenny. And I store mine in a ziplock bag – though they become a little tough over a few days. OR you can freeze them, thaw, and heat up in the oven at a low temperature.

  9. I cant tell you how addicted I am to your blog!! I love it so much, and these pretzels were the first recipe I ever tried. I have a question though. I love that the baking soda bath gives the pretzels a light and fluffy texture, but there’s a taste on the pretzels that I really dislike, and I think it’s the baking soda. Is there any way I can get the texture without the taste? Does the baking soda do anything special, or can I boil the pretzels in water with the same effect?
    Thank you so much to anyone who can help me. I really appreciate it.

    1. I’m so glad you’re enjoying my blog! The baking soda bath is what gives the pretzels their authentic pretzel look, browned crisp outside, and soft center. You may leave this whole step out! In fact, that’s how I used to make them. I think they are tasty both ways. OR you could try slightly reducing the amount of baking soda in the boiling bath.

  10. Just finished my first batch and it’s already gone, so the second one is in the oven now! It’s incredible how easy this was! Thanks a bunch 🙂

  11. I LOVE THESE!!! they are so delicious!! i think that the baking soda step is required. I made both the cinnamon sugar and salt ones and they are both delish! Everyone said, they are awesome, just like at the mall! i will deffinently be making them again… like tomorrow.

  12. I just made them and I was just wondering if it’s suppose to take like yeast? Did I put to much? Or is it suppose to be like that? Or I don’t know , I love the way it came out… golden, chewy … beautiful!

  13. Hi Sally I was so happy that you have created a pretzel recipe that only takes 3o minutes. I tried your recipe however both batches of the pretzels were half cooked. In addition my pretzels did not rise at all. I have no idea why as i have followed yr instruction.

    Elaine

  14. too good to be true delicious me and my mom made these they were deliciou how did ou get this reciepe bye p.s going to make these again

  15. Hi Sally! Love this idea! I am an avid Challah baker and am so used to letting it rise and rise again! Question: when making the cinnamon sugar version, after taking the pretzels out and brushing them with butter, you put them back in the oven for five more minutes. Do you have them bake regularly at that point or do you broil for the last five minutes like the other recipe calls for?
    THANKS!

  16. I used my bread machine to mix everything and yielded 16 good sized pretzels. i boiled with half the water/baking soda which worked great. While one boiled, I rolled the next, so it went super fast.

    To the one whose pretzels fell apart, probably too much water. To the one whose dough kept bouncing back, probably too much flour and/or over worked it.

    Cook time is about 13-15 minutes.

    DEFINITELY an easy dough with many uses, Thanks so much for sharing it!

  17. I want to thank you for all the fantastc recipes you have given me!! I love the soft pretzels and when looking for a whole wheat pretzel recipe wouldn’t you know your website came up!! I am a addicted to baking and loving it! Once again Thank You!!

  18. I just made the soft pretzels and they are FANTASTIC!! As I live in South Korea it is impossible to find pretzels anywhere, so it’s a wonderful discovery!!! Delicious, easy and heartwarming: couldn’t ask for more!! Thank you!

  19. Hi Sally, My 7th grade son used your recipe in his cooking class last semester. On Friday night, he had a hankering to make pretzels and OMG, I just had to tell you how amazing they were! We all loved them and can’t wait for him to make more hehe. And, how surprised was I to see your name on the recipe since I’ve been following your blog for years? What a cool, hip teacher he has 😉 Thanks so much for sharing, and keep up the yummy work!

  20. Hi made these for the super bowl and they were amazing! I’m not the best baker but these were so doable! I also started a little foodie blog and posted this linking back to you thanks!

  21. These were lovely and really easy! Only problem, mine were a bit heavier than i expected, any tips on how to make them softer/fluffier? Thanks

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