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.

539 Comments

  1. This looks very yummy! I have a quick question….if you do the baking soda bath, do you Take them out of the oven after 10 minutes? Or do you keep them in the oven on the bake setting for the last 5 minutes and just skip the broiling? Thanks for a great recipe!!

  2. 4th snow day in a row….my 5 year old and I needed something to do and found your blog after googling “how to make pretzels”. They were easy and fun and yummy in a short amount of time. Thank you.

  3. Hi Sally and everyone here. I made 2 pretzels for lunch and one was dipped in boiling water and baking soda and one was not. They rose about the same amount. The one that was boiled was far browner and the texture was much more like a NYC or Philly hot pretzel that you buy on the street. I have pretzel salt in the house but you can use coarse kosher salt, I have in the past. Just don’t expect to reheat them well with Kosher salt, it melts into the pretzel too much. I sprayed both with a mist of water, twice, while baking, the first time right away, so that they might delay the skin formation and rise better. I used the whole egg mixed about 50/50 with water for the wash then added the pretzel salt. They taste very good. The unboiled one is the same size but is more like an artisan bread.Thanks SALLY!!!! it’s a FABULOUS RECIPE and I had big fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
    Displaying 20150303_135201.jpg

  4. I tried to copy and paste the photo of the 2 pretzels and as you can see, only the jpg number showed up. Sally, if I email the photo to you, is there a way that you can post it? If yes, where should I email the photo?
    ~Oblivia

    1. Thanks Oblivia! I’m so glad you like the pretzels. Feel free to email me the photos at sallysbakingaddiction (at) gmail.com

  5. Used to have the recipe memorized from home ec class in High school, but after being graduated since 2001 I had forgotten it. So glad to have found this recipe that you shared, and appreciate you doing so. Can’t wait to make some for my hubby and I, we have both been wanting to make some for quite a while now… Thanks again for sharing, and look forward also to trying the smores brownie pie. 2 of MY all time favorite sweets…

  6. 30 minutes! Either you have insanely fast stirring, rolling, shaping, dipping and sprinkling hands or I have pretty slow ones, because my pretzles from start to taking pan #2 out of the oven took an hour and a half! I’m impressed that you got yours out in 30. I didn’t even do the baking soda dip. I’ll probably get fate with a little more pretzle making practice.

    I think my broiler coil must have been a replacement part ordered from hell because my pretzels needed less than 2 minutes under the broil. That sucker gets hot. I almost think I may not have needed to use the broiler at all.

    DH loved these! Bookmarked; I’ll be back!

    1. Let me know which recipes you try next! Once you get the hang of it, you’ll have these pretzels ready to eat in no time.

  7. I’ve never bought yeast before but in searching I see either active dry or instant, not active instant. What is the exact type of yeast used?

  8. After failing with another pretzel recipe I decided to attempt making these ones.
    They are amazing, quick and tasty. My daughter said they taste like shop ones 🙂
    Thank you for the recipe

  9. I am planning to use this for a youth activity tonight so i tested it out this morning. Delicious:-) I cut the recipe in half so i can have small groups of youth working on small batches. Halving the recipe worked out wonderfully! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  10. Hi Sally. My daughters wedding is in July and we were planning on buying pretzels for wedding favors. (There is an old tradition of giving bread, honey & salt) When I found your site I’m actually thinking of making them instead. I will need around 200 so my first question is, What is the best way to store these. I see no way I can make 200 in one day. Can I freeze them? Should I store them in an air tight container? Second question. I’d like to add honey to the recipe for part of the tradition. How much would you suggest I add to the batter? I will be putting salt on them also so I don’t think brushing honey on the pretzel then salting would work. What are your thoughts? Thanks so much for any help you can give me.

    1. Hi Irene! What a wonderful idea for your daughter’s wedding. I suggest making all of the pretzels in batches over several days. Freeze them in freezer ziplock bags after they have completely cooled. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving/gifting. For the honey, use 1 Tablespoon of honey instead of the sugar in the dough.

  11. I just made these at 7:00am for my boyfriend to take into work.

    Whilst mine resembled buns more than pretzels, they smelt and looked amazing! Can’t wait to hear feedback!

    (I made the cinnamon sugar version) x

  12. Hi Sally!

    I made these before using your recipe and they turned out really well. I’d really like to make them into bite sized cinnamon pretzel bites. Is there any adjustments that I would need to make?

    1. Catherine– here you go! https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/07/20/soft-pretzel-bites/ For the cinnamon– I would simply mix 1/2 cup sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon and sprinkle each unbaked pretzel with it. Instead of an egg, brush with melted butter (about 1/4 cup of it).

      1. Made these with Wholesome Chow brand GF flour and they came out amazing! Just subbed the flour 1:1 🙂 Recipe was super easy too, even my 2 yr old “helped”! 2 tips when working with GF flour though, 1) work quickly and cover dough that you’re not rolling with saran wrap, taking pieces out as you are ready to shape them, 2) soda bath for only 20 sec, they will NOT float since GF dough is denser. Thanks for this awesome recipe!!! Stuffing my face now…!

  13. Yummy and FUN! My daughter and I just made these. The first batch was the cinnamon sugar pretzels. They were kinda janky in shape, but tasted great! We didn’t give them the baking soda bath. The second batch was regular salted pretzels and we did use the baking soda bath and the egg bath. They are beautiful…….and fluffy……and golden. Totally professional looking (almost!). Thanks for a great, and FUN, recipe! 

  14. WOW! Just made these in Mongolia! They took me home when we used to eat frozen ones in the microwave. But they are SO much better! This won’t be the last time I make these!

  15. Recently made these 30-minute pretzels. My boyfriend from Philadelphia really liked them and said they were better than Auntie Anne’s (he doesn’t really like Auntie Anne’s, but I do). Due to user error, it took me way longer than 30 minutes, but I’m a new cook-in-training. If anyone wants to check it out, here is a link to my pretzel post https://wordpress.com/post/94140981/22/.

    1. Just kidding. I don’t even know how to post a blog link. https://jumpingintoadulthood.wordpress.com/2015/07/05/culinary-catastrophes/

  16. Hi Sally, I’m from Australia, I tried this recipe tonight and the dough turned out great however when I went to bake them for 10 mins, I found the pretzels still undercooked, I’m not sure if this is because I may have kneaded the dough too much or the oven heat conversion to Celsius. Do you know what the temperature would be in Celsius? What should the texture of the end product be like? Mine were tough 🙁

    1. 425F is 218C. Were you baking at a lower temperature? These pretzels should be soft and chewy, not tough. Over-kneading will result in a tough pretzel. Only 3 minutes.

  17. Hi Sally!

    Just made these pretzels. First time every making them and they were awesome! I picked up this awesome Blue Point mustard at a farmers’ market and was craving pretzels ever since and found your recipe. I dipped all of them in boiling water and used half cup whole wheat and they turned out delicious! Check it out! http://diagnosisdelicious.tumblr.com/

    Try this mustard, it’s made with Blue Point oatmeal stout and goes perfect with the pretzels. http://www.missamy.com/

    Thanks! 

  18. Just found this recipe and already made it twice! Both times I made some pretzel dogs and with the left over dough made regular pretzels once and the second time I fashioned the dough into a “bagel” and used them as such the next day with cream cheese. Yum. Thanks for the easy and great recipe.

  19. Sally,

    do you think these soft pretzels or the pretzel bites recipe could be made into pretzel burns or rolls? btw, love your website!
    keep up the great work!

    Christine

  20. Hi Sally. I have made the cinnamon sugar pretzels a few times and every time it sticks to the parchment paper and I have to cut off the bottom of the pretzel. I have even buttered the parchment paper and I get the same result. Is there any way to avoid the pretzels sticking? I absolutely love this recipe and am always disappointed when I have to cut the bottoms off. 

  21. I was browsing food blogs and when my five-year-old saw this picture, he said “Can we make those?” We had all the ingredients except for egg so we made the cinnamon sugar version. We made some very creatively shaped pretzels 🙂 This recipe is great for kids, simple and with quick results. We were both happy with it and next time I want to try the baking soda bath! We used all white whole wheat flour and it tasted good to us, but then, we’re used to it.

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