Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels + Video

This is one of the easiest ways to prepare homemade soft pretzels and the results are extra delicious! The soft pretzel dough is a family recipe only needs to rest for 10 minutes before shaping. The quick baking soda boil gives the pretzels their traditional flavor. Make sure you watch the video in the blog post for how to shape pretzels!

How to make easy homemade soft pretzels in less than 45 minutes. Don't forget the easy spicy cheese sauce! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Homemade soft pretzels are nothing new around here.

But listen up. We’ve never gone into making easy homemade soft pretzels in great detail. And we’ve certainly never watched it here before. Especially that tricky shaping step! Which, after you’ll learn today, isn’t difficult at all. If you have zero skill in the kitchen, you can make homemade soft pretzels. Soft pretzels that LEGIT taste better than the ball park and dare I say it? Auntie Anne’s.

Did I just go there? Oh yes, I did.

How to make easy homemade soft pretzels in less than 45 minutes. Don't forget the easy spicy cheese sauce! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

This recipe, which first appeared on my blog in 2012, comes from my husband’s family. Kevin taught me how to make them 5 years ago. I was utterly clueless about where to begin with soft pretzels and yes, my husband taught me everything. I remember feeling pleasantly surprised at the ease and speed– it took us only 30 minutes to make 1 batch!

Over the years, I’ve added a smidge of melted butter and brown sugar to the dough– just to achieve that Auntie Anne’s flavor and texture. Furthermore, we’ve introduced the baking soda bath. While it sounds strange, this step is what gives pretzels that iconic flavor, golden brown texture, and super soft interior. If you get the water boiling ahead of time, it really only adds 5 minutes to the entire process. We do it every time now. It’s worth it!

We’ve also made them bite-sized and stuffed ’em with cheese.

There’s no wrong way to shape a pretzel, but let’s stick with tradition today. I have a lot of photos of the process and right before the recipe, you can watch a quick video tutorial. I promise you’ll no longer feel intimidated working with yeast, shaping pretzels, or the baking soda bath. I gotchu!!

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.

How to make easy homemade soft pretzels in less than 45 minutes. Don't forget the easy spicy cheese sauce! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

STEP BY STEP PICS

Let’s chat about the dough. You need the simplest, most basic ingredients possible and I guarantee each one is in your kitchen right now. Warm water, 1 packet yeast, melted butter, brown sugar, salt, flour.

How to make homemade soft pretzels on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make homemade soft pretzels on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make homemade soft pretzels on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Let the yeast foam in the warm water for a sec, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix. You can use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, a hand mixer, or– like you’ll notice in the video– no mixer at all. Pretzel dough is no diva. Work with what you’ve got.

Guess what? You don’t have to wait to let this dough rise. YES YES YES!! Well, we’ll let it rest for 10 minutes while you get the baking soda + water boiling on the stove but that’s it. Don’t have any patience? This is the recipe for you. By the way, did you know that some pretzel recipes call for rising overnight? I bet they’re remarkable pretzels but I’m majorly satisfied with this ultra quick dough!

How to Shape Homemade Soft Pretzels

Now it’s time to shape.

How to make homemade soft pretzels on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make homemade soft pretzels on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make homemade soft pretzels on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Roll 1/3 cup of dough into a long 20-22 inch rope.

Twist the ends and fold over. That’s a pretzel!

How to make homemade soft pretzels on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make homemade soft pretzels on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Now drop the pretzels into the boiling water + baking soda. Let them boil for 20-30 seconds each, then place onto a baking sheet. This pretzel dough makes 12 regular size soft pretzels, so I use 2 baking sheets. 6 on each.

Sprinkle with salt and bake in a hot oven.

That’s it, you’re done.

How to make easy homemade soft pretzels in less than 45 minutes. Don't forget the easy spicy cheese sauce! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make easy homemade soft pretzels in less than 45 minutes. Don't forget the easy spicy cheese sauce! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

And if you want to kick your soft pretzel status into major high gear, add some spicy nacho cheese sauce. I mean, is cheese sauce ever just an option? DUH. I updated the recipe so now it’s a new and improved method with the same irresistible melty, spicy, cheesy magic. Check it out!

Feeling hungry? Try my homemade bagels recipe next!
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Easy homemade soft pretzels

Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 pretzels
  • Category: Snacks
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This is one of the easiest ways to prepare homemade soft pretzels and the results are extra delicious! The dough is a family recipe and only needs to rest for 10 minutes before shaping. The quick baking soda boil gives the pretzels their traditional flavor. Make sure you watch the video in the blog post for how to shape pretzels!


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 brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and slightly cool
  • 3 and ¾-4 cups (460-500g) all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Baking Soda Bath

  • ½ cup (120g) baking soda
  • 9 cups (2,160ml) water

Instructions

  1. Whisk the yeast into warm water. Allow to sit for 1 minute. Whisk in salt, brown sugar, and melted butter. Slowly add 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon (or dough hook attached to stand mixer) until dough is thick. Add 3/4 cup more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. If it is still sticky, add 1/4 – 1/2 cup more, as needed. Poke the dough with your finger – if it bounces back, it is ready to knead.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for 3 minutes and shape into a ball. Cover lightly with a towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. (Meanwhile, I like to get the water + baking soda boiling as instructed in step 6.)
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  4. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut dough into 1/3 cup sections.
  5. Roll the dough into a 20-22 inch 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.
  6. Bring baking soda and 9 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Drop 1-2 pretzels into the boiling water for 20-30 seconds. Any more than that and your pretzels will have a metallic taste. Using a slotted spatula, lift the pretzel out of the water and allow as much of the excess water to drip off. Place pretzel onto prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each with coarse sea salt. Repeat with remaining pretzels.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and serve warm with spicy nacho cheese sauce. Pretzels may be stored in an airtight container or zipped top bag for up to 3 days (they lose a little 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 or microwave until warm. 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: soft pretzels

More Pretzel Recipes:

Soft Pretzel Bites with Spicy Cheese Dip

How to make easy homemade soft pretzels in less than 45 minutes. Don't forget the easy spicy cheese sauce! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

367 Comments

  1. These were so fun to make with my littles! The triplets are 5 and our bonus is 3, but thinks she’s five. A little help with the rolling the first couple was all they needed. After they mastered the basic pretzel shape they were on to their initials and hearts and so on. My N said, “we should make pretzels every day!” I don’t think we could quite master daily pretzel making, but I predict that once weekly might be doable as it’s such an easy recipe. I’m thinking of upping the sugar just a little and the butter a tad, but wasn’t sure if it would make them too greasy? I’m thinking of making some pretzel bites to take with us for snacks on our upcoming trip as well. It’sespecially nice to find recipe without too many exotic ingredients as we are currently expats and many things that are usually simple to find back home are difficult to find here.

  2. Nothing like a successful first time. My wife generally taste my experiments first, but this time , I did. A little yellow mustard and voila ! Then I got the wife’s approval. I’ll be taking these to football parties, holiday parties and carry-ins. I followed your recipe to the letter. Thank You Sally!

  3. Hi Sally! I didn’t wade through all the comments, so I apologize if you’ve answered this! Two questions, can the recipe be doubled?
    And I want to make a lot ahead of time for my son’s birthday party. Do you freeze the dough in a ball, already shaped, or freeze them after they are baked? Thank you!!

    1. Hi Maran, For best taste and texture, I recommend making separate batches of dough instead of doubling it.
      You can freeze them either way – either after fully baking or you can freeze the dough before shaping into pretzels. See recipe notes for detailed freezing instructions.

  4. I had never made soft pretzels before and this was an amazingly easy and delicious recipe! I even forgot to put the butter in the dough, so I brushed it on while they were still hot and they are outstanding!!!

  5. Amazing!! I made these this morning and they turned out wonderful!! My first time ever making soft pretzels. They were a hit with my kids and hubby. Tasted just as good as the ones in the mall. The first batch of 6 I only added the coarse salt, the second batch of six I brushed melted butter, the coarse salt and On 3 of those put cinnamon sugar. They were great too!! Thank you for sharing this recipe!!

  6. Ham and Feta Cheese Pretzel Dough Sandwiches

    I divided up the dough into 6 pieces, I might do 5 next time. I rolled the pieces out into rectangles. I made filling out of chopped ham, feta cheese with a small amount of ranch dressing. I put the filling inside, pinched the edges shut and boiled them for about 30 seconds in the baking soda bath. I removed them carefully with a big, slotted spatula and immediately placed them on a baking pan with parchment paper. I baked them on the parchment paper for 7 minutes both sides for a total of 15 minutes at 400 degrees F. They turned out well and will be making more and after they are baked I will wrap them in foil then place them in large Ziplocks to freeze. Thanks for your dough recipe. I was buying sandwiches similar to these at Walmart and now I can make my own.

    1. This sounds so delicious!!! I make pretzel rolls (https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/easy-pretzel-rolls/) but haven’t tried filling them! YUM!

  7. These were absolutely delicious! My only issue is that they stuck to the parchment paper and I have never had anything stick to parchment paper before! I will definitely make them again and again and again, but will spray the paper with cooking spray first. Have you ever seen this happen?

    1. It’s happened to me once or twice when I leave the pretzels on the baking sheet for too long after boiling and before baking. I like to use silicone baking mats, but yes– greasing the parchment paper will prevent that!

  8. This is definitely an amazing recipe , as much as I’d like to wish I did I skipped some of the reading part and completely overlooked that DONOT drop more than 2 pretzels at a time in the soda bite. That’s fatal I made two batches first ones finished as soon as it cooled enough to touch second was a debacle.im so heartbroken as my kids wanted more and being a working mom times are calculated.wush I had paid attention

  9. This was my first time making pretzels. They were easy to make and tasted delicious! Better than the Super Pretzels in my freezer (they must have boiled them too long)! I made half into traditional pretzels and the rest into small buns for ham and cheese sandwiches. Next time I’m going to make pretzel bites to store in the freezer for after school snacks. Thank you for this recipe!!! It’s a keeper.

  10. Thank you for delisious recepie. We made it at home just replaced the butter with oil to be diary free and it taste delisious. We are going to make them at school with children for Christmas fair. Can’t wait.
    I want to ask if they can be preheated the following day to be warm and could they be preheated in oven or microwave? And how long?

    1. I’m so glad you made them work for you and enjoyed them! A few seconds in the microwave is the quickest way to warm them up! I hope the kids love them!

    1. Yes, try cutting the added salt in half. I always recommend unsalted because every brand of salted butter contains a different amount – so you never really know how much slat you are adding!

  11. My family and friends loved them. Very easy to make. They were the biggest hit at the party and they want me to make more.

  12. So good ,I made them for my grandmothers birthday . I have one question about the part when it says nead the dough for three minutes do you mean let the dough sit then nead the dough or that it will take 3 minutes to nead the dough

  13. Have you ever tried using food grade Lye in your boil instead of baking soda? I’ve read it makes them more tastier? And brown darker? Just curious…these are yummy!

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