Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels + Video

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

Happy Monday!

I know we’ve done this before. 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 Kevin’s side of the 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!!

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!

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

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!

EASY CARBS AND MELTY CHEESE SAUCE ♥ ♥

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

Monday, you’re beautiful!

Easy Homemade Soft 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

Directions:

  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).

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 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.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

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

170 Comments

All Comments

  1. just so you know Auntie Annes doesn’t boil water, just cold baking soda dip before baking. I used to work there and if you guys knew the unsanitary/ negligent practices there you’d never want them again

  2. These turned out amazing!!!

    I had a bit of trouble rolling hem out they were so super fluffy. This recipe is so simple and easy to follow! I ended up using vegan margerine. Worked perfect!! Thank you so much for sharing!! Im going to bake some for my German dad. See If he approves I give it ten stars!

  3. I just made these for my Philadelphian dad (we live in the UK). Served with mustard of course! He was very happy with them!

    I did the rise in the fridge overnight and then shaped them this morning. I also shaped them in the Philadelphia shape.

    Wonderful taste!

  4. These are so easy to make and so good!! I’m not so good at making the pretzel shape, but I will keep practicing. I had a bit of trouble rolling them.

  5. My first time making pretzels! I made these start to finish (including cleanup) in under an hour! Going to make a caramel dip next to dip them in! They are SO yummy will for sure be making again!!!

  6. These are great but I used parchment paper and they stuck to the paper . I peeled them off but it wasn’t easy and lost a bit of the bottom layer. Next time should spray the parchment paper with a non stick spray or give in and buy the silicone baking sheets?

    1. Hi Maryann! Spraying parchment with nonstick spray should work, but I can’t recommend silicone baking mats enough. I use them for everything!

    2. I used parchment but after the baking soda I put them on another pan to dry off, they didn’t stick, made them today for my son and his friend with Rotel cheese dip, they’re almost gone it’s football Sunday

  7. Is there anyway to make the dough the night before and cook the next day? I want to make them for my daughters birthday but I’m trying to figure out what I can prep in advance.

  8. Alright. A full review from someone who has never made anything with dough or even made dough itself! Making the dough was super easy for me. Just adding and mixing. When it came to rolling the dough, it was so hard for me cause there wasn’t much instruction on how to do it, only the shaping part there was instruction. Then after finishing boiling and baking I found another peoblem! The parchment paper stuck to the pretzels so I had to cut off the bottoms of it. Spray the parchment paper I guess! Other than those few problems everything went well, the taste is great. Tedious work I admit though. Thanks for sharing the recipe! Ill fix those mistakes next time I make em!

  9. I made only half the amount, just in case I didn’t do it right. Big mistake, I now have two children asking for more!!! LOL

  10. Thanks so much for this recipe Sally! I have only started venturing into bread making recently, first your pizza dough and now this & the pretzels look and taste so good 😀 You make the recipe easy to follow and even for a first time bread-baker they look pro!

  11. These taste great. Next time I’ll let them rise a bit before dunking in boiling water/soda, as they were a bit mishapen. The texture is good, and they have a wonderful pretzel flavor.

  12. Really superb recipe when you want to make a homemade version that is completely worthy of some bakery versions! I left all the kneading to the KitchenAid, and I did refrigerate the shaped bretzels for a few hours. I let them come back to room temperature before proceeding with the baking soda bath and baking. I did brush them, after the baking soda bath, with an egg wash to make them extra golden. The texture is wonderfully soft, and I can’t thank you enough for these!

  13. This is a fantastic recipe ! My grandson and I have made them a couple times now. We haven’t tried the dip yet – they get eaten too fast!!!

  14. Wow I just made these after suddenly craving pretzels out of no where, and they’ve come out mostly perfect! I have had a problem, the underside of all my pretzels have that baking sofa flavour to them, and I was wondering if there’s something I’ve done to muck them up and how to fix it for next time?

  15. My pretzels were really moist after 1 night in an airtight container? Any ways to avoid that? The topping was soggy because of it

  16. These pretzels were the best my family and boys loved them I use wax paper and it Stu ked to it can I use non spray on the wax paper but beside that they were delicious thank you so much for sharing it with us I give you a 5 star on this I will be making them a lot they were also a little hard to roll

1 2 3 4

Reviews

  1. My first time making pretzels! I made these start to finish (including cleanup) in under an hour! Going to make a caramel dip next to dip them in! They are SO yummy will for sure be making again!!!

  2. Alright. A full review from someone who has never made anything with dough or even made dough itself! Making the dough was super easy for me. Just adding and mixing. When it came to rolling the dough, it was so hard for me cause there wasn’t much instruction on how to do it, only the shaping part there was instruction. Then after finishing boiling and baking I found another peoblem! The parchment paper stuck to the pretzels so I had to cut off the bottoms of it. Spray the parchment paper I guess! Other than those few problems everything went well, the taste is great. Tedious work I admit though. Thanks for sharing the recipe! Ill fix those mistakes next time I make em!

  3. These taste great. Next time I’ll let them rise a bit before dunking in boiling water/soda, as they were a bit mishapen. The texture is good, and they have a wonderful pretzel flavor.

  4. Really superb recipe when you want to make a homemade version that is completely worthy of some bakery versions! I left all the kneading to the KitchenAid, and I did refrigerate the shaped bretzels for a few hours. I let them come back to room temperature before proceeding with the baking soda bath and baking. I did brush them, after the baking soda bath, with an egg wash to make them extra golden. The texture is wonderfully soft, and I can’t thank you enough for these!

  5. This is a fantastic recipe ! My grandson and I have made them a couple times now. We haven’t tried the dip yet – they get eaten too fast!!!

Questions

  1. These are great but I used parchment paper and they stuck to the paper . I peeled them off but it wasn’t easy and lost a bit of the bottom layer. Next time should spray the parchment paper with a non stick spray or give in and buy the silicone baking sheets?

    1. Hi Maryann! Spraying parchment with nonstick spray should work, but I can’t recommend silicone baking mats enough. I use them for everything!

    2. I used parchment but after the baking soda I put them on another pan to dry off, they didn’t stick, made them today for my son and his friend with Rotel cheese dip, they’re almost gone it’s football Sunday

  2. My pretzels were really moist after 1 night in an airtight container? Any ways to avoid that? The topping was soggy because of it

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