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!!

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!
Print
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.

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

269 Comments

  1. I made these this afternoon with my 5 year old granddaughter…she knew exactly how to twist, twist, flip from a cartoon that she watches! While ours weren’t magazine cover pretty, they were delicious! She is getting very proud of herself when she completes a “Sally” recipe! As always, thank you Sally!

  2. Not sure where I went wrong, I followed the recipe exactly but the dough was still raw after 15 minutes of cooking. I placed foil over them as they were already dark brown, and continued to bake for a further 10 minutes but the dough was still not baked properly and they tasted awful!
    I love your recipes but this one just didn’t work for me 🙁

    1. Hi Rebecca! If the exterior is baking before the center, I recommend lowering your oven temperature. And make sure you’re rolling the dough thin enough too!

    2. If you boil the pretzel too long in the baking soda bath it will have taken on too much water (and baking soda) and thus will be doughy in center even after a long time in the oven. It will also be wayyyy to “baking soda-ish” tasting

    1. Wow, this was emotional experience. I’ve spent 2 summers in PA as an exchange student and after almost 10 years I craved to taste again some of the tastes I’ve discovered while there. These we’re fun to make, spot on when it comes to the texture and smell, just perfect. Thank you for sharing. Greeting from Serbia!

  3. So delicious! I made them vegan by subbing vegan butter and they turned out great! Just like the real thing. Thank you!! 😀

    1. Hi Harvey. I don’t recommend it. In addition to flavor, the 1 Tbsp of brown sugar is necessary to help feed the yeast. You can replace with white granulated sugar if desired.

  4. We made some with coarse sea salt and some we brushed melted butter on out of the oven and sprinkled cinnamon and sugar. Excellent recipe!

  5. My family LOVES the bites! Noticed no egg wash for the whole pretzel recipe- wondering why? Can’t wait to make again!

    1. Hi Amanda! You may certainly brush the shaped pretzels with egg white after the baking soda bath. It creates a nice crisp crust, though I find they’re pretty great without it too!

  6. I am an amateur baker and was wondering if you could tell me where I went wrong. I made the dough following the recipe exactly and formed them into beautiful pretzels. When I put them in the baking soda water they immediately dissolved into a mess. I resorted to brushing the baking soda water onto the pretzels while they were on the cookie sheet but the results were far from desirable. I am guessing that somehow you have to harden the outer surface of the dough so that it does not absorb any of the baking soda water and break down the dough. Please give me your expert advice.

      1. The moment they entered the water they dissolved into a blob of dough. I couldn’t remove them fast enough. I would say they were only in the water 10-15 seconds.

  7. Great recipe, just wondering if I can substitute the brown sugar for something else as I can’t have sugar? Thank you!

    1. Hi Gloria, I don’t recommend it. In addition to flavor, the 1 Tbsp of brown sugar is necessary to help feed the yeast.

  8. I just made these today!! They were reeally good and easy to make as compared to other recipes I’ve found. I do want to ask if it’s possible to use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour.

    1. Hi Aimee! You can definitely use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour in this pretzel recipe. Same amount. Bread flour yields even chewier pretzels.

  9. Hi Sally,
    The pretzel were amazibg but after they got cooled they became little rubbery/stretchy .
    Please suggest why it happened .
    Do i need to bake fresh everytime ?
    Or warm it before serving

  10. Made this recipe for a bourbon tasting party my husband had. Huge success. Everyone loved them. One issue I had was my dough stayed soooo sticky and I added over 4 cups of flour, almost 5 and it was still sticky. I’ll make these again and again though. So yummy and the baking soda bath is the way to go!

  11. Hi, Sally!
    I’ve been doing some research before attempting to bake pretzels and since I LOVE your recipes, I’m happy to try yours first!
    Question: most recipes call for 1 hour of rest in an oiled bowl in a warm area until the dough is doubled in size; will I see any change in size in 10 minutes?
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Sarah! This is a special dough that doesn’t require a long rise if making pretzels. Most of the rising is in the baking process. You can, however, certainly let the dough rise, then punch it down to release the air and shape into pretzels. By doing so, the pretzels considerably puff up in the oven, losing most of their shape.

  12. Hi Sally,
    I was interested in trying the recipe but I don’t have rapid rise yeast. How does the rest time differ with active dry yeast? Thank you in advance!

  13. Ok soooo my daughter and I had the hardest time rolling these out..But I was talking to my mom and she said I needed a cold surface like marble.I was afraid of the baking soda bath as I didn’t want them to taste yucky but 100% success not picture perfect but my daughter was SHOCKED they tasted like the real deal YUMMY! OK so it took us a while but we had a great time and this is something I will definitely get faster at with time!! PS I was vigilant with the 15 seconds in the boiling water and definitely use parchment paper, they cooked perfectly and did not get soggy at all…..I totally would recommend this recipe to those of us that don’t cook much and it works great mixing and kneading by hand!!! Oh yeah THANK YOU for the PICTURES!

  14. My son recently discovered the pretzel dogs at the Amish Market in my hometown. We’re using this recipe today to make some for lunch. Instead of making the pretzel shape, cut a piece of dough about 1/4 cup size and roll into an ellipse shape with short end facing you. Lay a slice of good American cheese on the short end, add the hot dog, roll to cover the hot dog, tuck ends in, finish rolling. Continue with recipe as written. I can’t wait!

  15. Oh my goodness!!!! These were AMAZING!!! I am a new amateur baker, and I haven’t had amazing results in making bread before, but these were delicious!! Thank you!!

  16. Amazing recipe, thanks for this. I ended up proving my dough after it was formed into the pretzel shape and it worked really well. I was however wondering what you would recommend to use instead of butter if I were to try making these vegan, would vegetable oil or vegan butter work? Also my pretzels really stuck to the parchment paper after baking, was it something I did wrong or is this normal? Thanks so much 🙂

    1. I haven’t tested these with vegan butter but I would recommend you trying a vegan buttery stick such as Earth Balance and not using vegetable oil. Let me know how they turn out! If they are sticking you can try a silicon baking mat instead of parchment paper.

1 4 5 6

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Recipes You’ll Love

Archives

Categories

Sally's Baking Challenge

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe.

View More

Sally's Cookie Palooza

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

Sally's Pie Week

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally

×