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!

soft pretzels

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.

hand dipping piece of soft pretzel into bowl of cheese sauce

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 soft pretzel bites and soft pretzel rolls.

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.

soft pretzels on a baking sheet

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.

ingredients for soft pretzels

2 images of activated yeast in a glass stand mixer bowl and soft pretzel dough in a glass stand mixer bowl

ball of soft pretzel dough

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.

piece of soft pretzel dough rolled out into a long rope

soft pretzel dough twisted to form a pretzel

soft pretzel dough shaped into a pretzel

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

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

2 images of a soft pretzel in a pot for a baking soda bath on the stove and using a slotted spatula to remove soft pretzel from baking soda bath

soft pretzel dough shaped into pretzels on a baking sheet before baking

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.

soft pretzels on a baking sheet after baking

overhead image of soft pretzels on a white plate with a bowl of cheese sauce in the middle

And if you want to kick your soft pretzel status into major high gear, add some spicy nacho cheese sauce or beer cheese dip. Cheers!

Feeling hungry? Try my homemade bagels recipe next!
Print
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon
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 or granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and slightly cool
  • 3 and 3/4-4 cups (460-500g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for work surface
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Baking Soda Bath (Optional, See Recipe Note)

  • 1/2 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. Silicone baking mats are highly recommended over parchment paper. If using parchment paper, lightly spray with nonstick spray or grease with butter. 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. (This step is optional, but promises a chewier pretzel and helps provide that traditional soft pretzel taste. See recipe note.) 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. If desired, you can cover and refrigerate the boiled/unbaked pretzels for up to 24 hours before baking in step 7.
  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: Baked and cooled 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. Baking Soda Bath (Step 6): The baking soda bath step is optional, but it helps create that chewy texture and distinctive pretzel flavor. I strongly recommend it. If skipping, brush the shaped and unbaked pretzels with a mixture of 1 beaten egg + 1 Tablespoon of dairy or nondairy milk. This is known as an egg wash. Sprinkle the brushed pretzels with salt. The egg wash will help the salt stick. If you don’t have an egg, simply brush with 2 Tablespoons of dairy or nondairy milk.
  3. Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels: Skip the coarse salt topping (and skip the egg wash, see note above, if you aren’t doing the baking soda bath step). Bake as directed in step 7. Meanwhile, melt 4 Tablespoons (60g) of unsalted or salted butter (your choice). Brush the baked and warm pretzels with melted butter then dip the tops into a mix of cinnamon and sugar. I usually use 3/4 cup (150g) of granulated sugar and 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon.
  4. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.

Keywords: soft pretzels

More Pretzel Recipes:

soft pretzel bites on a white plate with cheese sauce in a white bowl

895 Comments

  1. Recipe is easy and pretzels are very tasty. I have made these at least six times over the past few months, as they have been a favorite of everyone. My only problem is storage – storing them in an air tight container but the salt kind of melts – what have ai done wrong. How can I store them so they will keep that right out of the oven look and keep the salt.

    1. Are you storing them before they cool completely? That will cause the container to become humid and the salt will absorb the mositure. I bake mine without salt. I brush them with butter and add salt after they come out of the oven, but only the ones I intend to eat right away. You could also use a little water instead of butter. Pretzels stale pretty quickly so it is recommended to freeze them once cooled.

      1. Leave them out for 12ish hours till they’re slightly dry. Then put them in a air tight container and they’ll redistribute the moisture and should be good to go.

  2. Hello! I’ve tried this recipe a few times and it’s amazing
    Question~ can I make the dough ahead of time and leave it in the fridge maybe overnight? Then shape the next day and bake

  3. For a moment there you scared me because I was like who deep fries a prezel? lol I only thought this because Of th image in the video before you press play.. I remember making Homemade prezels when in school for baking class . I am 45 years old now and long since forgot the recipe. I forgot much of the great recipes I learned because most of my life was spent homeless. So now I am not an settled in a fairly decant apartment . I been looking for things to bake.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hope you love these pretzels, Ravenn!

  4. These are the best pretzels! I add 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar to give them a bit of a sweeter taste. I also made some salted and then some with cinnamon sugar on top (after they come out of the oven, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar)

  5. This is a great recipe!
    This is my first time making pretzels. My first ones turned out a bit weird but I got the hang of it. I actually experimented a but with a cinnamon sugar version and it turned out really well! I shall definitely use this again 🙂

  6. Amazing!

    I bumped up the temp a little at the end to get the color I needed because every oven is different. But it came out perfect. I wish I could share photos here.

  7. I made these with my granddaughter the other day. We had fun, and they are absolutely delicious! We did not skip the baking soda bath. This recipe is a keeper!

  8. This recipe was so easy to follow and was a huge hit!! The pretzels came out awesome…and I got it all done in under an hour!! Probably should have left them in a touch longer to be a little more brown…but they were cooked through and crisp on the bottom. 10/10 will make these again!!

  9. Excellent recipe. Made these as a snack for us to have on new year’s eve, and we ended up eating them for dinner! We boiled them in the recommended baking soda/water mixture, and they came out with an awesome brown crust and soft, chewy centers. Served the salty ones with mustard, cheese sauce, and spicy nacho cheese sauce, and made 4 with cinnamon sugar for dessert. Super quick and delicious. This recipe is a keeper!

  10. Caitlin Vockroth says:

    Amazing! So easy to make and so delicious. The first time I made pretzels with a different recipe was a disaster. I tried again using this recipe and was so proud of how they came out! I’m curious why the pretzels don’t need to rise after shaping in this recipe?

    1. I did let mine rise another hour and they did look much better. After the baking soda, egg wash, and cooking they came out GREAT. Because I did let them rise after they were formed the “rope” got larger in diameter and, pretty much, did not have the three “holes”. BUT they were awesome, good color, tasted right… . I will continue to let them rise as I think it made a better, “fluffer” pretzel. Will try using 1/2 cup of dough and make the “rope” longer to allow for more rising. Am going to have to get a larger grain of salt instead of Kosher salt. To me, good salt makes a good pretzel.

  11. Good recipe, I jazzed it up with jalapeños in the dough.. however I used parchment paper and greased it and all the pretzels stuck to the paper and made it a disappointment. I managed to pull a couple apart and painted with melted butter. Was real close to Auntie Annes

  12. Melissa Fisher says:

    This recipe was so simple and delicious!! We over worked the dough too much so it wasn’t as flexible when pulling into shape but still tasted perfect! Thanks!!

  13. Can I make this with gluten free flour?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ana, we haven’t tested it with gluten-free flour, but let us know if you do!

  14. This recipe is amazing. I made them once before and they were flawless, fluffy and perfect. The baking soda bath really made them puff and have that authentic crack to them. This time however, they didn’t crack though I’d account that for not having the heat up as high. Also strangely enough, I put about 6 in at the same time and one of them was just WHITE! Thoroughly baked and everything. Maybe I left it in the bath for too long? Either way flawless and easy recipe. It’s truly hard to mess up

  15. Best fresh out of the oven! Excellent and relatively easy recipe

  16. This is a wonderful recipe I absolutely love it! I made it 2 times once exactly the way the recipe instructs and then again today I made 8 larger pretzels instead of 12 and let the dough rise before baking it and they both turned out amazing. Golden brown crunch and fluffy at the same time salty and wonderful! Thank you for this great recipe

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      So happy you loved them!

  17. I did these twice the first time I left the dough in the fridge for two days they came good but hard to roll the dough the second time I did them after 10 min I followed the recipe and did them right away but I only used 3cups Flour and 1tablespoon from the 3/4 cup the 1rablespoon was to put on my counter We loved them amazing recipe thanks we’re can I post a picture of the result please

  18. Can you use white whole wheat flour with this recipe?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kim, the pretzels may turn out more dense if using white whole wheat flour. Try replacing half the flour first to see how it goes. Hope you love them!

      1. I’ll do that. Thanks so much!

  19. Extremely easy and very yummy. I’ve made these a few times now. I add a tablespoon of barley malt syrup to them for flavor as well. This time, I’m letting them rise a little just to see what that might do. I’ve made regular salt, everything (seasoning), cinnamon and sugar, parmesan and garlic and Asiago. They have all been fantastic. Thank you for this!

  20. Hi, your recipe looks amazing so I wanted to make it tomorrow! I just wanted to ask, for the baking soda bath, should I take it off the stove then dip the pretzels or dip them while the stove is on and boiling?
    Thank you for the great recipe!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ellen, dip them carefully while the stove is still on and boiling.

  21. I did let mine rise another hour and they did look much better. After the baking soda, egg wash, and cooking they came out GREAT. Because I did let them rise after they were formed the “rope” got larger in diameter and, pretty much, did not have the three “holes”. BUT they were awesome, good color, tasted right… . I will continue to let them rise as I think it made a better, “fluffer” pretzel. Will try using 1/2 cup of dough and make the “rope” longer to allow for more rising. Am going to have to get a larger grain of salt instead of Kosher salt. To me, good salt makes a good pretzel.

  22. Neglected to mention I used my SOURDOUGH starter mix to make these. Half of it I used to make a baguette as having cheese fondue tomorrow and the other half to make the pretzels. Create your SOURDOUGH dough the same as when making bread. When you get to the step to form the loaves, after the first rising, form the pretzels and go from there. Just cut out some of the dough to make the pretzels. Shape the pretzels, let rise some more, soda bath, egg wash, and bake.

  23. Best pretzel recipe I have made by far! Super simple and the result are great. Super tasty and a beginner cook could definitely do this

  24. Followed the recipe exactly and they turned out great! No issues at all and tasted awesome.

  25. Great recipe. The pretzels came out perfect!

  26. Love love love these! These have become our go-to snack for WFH or Virtual classes! we freeze them in twos and thaw and pop in toaster oven for a few minutes to reheat. we had a problem with the salt melting too but the kids like it as it coats the top- they don’t miss the individual crystals. Thank you for posting!

  27. This recipe is awesome! I love how quick and easy it is to make pretzels. 🙂 My husband was SO impressed, especially since I’ve yet to make a successful loaf of bread! 😛 I made two batches and they just got better and better. Thank you for creating such a simple yet delicious recipe! I tried it for the first time and was it was super successful, and that never usually happens for me!!!

    1. Only thing I did differently was I used an egg wash before baking them… not sure if it really made a difference?

  28. I am thinking about making these for my wedding!
    Can you freeze them? How long do you think they would be okay being frozen?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Allyson, Baked and cooled pretzels freeze well, up to 2 months. See recipe notes for reheating details. Such a fun idea for a wedding!

  29. Great recipe! And it doesn’t taste like oil because it’s not fried!!

  30. Made these for a quick Saturday afternoon snack, they came out amazing!! I did tweak the recipe just a bit. I used a 1 for 1 Gluten Free Flour and they came out just like the soft pretzels I remember from Auntie Annie’s! I also discovered I was out of parchment so I brushed the baking sheet with melted butter, came out perfect!! We will definitely make this a go to snack in the weekends!

1 16 17 18 19 20

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.

Sally's signature

Recipes You’ll Love

Archives

Categories

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe.Review Sally's Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions.

View More

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

View More

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

View More

My Cookbooks

Sally's 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

×