This is one of the easiest ways to prepare homemade soft pretzels and the results are extra delicious. The soft pretzel dough 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 for how to shape pretzels!
Homemade soft pretzels are nothing new around here because this recipe has been a reader favorite for years. The dough requires just 6 ingredients and there’s hardly any rise time, so not only are these easy, they’re pretty quick too. In fact, I remember feeling pleasantly surprised at the ease and speed the first time I made them– it took us only 30 minutes to make 1 batch! Over the years, I’ve added a smidge of melted butter to the dough for improved flavor. Furthermore, we’ve introduced the baking soda bath. While it sounds strange, this step is what gives pretzels that iconic flavor, chewy texture, helps deepen their golden color in the oven, and locks in the 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, soft pretzel knots (with various toppings), and soft pretzel rolls from this simple dough. We’ve also jazzed them up as crab pretzels. There’s no wrong way to shape a pretzel, but let’s stick with tradition today. I promise you’ll no longer feel intimidated working with yeast, shaping pretzels, or the baking soda bath. Even if you have zero skill in the kitchen, you can make these homemade soft pretzels.
STEP BY STEP PHOTOS
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 or regular granulated sugar, salt, and flour.
Let the yeast foam in the warm water for a few minutes, 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 below the recipe– no mixer at all. Work with what you have in the kitchen.
Guess what? You don’t have to wait to let this dough rise. 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? They’re remarkable pretzels but I’m satisfied with this ultra quick dough!
How to Shape Homemade Soft Pretzels
Now it’s time to shape.
Roll 1/3 cup of dough into a long 20-22 inch rope.
Twist the ends and bring the ends down. That’s a pretzel!
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.
And if you want to kick your soft pretzel status into major high gear, add some spicy nacho cheese sauce.Print
Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 12 pretzels
- Category: Snacks
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
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 for how to shape pretzels!
- 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) warm water (lukewarm– no need to take temperature but around 100°F (38°C) is great)
- 2 and 1/4 teaspoons (7g) instant or active dry yeast (1 standard packet)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar or granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and slightly cool
- 3 and 3/4-4 cups (469-500g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for hands and work surface
- coarse salt or coarse sea salt for sprinkling
Baking Soda Bath (See Recipe Note)
- 1/2 cup (120g) baking soda
- 9 cups (2,160ml) water
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut dough into 1/3 cup sections (about 75g each).
- Roll the dough into a 20-22 inch rope. Form a circle with the dough by bringing the two ends together at the top of the circle. Twist the ends together. Bring the twisted ends back down towards yourself and press them down to form a pretzel shape.
- 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.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and serve warm with spicy nacho cheese sauce.
- Cover and store leftover pretzels at room temperature for up to 3 days. They lose a little softness over time. To reheat, microwave for a few seconds or bake in a 350°F (177°C) for 5 minutes.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Baked and cooled pretzels freeze well up to 2-3 months. To reheat, bake frozen pretzels at 350°F (177°C) for 20 minutes or until warmed through or microwave frozen pretzels 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, about 1 hour, for the pretzels to puff up before the baking soda bath and baking.
- Baking Soda Bath (Step 6): The baking soda bath is strongly recommended because it helps create that chewy texture and distinctive pretzel flavor. 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.
- 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. Cinnamon sugar pretzels are best served that day because due to the melted butter topping, they become soggy after a few hours.
- Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
Keywords: soft pretzels
Reader Comments & Reviews
At what temp do I bake them at
Hi Anabelle, 400°F (204°C).
These were great! Easy, tasty. Something I always wanted to try. Thank you! Luckily they baked fine on a regular baking sheet.
First time making pretzels. They turned out amazing.
This recipe is wonderful made it several times! Have you ever made pretzel bites with these, how long would you bake them for the kids keep asking for pretzel bites
Hi Liz, Yes! Here’s our pretzel bite recipe using the same dough.
This was great, my family loved them. I did half with cinnamon and sugar for that evening.
Unfortunately the outside became wrinkly overnight, is that normal? Maybe the way I stored them?
Hi Saide, that’s normal! Covering them instead of sealing air tight will keep them from wrinkling so much next time. They lose a little softness over time.
These are amazing! Turned out great the first time ever making pretzels. Easy. I recommend 20 seconds in baking soda bath. They were perfect
Thanks much. Easy. Loved them.
These turned out so well and were super easy! I made them with my little granddaughters and it was something they could really help with too! I liked the boiling technique with baking soda since I don’t have lye in the pantry, haha. They smelled great baking and are soft & chewy!! Home run!! Thanks!
Can’t t wait to make this! If I make them at night, will they be good and fresh the next morning?
Hi Nancy, They do lose a little softness over time. To reheat, microwave for a few seconds or bake in a 350°F (177°C) for 5 minutes.
These were so fun to make and delicious!
I made these for the first time today, they were so delicious we had to make a second batch and I taught my daughters and sister how to make them. Everyone raved that they were the best pretzel they ever had! I can’t believe how easy they were.
Sorry my comment should have been 5 stars not 4
Omg my first try and they came out so nice and were so easy to create. will do it again soon.
Oh my goodness, this was such a quick and easy fun recipe to put together and make, your instructions are the best! I made the nacho cheese sauce too and have the biggest smile creating something so fun and good!
Turned out delicious, thank you!
Is it easy to double these pretzels??? Or even triple them??
Hi JD, for best results, we recommend making separate batches rather than doubling or tripling.
This recipe is amazing! Pretzels were absolutely delicious!
The instructions on how to divide out the pretzels is misleading. You have a total of 12 which would mean you’d have 4 per the dough cut in thirds. I was only able to get 2 per so a total of 6, not sure if I was making them too big
Can I skip the baking soda bath?
Hi Eliana, the quick baking soda boil gives the pretzels their traditional flavor and lovely browned color. You can skip it, but they taste better with that extra step!
I made this recipe with my 3 year old son, it was the perfect kid friendly baking activity! He made ” snake” pretzels, and used Everything But the Bagel seasoning. I made some regular pretzel shapes too, but didn’t roll the ropes as long and skinny as I should have. The dough plumped up a lot in the oven. Everything was delicious anyway. Highly recommend trying Everything but the Bagel seasoning.
My son now asks to make snake pretzels every weekend. To reheat we put one pretzel in the toaster – it comes out great!
Hello made first time absolutely perfect
Second time it’s crunchy and not from over baking
Why? Please help?
Hi Shahnal, the pretzels may have been over-baked if they taste particularly crunchy.
Can you substitute whole wheat for flour for the white/all purpose flour? Trying to make them a bit healthier.
Where can I find the nutritional value information for this recipe?
Hi VYum, we don’t usually include nutrition information as it can vary between different brands of the same ingredients. Plus, many recipes have ingredient substitutions or optional ingredients listed. However, there are many handy online calculators where you can plug in and customize your exact ingredients/brands. Readers have found this one especially helpful: https://www.verywellfit.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer-4157076
I made this recipe yesterday and my pretzels came out FANTASTIC!
Hello, can I freeze half the dough for later?
Hi Wendy, absolutely. 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.
I prepared the yeast differently, and was worried the recipe wouldn’t turn out. However, they came out beautifully! I halved the recipe and got five good-sized pretzels.
My wife and I made this recipe together. Loved it. One question, why don’t you use the dough hook to knead the bread. I thought that is what the dough hook was for? Thanks
You can absolutely knead the dough with the dough hook attachment. (Just keep it in the mixer.) I prefer to knead by hand for this dough, but the end result is still the same.
Our family loves this recipe! I made one small modification and substituted coconut oil for the butter. They were absolutely delightful! I always tell all my mama friends to try this recipe.
I just made these pretzels. They were delicious. My husband loved them. Will definitely be adding this to my favorites book.
I am planning a couple road trips soon. This sounds like a great snack!
Made for Super Bowl… super yummy. Soft inside and crispy outside. Definitely recommend the cheese sauce!
First time baking anything…and this recipe made me look like a pro!
BEST pretzel recipe I’ve found in my 14 years of searching! I used the pretzel recipe exactly as printed, and have made these using both the baking soda bath and the lye bath methods.. both restults are delicious! Thank you for this recipe.