Easy Soft Pretzel Recipe

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1 hour 30 minutes

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This easy soft pretzel recipe will become your new favorite! With a soft and pillowy inside and a traditional golden brown pretzel crust on the outside, these buttery pretzels are the ultimate comfort food!

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Soft pretzel on yellow striped towel

If you’ve ever been to New York City or Philly, chances are you’ve tried a jumbo soft pretzel from a street vendor. They’re served warm and steamy, sprinkled with coarse pretzel salt and then topped with a generous smear of yellow mustard…so heavenly!

Pretzels in New York City

The first time I tried one was during a trip to New York with my family. Right outside our hotel, I spotted a brightly colored vendor cart on the street. It was filled with freshly baked pretzels hanging in the window in all their baked golden glory. That mouth-watering pretzel aroma pulled us right in and once we tasted that first chewy bite, we were hooked!

Easy Soft Pretzel Recipe

Afterwards, I was determined to find a way to make those same soft and chewy pretzels. As it turns out, it’s so much easier than I expected! This super easy homemade pretzel recipe comes complete with step-by-step instructions, including how to get the signature knotted pretzel shape!

We love them so much we used this pretzel recipe as inspiration for these Homemade Pretzel Dogs and tasty little Pretzel Bites. They’re perfect for game day snacks and party appetizers and you’re going to be so glad you gave these soft, mouth-watering pretzels a try!

Ingredients Needed for Homemade Pretzels

Ingredients for soft pretzel recipe

For the Soft Pretzel Dough

  • 2 ¼ tsp or One Packet of Yeast (active dry yeast or instant yeast)
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 4 Tbsp Butter (melted)
  • 1 Cup Warm Water
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 4-5 Cups All Purpose Flour

For Cooking

  • 10 Cups Water
  • ½ Cup Baking Soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp cold water
  • 1-2 Tbsp Coarse Salt- or pretzel salt

How to Make Soft Pretzels

Preparing the Pretzel Dough

Step 1: Add a cup of warm water and sugar to the large bowl of a stand mixer. Stir to dissolve sugar, then sprinkle yeast across the top of the water mixture.

Warm water, sugar and yeast in mixing bowl

Step 2: Let sit for about 5 minutes, until the yeast begins to foam.

Yeast foaming in bowl

Step 3: Attach the dough hook attachment to your stand mixer. Combine melted butter and salt in a mixing bowl.

Yeast mixture with butter and salt

Step 4: Add half of the flour and mix on low speed until well blended (about 2-3 minutes). Gradually add more flour until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl and becomes less sticky.

NOTE: The exact amount of flour you’ll need will vary depending on the environment, how much moisture is in your flour, etc. I used about 4 ½ cups of flour.

Yeast mixture with flour added

Step 5: Set to medium speed and knead for about 5 minutes. Another option is to place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead it by hand until smooth.

Dough for easy soft pretzel recipe

Step 6: Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover loosely. Let the dough rise for about an hour in a warm place or until it has doubled in size.

Pretzel dough in bowl

Once the dough rises, it’s time to make the pretzels!

Dough for soft pretzels rising in bowl

Forming the Pretzels

Step 1: First, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Step 2: Sprinkle flour over your counter or cutting board. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on your workspace.

Pretzel dough on countertop

Step 3: Separate the prepared pretzel dough into 8 equal pieces.

Dough for soft pretzels divided into four pieces

Step 4: Roll one piece of dough into a long rope shape about 22 inches long. Next, bend it into a “U” shape.

Dough rolled into a rope-like shape

Step 5: Start with an end of the dough in each hand and crisscross them. Then flip the ends down toward the bottom of the dough to form the pretzel shape.

Forming a pretzel shape with dough

Step 6: Now that you have a basic pretzel shape, take the ends and crisscross them again to form the swirl in the middle. Finally, press the ends of the rope gently into place to secure the ends and keep your pretzel together. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Dough shaped into a pretzel shape

To Cook the Pretzels

Step 1: Combine 10 cups of water and ½ cup baking soda in a large pot and bring to a rolling boil. Set your prepared baking sheet on the countertop next to the stove.

Baking soda and water in large pot

Step 2: Gently place an unbaked pretzel in the boiling water and cook for about 30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to lift the pretzel out of the water and place on baking sheet.

Repeat with the remaining pretzels, placing them on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart. (You may need to use two baking sheets).

Step 3: In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and 1 tsp water until well blended

Egg and water mixed with salt in a small ramekin

Step 4: Use a brush to top the pretzels with a thin coat of the egg wash. Sprinkle the top of each pretzel with coarse salt as desired.

Pretzel dough topped with egg wash and salt

Step 5: Place the baking sheet in the oven for about 15 minutes or until pretzels are a scrumptious dark golden brown.

Soft pretzels on baking sheet

These delicious pretzels are the ultimate comfort food and we can’t get enough! They smell so amazing fresh from the oven and taste even better!

Homemade soft pretzel up close

Serve these soft pretzels immediately or wait until they cool to room temperature and store them in an airtight container. Don’t place them in a closed container until they are cool though. The steam from the pretzels will build up, causing them to become soggy.

Do I Have to Boil the Pretzel Dough First?

Yes, giving the dough a quick baking soda bath is a key step in getting that signature pretzel taste and the soft and chewy texture.

What Kind of Dip Goes with this Soft Pretzel Recipe?

Soft pretzels make the perfect vessel for a homemade dipping sauce. You can serve them on a snack tray for the holidays or for your next get together. They’re so tasty served with yellow or honey mustard, cheese dip, or one these tasty homemade dips:

Soft pretzel with tray of pretzels

Can I Freeze Homemade Pretzels?

This easy soft pretzel recipe is best when served fresh, but they can be frozen to eat later. The best way to do this is to make the pretzels according to the instructions, but don’t salt them before baking.

Once they are finished baking, allow them to cool, then wrap them individually in a layer of plastic wrap and aluminum foil.

When ready to eat, just sprinkle the pretzel lightly with water and add salt. Wrap in a slightly damp paper towel and microwave for about 30-45 seconds.

Tips for the Best Buttery Soft Pretzels

  • Start with a clean work surface: When you’re working with a sticky dough, it will grab on to what it touches. Be sure to always work with a clean cutting board or other clean flat work area.
  • Use warm water for proofing: The ideal temperature for proofing yeast in water is 105°F. If the yeast mixture is added to cold water, it keeps the yeast from forming gluten. Using really hot water will kill yeast so it’s good to find that happy medium.
  • Work in batches: Don’t overcrowd the water while boiling the unbaked pretzels. You’ll want the water to surround each one. This recipe makes 8 soft pretzels, so you’ll want to boil them in batches of 2-3 at a time.
  • Pretzel salt: It you can’t find pretzel salt; you can use any coarse sea salt or kosher salt.
  • Reheating: For best results when reheating your soft pretzels, just place them in a hot oven for a few minutes. Also, you can use the microwave, but the pretzel’s crust will be soft.
Soft pretzels with dipping sauces

Variations

Sweet: We all know and love the cinnamon sugar pretzels from the mall. Now that you have the basic soft pretzel recipe process down, you can make the sweet version anytime you want. Just brush a baked pretzel with a little melted butter and sprinkle it with a cinnamon sugar mixture.

Savory cheese: Cheesy pretzels are SO good. You can add cheddar cheese, parmesan, pepper jack, or any of your favorite cheeses right into the dough. Just allow the dough to rise, then kneed in the cheese so it’s distributed evenly throughout the pretzels. Let sit for about 15 minutes before separating the dough, then add more cheese on top of each pretzel before baking.

Spicy: Just before shaping the dough, add in about a tablespoon of dry ranch dressing mix and a little sprinkle of cayenne pepper for a nice spicy kick of flavor. You can also add chopped jalapeno peppers!

Want More Tasty Appetizer Recipes?

Baked soft pretzel
5 from 1 vote

Easy Soft Pretzel Recipe


Course Snacks
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
This soft pretzel recipe is not only easy but these pretzels are so delicious that everyone will be begging for seconds!

Ingredients
 

For The Dough

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons 1 packet yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4-5 cups all-purpose cups flour

For Cooking

  • 10 cups water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon cold water
  • 1-2 tablespoons coarse salt

Instructions

Preparing the pretzel dough

  • Add a cup of warm water and sugar to the large bowl of a stand mixer. Stir to dissolve sugar, then sprinkle yeast across the top of the water mixture.
  • Let sit for about 5 minutes, until the yeast begins to foam.
  • Attach the dough hook attachment to your stand mixer. Combine melted butter and salt in a mixing bowl.
  • Add half of the flour and mix on low speed until well blended (about 2-3 minutes). Gradually add more flour until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl and becomes less sticky. (see notes)
  • Set to medium speed and knead for about 5 minutes. Another option is to place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead it by hand until smooth.
  • Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover loosely. Let the dough rise for about an hour in a warm place or until it has doubled in size.

Forming the pretzels

  • First, preheat the oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Sprinkle flour over your workspace, then remove the dough from the bowl.
  • Separate the prepared pretzel dough into 8 equal pieces.
  • Roll one piece of dough into a long rope shape about 22 inches long. Next, bend it into a “U” shape.
  • Start with an end of the dough in each hand and crisscross them. Then flip the ends down toward the bottom of the dough to form the pretzel shape.
  • Now that you have a basic pretzel shape, take the ends and crisscross them again to form the swirl in the middle. Finally, press the ends of the rope gently into place to secure the ends and keep your pretzel together. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Cooking the pretzels

  • Combine 10 cups of water and ½ cup baking soda in a large pot and bring to a rolling boil. Set your prepared baking sheet on the countertop next to the stove.
  • Gently place an unbaked pretzel in the boiling water and cook for about 30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to lift the pretzel out of the water and place on baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pretzels, placing them on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart. (You may need to use two baking sheets).
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and 1 tsp water until well blended.
  • Use a brush to top the pretzels with a thin coat of the egg wash. Sprinkle the top of each pretzel with coarse salt as desired.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven for about 15 minutes or until pretzels are a scrumptious dark golden brown.
  • Serve plain or with a mustard or cheese dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Notes

The exact amount of flour you’ll need will vary depending on the environment, how much moisture is in your flour, etc. I used about 4 ½ cups.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 1203kcal | Carbohydrates: 240g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 5964mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 2g
The nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used.

Did You Make This Recipe?

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