Homemade soft pretzels are soft and chewy on the inside, crispy and golden brown on the outside, and have been a long-time favorite snack staple. This soft pretzel recipe can easily be made in your own kitchen for a real treat.
I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite foods to get at fairs and similar events is a nice soft pretzel. There’s just nothing better than a pretzel that’s crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. Pair it with some melted butter or mustard, and you’ve got a little bit of Heaven on a paper plate as you walk around. I love that flavor and that feeling, which is why I love making my own soft pretzels at home. The best part is that these pretzels are so easy to make, I can whip up a batch whenever the craving strikes me. It’s the perfect recipe for movie nights, parties, potlucks, or just afternoon snacking.
Homemade Soft Pretzels
These delicious pretzels start with a simple dough of water, flour, sugar, butter, and yeast. After a little mixing and letting the dough rise, it only takes a few minutes of shaping, then they’re quickly and easily baked up to crispy AND soft deliciousness! Outside of the approximate hour it takes for the dough to rise, the entire process only takes about a half hour!
Why You’ll Love These Homemade Soft Pretzels
- They’re easy to make, and they use simple ingredients.
- They’re crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.
- And, they are a great snack to serve with nacho cheese, whipped cream cheese, and mustard just to name a few.
Homemade Soft Pretzels Ingredients
You’ll only need a few basic ingredients to make these pretzels. You probably have most, if not all, of them in your kitchen right now, and the ones you don’t have are all readily available at your local grocery store.
- Active dry yeast
- All purpose flour
- Table salt
- Baking soda
- Large eggs
- Coarse salt for topping
How to Make Homemade Soft Pretzels
Making these pretzels is easier than you might think. The dough comes together quickly, and the cooking process is incredibly simple.
Step 1: Activate the Yeast
Add yeast, sugar, and warm water to a large bowl or stand mixer with the hook attachment and mix for about 3 minutes.
Step 2: Make the Dough
Gradually add the flour a cup at a time, followed by the salt and butter. Continue mixing until the dough forms a smooth ball.
Step 3: Knead and Proof
Knead the dough 6 to 8 times. Then, lightly spray a large mixing bowl with nonstick spray and place the dough ball in it. Cover with a light kitchen towel and let rise until the dough doubles in size.
Step 4: Cut the Dough
Punch the dough down and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Then, cut the dough in half and cut each half into 10 equal pieces.
Step 5: Make the Pretzels
Roll each piece of dough into a 16-inch-long strip. Fold the strips into the classic pretzel shape and pinch the ends to seal.
Step 6: Prep for Cooking
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray or line it with parchment paper. Bring a large pot of water and baking soda to a rolling boil over medium heat.
Step 7: Cook the Pretzels
Place one or two pretzels in the boiling water for 30 seconds, flip, and continue to boil for another 20 seconds. Then, remove the pretzels with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat placing all pretzels in the baking soda bath. Finally, brush the top of each pretzel with egg and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown and enjoy!
- Place your dough in a warm part of the kitchen to ensure a good rise. Inside the oven works well.
- Be sure you give your yeast mixture a full 3 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
- Use fresh yeast for the recipe. Old yeast won’t make the dough rise.
- Add cinnamon sugar along with sea salt for sweet and salty pretzels.
- Fold the dough strips in half and twist them for braided pretzel sticks.
- Cut the dough strips into 1-inch pieces for soft pretzel bites.
How to Twist Homemade Pretzels into Classic-Shaped Pretzels
- Roll dough pieces into a rope.
- From a U-shape with the dough and twist the ends around on themselves once.
- Fold the twist down and onto the bottom U of the dough.
- Press lightly with your fingers to seal.
What to Serve with Homemade Soft Pretzels
Soft pretzels were made for dipping, and I have some great ideas here. Try:
- Melted butter
- Honey mustard
- Nacho cheese sauce
- Whipped cream cheese
Why do you put baking soda in boiling water for pretzels?
Baking soda changes the pH of the dough and causes a gel to form on its surface. When the dough is baked in the oven, the gelled surface of the dough hardens and the altered pH of the dough causes it to brown quickly. In layman’s terms, baking soda in boiling water is what makes the pretzels crispy on the outside and soft in the middle.
Do you need to boil pretzels in baking soda?
If you want that classic pretzel crust and texture, then you have to boil them. That’s the only way to get authentic pretzel texture.
Is pretzel dough different from regular dough?
Believe it or not, pretzel dough is just a simple yeast bread dough like any other. The difference is in the way that it’s cooked. That’s what gives pretzels their classic texture and color.
Why do you boil soft pretzels before baking?
Soft pretzels are boiled in a mixture of water and baking soda to give them their classic color, crispiness on the outside, and chewiness on the inside.
Can you freeze leftover homemade soft pretzels?
Absolutely. They’ll keep for up to a month in the freezer.
How to Store and Reheat Homemade Soft Pretzels
You can store these pretzels in an airtight container for up to 2 days at room temperature. For longer storage, you can freeze them for up to a month in an airtight, freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bag. Never refrigerate them!
To reheat the pretzels, bake them at 350 degrees for 5 minutes if at room temperature or for 10 to 12 minutes from frozen.
Try This Delicious Homemade Pretzels Recipe Today
These delicious homemade soft pretzels deliver all the flavor we love in this classic fair treat, but you can make them so easily at home! It’s a simple recipe that anyone can make, and everyone always loves it. Give these pretzels a try, and I know you’ll find yourself making them again and again.
More Delicious Recipes Using Pretzels You’ll Enjoy
Chex Mix Bars with Pretzels and M&M’s – A quick and easy no bake snack that is great for kids, parties, or to serve as a sweet snack.
Soft Pretzel Bites – A great variation of these soft pretzels, just made into individual bite-sized pieces. These are great for parties, potlucks, and get togethers.
Lemon Pretzel Dessert – A sweet and salty dessert made with a pretzel crust, lemon pie filling, and a cream cheese mixture.
And, these Pretzel Twists from Great Grub, Delicious Treats. These are the best pretzel recipe to make for parties, as a snack, or as an appetizer for a variety of different occasions.
Homemade Soft Pretzels
- Preheat the oven to 450° after the dough has risen, and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, with the hook attachment, add yeast, sugar and warm water and mix until combined, about 3 minutes.
- Gradually add flour, one cup at a time, followed by table salt and butter.
- Continue mixing until the dough forms a smooth ball.
- Knead dough 6-8 times.
- Lightly spray a large mixing bowl with non-stick cooking spray and place the dough ball into the bowl.
- Cover with a light kitchen towel and let rise until the dough doubles in size, approximately 60 minutes.
- Remove towel and punch dough down and transfer to a lightly floured surface,
- Cut the dough ball in half and then cut each half into 6 equal pieces.
- Roll each piece of dough into a 14 inch long strip.
- Fold dough in the shape as a pretzel and pinch the ends to seal.
- In a large pot over medium high heat, bring water and baking soda to a boil.
- Place one or two pretzels into the water for 30 seconds and flip over for another 20 seconds.
- Remove pretzels with a slotted spoon and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Repeat with remaining dough.
- Brush each pretzel with egg and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
- Place in 450° preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
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