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Homemade Soft Pretzels

close up shot of homemade soft pretzels topped with kosher salt on a plate
Homemade soft pretzels are fun to make and just as fun to eat! Enjoy these buttery soft pretzels alone or with one of your favorite dips.
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Table of Contents
  1. HOMEMADE SOFT PRETZELS INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS HOMEMADE SOFT PRETZELS RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. FAQ
  6. MORE RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE
  7. JUMP TO RECIPE

The vendors selling tasty pretzels at a baseball game or amusement park were always a welcome site when we were kids and now you can make this treat at home! These homemade soft pretzels have a chewy, buttery and salty exterior that gives way to a soft and warm inside that melts in your mouth when you take a bite. You can eat them on their own or dunk them in cheese sauce or another favorite dipping sauce for a fun snack. 

Our Carolina mustard barbecue sauce or our beer cheese dip would both be tasty options to dip your warm pretzels in. If you love these pretzels, check out our soft pretzel bites with cheese sauce.


MORE SNACK RECIPES:
Pepperoni Rolls | Taco Sticks


HOMEMADE SOFT PRETZELS INGREDIENTS

You will need:

  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¾ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 ¼ cups bread flour, divided
  • 1 (¼ ounce) packet of instant yeast (also known as Rapid-Rise)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Hot water bath for the Pretzels:

  • 4 cups very hot water (not boiling~around 150-160°F)
  • ⅓ cup baking soda

For the Topping:

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons pretzel salt

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

YEAST: If you cannot find instant yeast (I like to use the RED STAR Platinum brand), you can use Active Dry yeast. You will bloom it by sprinkling it into the warm water with the honey only (NOT adding the salt yet) for 3-4 minutes. Once it becomes frothy, then you will add the flour, salt and melted butter and proceed with the rest of the recipe. 

PRO TIP: You never want to add salt directly to your yeast because salt will kill your yeast and prevent your dough from rising.

SWEET PRETZELS: For a sweet variation for your pretzels, combine 1 teaspoon cinnamon with 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and stir well. Sprinkle your hot buttered pretzels with the cinnamon-sugar mixture instead of the salt.

CHEESE PRETZELS: After dunking in the baking soda mixture, sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on top right before baking. You will not want to brush melted butter on top of any cheese pretzels, as you do not want the added grease. 

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HOW TO MAKE THIS HOMEMADE SOFT PRETZELS RECIPE

STEP ONE: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, combine the warm water, honey, and salt. With a spoon, stir the water around to dissolve the honey and salt.

PRO TIP: If you do not have a stand mixer, you can mix the dough with a wooden spoon and knead the dough by hand.

STEP TWO: Add the 4 cups of bread flour and instant yeast to the water mixture. Turn the mixer on very low speed (setting 1, or stir on a standard mixer) and slowly drizzle the melted and cooled butter into the flour mixture. Allow the butter to fully incorporate and mix for 2 minutes, then increase the speed of the mixer to medium-low (or setting 3) and continue to mix for an additional 5 minutes. Your dough should form a ball and be smooth but still slightly sticky.

STEP THREE: Remove the bowl of your stand mixer and the dough hook, and cover it loosely with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest and rise on the counter at room temperature for 1 hour, or until your dough has doubled in size.

STEP FOUR: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prepare a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat, and set it aside.

STEP FIVE: On a clean counter or large cutting board, sprinkle your remaining ¼ cup of flour onto the work surface and turn out your dough. Gently press out your dough into an 8 X 20-inch rectangle. 

STEP SIX: With a very sharp knife (or a pizza cutter), cut (8) 1×20-inch long strips of dough. Gently shape each piece of dough into a 20-inch long rope, being very careful not to overwork the dough.

STEP SEVEN: To make the pretzel shape, take the ends of 1 dough rope and cross them, making a large circle with about 2 inches of the ends overhanging. Take those two overhanging ends of the rope and cross them again. Holding both ends (already twisted), bring them forward to meet the bottom of the circle. Repeat this with the remaining seven dough ropes and place them on your prepared sheet tray to rest and rise while preparing your water bath.

PRO TIP: If you are struggling with forming the shape of a pretzel in a traditional shape, feel free to shape the pieces of dough however you wish. You can just fold the thin ropes in half and twist them. You can make a heart shape with them or even bite-size pieces. There are several tutorial videos online that show you how to properly shape a pretzel if you are having trouble.

STEP EIGHT: In a medium-sized baking dish, with 2-inch high sides, place your baking soda and very hot water. Stir it around with a spoon until all of the baking soda dissolves.

STEP NINE: Gently place 1 to 2 pretzels (depending on the size of your dish) into the water bath for 30 seconds, then flip them over for another 30 seconds. Very carefully remove your pretzels using an extra-large slotted spoon or a spider, allowing the excess water to drip off and place them back onto your prepared baking sheet. Repeat this until all of your pretzels are done.

STEP TEN: Bake your pretzels for 15 minutes or until the top of each pretzel is golden brown.

STEP ELEVEN: While the pretzels are baking, melt your ¼ cup butter for your topping in a microwave-safe cup for 30 seconds.

STEP TWELVE: When you remove your pretzels from the oven, immediately brush the top of each pretzel with the melted butter and sprinkle them with the salt.

HOW TO SERVE

Serve your buttery pretzels alongside a tasty dipping sauce. Honey or spicy mustard is a great choice as is a cheese dip. This is the perfect afternoon snack alongside our iced tea, raspberry iced tea, sweet peach iced tea, or our southern strawberry sweet tea on the side.

STORAGE

ON THE COUNTER: This soft pretzel recipe should be enjoyed right away but can be stored, in an airtight container, on the counter for up to 3 days. You can reheat them in the microwave for 30 seconds. 

IN THE FREEZER: 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. 

MAKE-AHEAD: The prepared pretzel dough can be refrigerated for up to one day or frozen in an airtight container for 2 to 3 months. Thaw the 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.

Close your eyes, take a bite and you will be transported to the amusement park with these delicious homemade pretzels. Salty and chewy on the outside and soft on the inside, they will be a huge hit with everyone who tries them.

FAQ

Are there flavor variations of these pretzels that I can make?

Yes, there are so many flavors that work well with pretzels. Cinnamon sugar is a popular flavor. To make these, simply sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top after brushing the pretzels with melted butter. Another favorite is cheese pretzels. After dunking in the baking soda mixture, sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on top right before baking. You will not want to brush melted butter on top of any cheese pretzels, as you do not want the added grease. 

Can I substitute coarse salt for pretzel salt?

Coarse sea salt is a good alternative to pretzel salt as is kosher salt or bagel salt.

Can I use all-purpose flour for this pretzel recipe?

We would recommend using bread flour for this recipe. You can use all-purpose flour in place of bread flour, but the lower protein content in all-purpose flour means it may yield a slightly wetter dough and make the pretzel dough harder to work with.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

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close up shot of homemade soft pretzels topped with kosher salt on a plate

Homemade Soft Pretzels

5 from 3 votes
Homemade soft pretzels are fun to make and just as fun to eat! Enjoy these buttery soft pretzels alone or with one of your favorite dips.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8 pretzels

Ingredients
  

  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ¾ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 ¼ cups bread flour divided
  • ¼ ounce instant yeast (also known as Rapid-Rise)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted and cooled

Hot water bath for the pretzels

  • 4 cups very hot water not boiling but around 150 to 160*F
  • cup baking soda

Topping

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons pretzel salt

Instructions
 

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the warm water, honey, and salt. With a spoon, stir the water around to dissolve the honey and salt.
  • Add the 4 cups of bread flour and instant yeast. Turn the mixer on very low speed (setting 1, or stir, on a standard mixer) and slowly drizzle the melted and cooled butter into the flour mixture. Allow the butter to fully incorporate and mix for 2 minutes. Then increase the speed of the mixer to medium-low (or setting 3) and continue to mix for an additional 5 minutes. Your dough should form a ball and be smooth but still slightly sticky.
  • Remove the bowl of your stand mixer and the dough hook and cover it loosely with plastic wrap allowing the dough to rest and rise on the counter for 1 hour, or until your dough has doubled in size.
  • Preheat oven to 400*F. Prepare a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat, and set it aside.
  • On a clean counter or large cutting board, sprinkle your remaining ¼ cup of flour and turn out your dough. Gently press out your dough into an 8 X 20-inch rectangle.
  • With a very sharp knife (or a pizza cutter works great also), cut (8) 1 x 20 inch long strips of dough. Gently shape your strips of dough into 20 inch long ropes, being very careful not to overwork the dough.
  • To shape your pretzels, take the ends of 1 dough rope and cross them, making a large circle with about 2 inches of the ends overhanging. Take those two overhanging ends and cross them again. Holding both ends (already twisted), bring them forward to meet the bottom of the circle. Repeat this with the remaining seven dough ropes and place them on your prepared sheet tray to rest and rise while preparing your water bath.
  • In a medium-sized baking dish, with 2 inch high sides, place your baking soda and very hot water. Stir it around with a spoon until all of the baking soda dissolves.
  • Gently place 1 to 2 pretzels (depending on the size of your dish) into the water bath for 30 seconds, then flip them over for another 30 seconds. Very carefully remove the pretzels using an extra-large slotted spoon or a spider, allowing the excess water to drip off and place them back onto your prepared baking sheet. Repeat this until all of your pretzels are done.
  • Bake your pretzels for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  • While the pretzels are baking, melt your ¼ cup butter for your topping in a microwave-safe cup for 30 seconds.
  • When you remove your pretzels from the oven, immediately brush them with the melted butter and sprinkle them with the salt.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 3341mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 222IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg
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Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

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  1. Tara M says

    5 stars
    These were great! First time trying a homemade recipe, and wasn’t sure what to expect. I followed the recipe to a T and they turned out great!

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