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Homemade Soft Pretzels are a super easy snack or appetizer. Buttery soft inside, golden and salty on the outside, you’ll love dipping these in your favorite sauces!
Featured with this recipe
- Homemade Soft Pretzels Ingredients
- Steps to Make Homemade Soft Pretzels
- Soft Pretzel Toppings and Variations
- Favorite Dipping Sauces
- Tips for Fresh Soft Pretzels
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Storing and Reheating Homemade Pretzels
- More Bread Recipes
- How to Make Homemade Soft Pretzels
- Homemade Soft Pretzels Recipe
Homemade soft pretzels are a favorite in our home! They have a firm outer layer sprinkled with salt and soft, chewy bread on the inside. Combined make the best pretzels! We always love going to games or amusement parks just to find a pretzel. Now we can make them right in our own homes!
From the list of ingredients to the instructions for pretzels, some may think this recipe is too difficult for them to make. I am here to tell you and show you just how easy this pretzel recipe is to set up and make. You will be making these weekly and your taste buds will be thanking you!
Homemade Soft Pretzels Ingredients
This buttery soft dough with a hint of salt in every bite is just what you are needing to make today! Soft pretzels are the perfect snack or appetizer to have on hand with the pantry staple ingredients. Get ready to make these more often than not!
- Active dry yeast – This will help the pretzel dough raise
- Sugar – Sweetness to the yeast!
- Warm water – Yeast needs and feeds off of warm water. It is a MUST to have your water at least 110 degrees Fahrenheit for the yeast to work and set up.
- Oil – The vegetable oil is used for coating the dough to help from sticking to the bowl as well as adding flavor. If you do not have oil you can use melted butter.
- Flour – The base of the pretzel dough. It will help thicken and create the dough base.
- Baking soda – Holds up the dough and helps it raise.
- Salt – Sprinkle coarse sea salt on top of the pretzel for a savory treat!
- Egg – Whisk the egg to make an egg wash. This will hold the salt on top of the pretzel.
Steps to Make Homemade Soft Pretzels
Don’t be intimidated by the instructions below. These steps are simple and easy to do. With the dough rising, you can even prepare other steps during that time. From start to finish it takes about 1 hour. It is worth it and will become a favorite snack for your family!
- Yeast mixture – In a small bowl, mix together yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until foamy and creamy. Add oil to the yeast mixture and set aside.
- Mix – In a stand mixer bowl or large bowl combine flour and salt.
- Combine – Pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture and knead on low speed for 10 minutes.
- Raise dough – Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place.
- Divide and roll – When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist it into a pretzel shape.
- Wet dough – In a large saucepan, dissolve baking soda in water and bring to a boil, stirring until the soda is dissolved. Remove from heat. Dip each pretzel into the baking soda-water solution. Using a slotted spatula, remove from the water and place pretzels on a baking sheet.
- Egg wash – In a small bowl, beat the egg with water until foamy. Brush egg mixture over the top of each pretzel and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake – Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place foil over a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown.
Soft Pretzel Toppings and Variations
Top your easy soft pretzels with some favorite toppings to create out-of-this-world flavors. These combinations are perfect and even hard to choose from when making this pretzel recipe.
- Classic – There are so many ways you can top soft pretzels. Coarse salt is always a classic.
- Pizza flavor – Switch things up by adding shredded cheese or parmesan cheese.
- Savory – We have also added Italian seasoning to the top and dipped them in marinara.
- Sweet – You can get creative and make them sweet with a little cinnamon and sugar over the top.
- Stuffed – Try these Jalapeno Cheese Stuffed Pretzels (just like the pretzels at Disneyland)! You can also stuff them with cream cheese like the ones at the Refreshment Corner at Disneyland.
Favorite Dipping Sauces
If you are a dipper like us, you will love these choices of dipping sauces. Most of the sauces are homemade and add all the flavor with your pretzels. Try these dipping sauces each time you make easy soft pretzels!
- Cheese – My favorite dipping sauce for soft pretzels is cheese sauce, especially nacho cheese sauce! Try it with this chili cheese dip too!
- Mustard – Mustard or our delicious honey mustard sauce is a sweet and savory pretzel.
- Red sauce – Marinara sauce or spaghetti sauce is always a classic breadstick combination.
- Ranch Dressing – Ranch dressing is always a family favorite for us. You can’t go wrong with ranch!
- White Sauce – Alfredo sauce is also a great, creamy dipping sauce for pretzels. SO good!
- Spicy – Try our Disneyland Jalapeno Cheese Stuffed Pretzels with any of these dipping sauces, too!
- Sweet – Add some cinnamon and sugar to your pretzel (instead of salt) and dip them in cream cheese frosting or chocolate buttercream frosting.
Tips for Fresh Soft Pretzels
Make the best soft pretzels using these helpful tips! Sometimes time is strained and skipping the baking soda bath can happen, mixing your dough with a mixer is helpful, as well as feeding a crowd and needing to keep the pretzels warm are all tips that need to be remembered!
- Pretzel bath – If you don’t have time to do the baking soda bath, you can skip the bath and use an egg wash instead. When you are about done baking the pretzel, broil for the last two to three minutes to help get that golden brown feel and look.
- Mixer – When using a mixer make sure to use your dough hook attachment to help knead the dough while mixing it together. The dough hook is in an “S” shape to help push down and move the dough in a circular motion. The whisk or paddle attachment will not do the same.
- Keep warm – You can stack a good amount of pretzels in the slow cooker and the foil will help distribute the heat. Check them every once in a while and if they seem to be drying out, sprinkle a little water into the bottom of the slow cooker.
“I made the pretzels last night and they were a BIG HIT! So fluffy, so yummy!! Thank you for the great recipe!”-Johanna
Frequently Asked Questions
Fresh pretzel bites are just as easy (if not easier) than homemade soft pretzels. If you are terrible at twisting pretzels like I am, pretzel bites are a great way to do it. All you have to do is cut up the “ropes” into 1-2″ pieces and continue with the recipe as usual. A big, flat-slotted spoon like the ones you can use to pull food out of a deep fryer works great for dipping and removing the bites from the soda water.
Pretzels and bread do have a lot in common but there is one difference that keeps them apart. A soft pretzel usually is boiled before being baked. This step is crucial to helping make the pretzel dough soft, and flavorful, and gives that golden brown color.
Pretzels can be baked or fried. We prefer baked when we make homemade pretzels. Pretzels are shaped in different ways and bake easily in the oven.
Boiling the soft pretzel dough helps the dough puff up and gives the inside chewy and the outside a crispy crust.
Storing and Reheating Homemade Pretzels
Make soft pretzels ahead of time or reheat them after being stored! You can’t go wrong with making, storing, and even freezing pretzels. Having them on hand is made simple with these ideas!
- Storing – Soft pretzels are meant to be eaten FRESH but you can store them in a zipper-sealed plastic bag with the air pressed out as much as possible for a day or two.
- Reheating – When re-heating, brush with a little water, and microwave for 10-15 seconds. You can also brush them with a little butter and bake them at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes.
- Freezing – You can freeze soft pretzels after baking and after you have allowed them to cool for a while.
More Bread Recipes
If you are a bread fan like us, you will lose these bread recipes that are quick and simple to make. It is easy to create some of the best bread recipes and here are some to start trying!
How to Make Homemade Soft Pretzels
Homemade Soft Pretzels
- 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 3 Tablespoons oil
- 3 ¾ cups flour
- 5 cups water
- 1/3 cup baking soda
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 egg
- 1 Tablespoon water
- coarse sea salt to taste
- In a small bowl, mix together yeast and 2 Tablespoons sugar in 1 ½ cup warm water. Let stand until foamy and creamy (about 5-10 minutes). Add oil to yeast mixture and set aside.
- In a stand mixer bowl, or large bowl combine flour and salt.
- Pour yeast mixture into flour mixture and knead on low speed for 10 minutes. (If mixing by hand, knead dough for same amount of time.)
- Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- When dough has risen, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 8 equal pieces.
- Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape (or you can cut the rope into “bite size pieces to make pretzel bites).
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place foil over a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.
- In a large saucepan, dissolve baking soda in 5 cups water and bring to a boil, stirring until soda is dissolved. Remove from heat.
- Dip each pretzel into the baking soda-water solution for 10-20 seconds. Using a slotted spatula, remove from water and place pretzels on baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, beat egg with 1 Tbsp. water until foamy. Brush egg mixture over the top of each pretzel and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.
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Wanted and needed
So good. I like to put them into the oven for about 9 mins and then cook them in the air fryer for 3. Wonderful
I followed your recipe exactly and they became hard. I wanted them to be softer and pull away. Have any suggestions?
I’m not sure why they would come out hard. I can’t say we have ever had them harden before. I am guessing they may have been baked too long? What elevation are you at? Also, you can try adding a shallow dish of water to your oven to keep the air in your oven a little more humid. Hope this helps!
I’m new to baking and I love soft pretzels, I followed this recipe and it made outstanding pretzels. My children devoured them, so needless to say I’ll be making them again. Thanks for the awesome recipe.
I’m so glad they turned out perfectly! I love this recipe too.
Made these twice now and they are awesome; my 13-year-old helped and had fun. We used a slotted plastic spoon when dipping pretzels in water bath and it was easy to drain water off and not make a mess. We ate ours with Tostitos quesa blanco dip. Also, we used margarita salt to sprinkle on them instead of sea salt; perfect flavor and texture.
Oh yum! I love the tostitos queso blanco– never thought to dip pretzels in it though. Great idea! Thank you so much for the nice comment! So glad you (and your 13-year-old) liked this recipe!
I am an amateur baker and was wondering if you could tell me where I went wrong. I made the dough following the recipe exactly and formed them into beautiful pretzels. When I put them in the baking soda water they immediately dissolved into a mess. I resorted to brushing the baking soda water onto the pretzels while they were on the cookie sheet but the results were far from desirable. I am guessing that somehow you have to harden the outer surface of the dough so that it does not absorb any of the baking soda water and break down the dough. Please give me your expert advice.
Hmmm I honestly have no idea and have never heard of this happening. It seems you may need to add more flour to the dough to make it hold together better. That is my best guess! You may also need to reduce the amount of baking soda– maybe for some reason the flour you are using reacting weird to baking soda. Maybe try reducing it by half? Hope this helps!
Inam having the same problem also and i.am a great baker. Every time i put them in the baking soda water it turns a complete mess. I have tried it so many times i am frustrated. I tried brushing baking sodaxwater at the top but its not the same😪
I made a few changes to the recipe and they were amazing. I added a 1/3 cup
Of my sourdough starter discard, used only 1 tablespoon of yeast, butter instead of oil and bread flour in place of the all purpose flour. Next time I’ll make 10-12 pretzels instead of 8 too. Really great and easy recipe. Thank you!!
So glad you liked it. Sourdough would be amazing!!! Thanks for sharing!
I just made this recipe as is and omg I feel so professional…. my family loved it .. definitely a keeper .. 2 thumbs up 👍🏼👍🏼
So much easier than it seems, right? Now you can go all crazy and make all sorts of fun vacations and/or dips!
Everyone in my house loved these. I made a double batch and half were regular salted and the rest were cinnamon sugar
So glad you liked them! Love the idea of doing half and half.. pleases everyone- those who like salty and those who like sweet!
I made the pretzels last night and they were a BIG HIT! So fluffy, so yummy!! Thank you for the great recipe!
You are so welcome! I am so happy to hear they were such a big hit. Thanks so much for taking the time to come back and comment 😀
I’m wondering the same thing? I have them half made but no idea how much baking soda to put in the water?
We usually use about 1/4- 1/3 c. of baking soda. Hope this helps!
You should add the baking soda to the ingredients list. It would be very frustrating to be in the middle of the recipe only to find out you need baking soda and don’t have any.
You are absolutely right, I will add it now.
What temp should the oven be?
About how much baking soda do you dissolve in the water?
how much baking soda?
Baking Soda – I use about 3 Tbsp.