Homemade soft pretzels are a super easy snack or appetizer. You will love the buttery soft texture! Dip in cheese sauce, mustard, or honey mustard.
Growing up, our dad always took us to college basketball games. It seemed like we were going to basketball games almost every weekend. Our sister played for the university’s women’s team so we would always go watch and support her. We would also go to most of the men’s basketball games so between the two, we watched a lot of basketball!
So what does this have to do with soft pretzels?
When we would go to these games our dad would always let us go get soft pretzels at half-time. We loved going and spending time with our dad and watching games, but the half-time soft pretzels were the icing on the cake. I remember running up the stairs with a dollar in hand the moment the half-time buzzer rang. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a warm, salty, soft pretzel and the hot jalapeño cheese sauce to dip it in. Those were the days.
Homemade soft pretzels
Now we make our soft pretzels right in our own kitchens and they taste even better than the arena ones! We no longer have to go to basketball games to get our soft pretzel fix– even though we still do sometimes. My kids love soft pretzels in their lunch boxes or for snacks. They also make for a great appetizer on game days when you can’t make it out to the arena.
What to top soft pretzels with
There are so many ways you can top soft pretzels. Coarse salt is always a classic but if you want to switch things up you can always add a little shredded cheese or parmesan cheese instead. We have also added Italian seasoning to the top and dipped them in marinara. This is how my kids like them in their school lunches. You can get creative and make them sweet with a little cinnamon and sugar over the top. There are so many possibilities here!
What to dip soft pretzels in
More important than what goes on top (in my humble opinion) is what you dip the soft pretzel in. My very favorite is cheese sauce, especially spicy cheese sauce. YUM. Our dad prefers dipping homemade soft pretzels in mustard, another great choice. As mentioned above, marinara sauce is great for dipping when doing an Italian variety or Mozzarella stuffed pretzels. Others like dipping their pretzels in ranch dressing or even honey mustard sauce. I love the honey mustard sauce found HERE.
How to keep soft pretzels fresh
Soft pretzels are meant to be eaten FRESH but sometimes that just can’t happen. If you must store them for a day or two, it is best to put them in a zipper-sealed plastic bag with the air pressed out as much as possible. 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 at 350-degrees for 5-8 minutes.
Can soft pretzels be frozen?
Yes, they can be frozen for later use, again, fresh is best but they still taste pretty good when re-heated. You can freeze them after baking and after you have allowed them to cool for a while. When re-heating, place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 5-8 minutes at 450-degrees.
How to keep pretzels warm for a party
If you are making pretzels fresh and just want to keep them warm without drying out there is a simple solution. Lightly wrap the pretzels in foil and place in a slow cooker, covered on “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.
How to make soft pretzel bites
Honestly, 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. 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.
Disneyland Jalapeño Cheese Stuffed Pretzels
Are you a fan of the soft pretzels at Disneyland? What about the jalapeño cheese stuffed pretzels? Well you are in luck, my friend, we have a copycat Disneyland Jalapeño Cheese Stuffed Pretzel recipe and it is to. die. for. Click HERE for the recipe!
How to Make Homemade Soft Pretzels
- In a small bowl, mix together yeast and 2 Tbsp. sugar in 1 1/2 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.