How to Make Homemade Soft Pretzels

4.72 from 7 votes
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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!

Perfectly golden soft pretzels on a plate with cheese sauce

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Growing up, our dad always took us to college basketball games. We loved going and spending time with our dad and watching games, but the best part was him buying us a soft pretzel at halftime. 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. These days, we make our soft pretzels right in our own kitchens and they taste even better than the arena ones! 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.

Soft Pretzel Toppings

  • There are so many ways you can top soft pretzels. Coarse salt is always a classic.
  • Switch things up by adding shredded cheese or parmesan cheese.
  • We have also added Italian seasoning to the top and dip them in marinara. 
  • You can get creative and make them sweet with a little cinnamon and sugar over the top. 
Uncooked soft pretzels on a baking sheet

Favorite Dipping Sauces

Tips for Fresh Soft Pretzels

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • You can freeze soft pretzels after baking and after you have allowed them to cool for a while.
  • 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.
Small pretzel bites on a plate next to cheese dip

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.

How to Make Homemade Soft Pretzels

Perfectly golden soft pretzels on a plate with cheese sauce

Homemade Soft Pretzels

4.72 from 7 votes
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!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Rising time 1 hr
Total Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer, Bread, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 8 large pretzels

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, mix together yeast and 2 Tbsp. 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.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 774kcalCarbohydrates: 150gProtein: 21gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 1622mgPotassium: 233mgFiber: 6gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 30IUCalcium: 33mgIron: 9mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    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

  2. I followed your recipe exactly and they became hard. I wanted them to be softer and pull away. Have any suggestions?

    1. 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!

  3. 5 stars
    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.

  4. 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.

    1. 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!

  5. 3 stars
    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.

    1. 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!

    2. 5 stars
      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😪

  6. 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!!

  7. 5 stars
    I just made this recipe as is and omg I feel so professional…. my family loved it .. definitely a keeper .. 2 thumbs up 👍🏼👍🏼

    1. So much easier than it seems, right? Now you can go all crazy and make all sorts of fun vacations and/or dips!

  8. 5 stars
    Everyone in my house loved these. I made a double batch and half were regular salted and the rest were cinnamon sugar

    1. So glad you liked them! Love the idea of doing half and half.. pleases everyone- those who like salty and those who like sweet!

    1. 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 😀

  9. I’m wondering the same thing? I have them half made but no idea how much baking soda to put in the water?

      1. 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.