Homemade Soft Pretzels

Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Rise Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
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Pillowy-soft and oh-so-chewy, this homemade soft pretzel recipe is a crave-worthy snack you won’t be able to resist! Easy to make with basic pantry staples, these buttery homemade pretzels are definitely worth the effort.

Why You Will Love This Homemade Soft Pretzel Recipe

Who could resist a big, soft pretzel, warm from the oven? Not me! Be prepared – these homemade pretzels will disappear fast! Here’s why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Perfect Texture: These pretzels are pillowy-soft on the inside and delightfully chewy on the outside – just like they should be!
  • Family-Friendly Fun: This recipe is easy enough for the kids to help with, making pretzel-making a fun family activity.
  • Pantry Staples Only: No need for a special shopping trip! This recipe uses ingredients you likely have on hand, like flour, yeast, butter, and sugar.
  • Versatile: You can use this homemade pretzel recipe to make pretzel bites or pretzel dogs. Not to mention all the fun flavor and dipping possibilities!

Love working with yeast? Try out my homemade Hawaiian rolls, soft garlic knots or easy dinner rolls recipe next!

Soft pretzel recipe ingredients arranged in bowls, from top to bottom: water, pretzel salt, yeast, sugar, egg, salt, oil, flour, baking soda and butter.

What You’ll Need

This soft pretzel recipe is as simple as can be. While it does take a little time, the end result is so worth it. Scroll down to the recipe card for exact amounts.

  • Water: You’ll need warm water (around 110°F) to proof the yeast.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar adds a slight sweetness to balance the salt.
  • Salt: You will need both kosher salt and coarse pretzel salt.
  • Active Dry Yeast: Make sure it isn’t expired. Expired yeast will make the pretzel dough not rise.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Bread flour can also be used, but you may have to add a little extra liquid.
  • Butter: I used melted, unsalted butter, but you could also use salted butter.
  • Vegetable Oil: You will need a little oil to grease the bowl the dough rises in.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda goes into the boiling water, and helps create that classic chewy exterior.
  • Egg Yolk: Beat the egg yolk with water to make an egg wash.
A soft and chewy homemade pretzel with butter brushed on top and pretzel salt.

How To Make Soft Pretzels

Making your own homemade pretzels is totally doable and this recipe shows you how to do it. From making the dough, to shaping, boiling and baking… I will guide you step-by-step! Scroll to the recipe card at bottom of the post for more detailed instructions. 

  • Proof the Yeast. Combine the water, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit for 5 minutes. It should foam a bit.
  • Make the Dough. Add the flour and butter to the bowl. Use the dough hook attachment to combine the ingredients. Mix until the dough is smooth.
  • First Rise. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl. Flip the dough to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise until it has doubled in size.
  • Prepare to Boil and Bake. Preheat your oven to 450°F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush them with oil. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and add baking soda.
  • Form the Pretzels. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces on a work surface and roll each piece into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope. Hold the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press them onto the bottom of the U.
  • Boil the Pretzels. Lower the pretzels into the boiling water, one at a time, for 30 seconds each. Take them out of the water and place them on the sheet pan.
  • Bake the Pretzels. Brush pretzels with egg wash and sprinkle with salt. Bake pretzels until they are a dark golden brown color, about 12 to 14 minutes. 
  • Enjoy! Transfer pretzels to a cooling rack. Let them cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Freshly baked soft pretzels on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Chef’s Tip, Tricks and Variations

Here are a few extra-helpful tips that can help you achieve success with your homemade soft pretzels!

  • Boiling: Be careful not to boil your pretzels for too long. Over boiling them can result in soggy, dense pretzels – not the chewy goodness you’re looking for.
  • Kneading: Don’t over-knead your dough! Over-kneading the dough can make your pretzels stiff and dense.
  • Yeast: If your yeast doesn’t froth or foam after five minutes of sitting, it is most likely expired. Discard and start again with fresh yeast.
  • Shapes: Not feeling the classic pretzel shape? Shape it any way you like, from pretzel bites, rings or sticks.
  • Pretzel Dogs: Form the pretzel rope around a hot dog or sausage. Then boil and bake as directed.
  • Flavors: Knead Italian seasoning, garlic powder, or any other seasoning that you love, right into the dough. Or after baking, you can toss the pretzels in seasonings like garlic parmesan, cinnamon sugar, etc.
  • Dips: A tasty dip can upgrade your pretzels! Try this beer cheese dip, homemade Nutella, easy salted caramel sauce or my favorite homemade honey mustard!

Do You Have to Boil Homemade Pretzels?

Boiling pretzels in a baking soda bath may not seem necessary, but it is actually an essential step. This process allows the pretzels to form a slightly gummy exterior. Once baked, this is what creates the classic chewy exterior. Don’t skip this step!

How to Store Leftovers

  • Store: Wrap cooled pretzels individually in plastic wrap or seal them into zip-top bags. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat: Place pretzels on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven until warmed, or microwave for about 15 seconds. You can also reheat them in an air fryer at 325°F for about 2 minutes.
  • Freeze: Wrap cooled pretzels individually in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer safe bag. Freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw to room temperature before serving or reheating.
A soft and chewy homemade pretzel with butter brushed on top and pretzel salt.
5 from 7 votes
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Yield: 8 Pretzels

Homemade Soft Pretzel Recipe

Pillowy-soft on the inside and chewy on the outside, these classic Homemade Soft Pretzels are a crave-worthy snack the whole family will love! Easy to make, using basic pantry staples, you will want to make them over and over again.
Prep Time35 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Rise Time50 minutes
Total Time1 hour 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups warm water, 110°F to 115°F
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast, approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons
  • 4 ½ cups (22 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for pan
  • 10 cups water
  • cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Pretzel salt

Instructions 

  • Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam.
  • Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with vegetable oil. Set aside.
  • Bring the 10 cups of water to a rolling boil in an 8-quart pot. Add the baking soda.
  • While the water is coming to a boil, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 24-inch rope and make a U-shape with the rope. Then holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel.
  • Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, and cook for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula and place on the prepared sheet pan.
  • Brush the top of each pretzel with the egg wash and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Video

Notes

Store: Wrap cooled pretzels individually in plastic wrap or seal them into zip-top bags. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Reheat: Place pretzels on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven until warmed, or microwave for about 15 seconds. You can also reheat them in an air fryer at 325°F for about 2 minutes.
Freeze: Wrap cooled pretzels individually in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer safe bag. Freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw to room temperature before serving or reheating.
Boiling: Be careful not to boil your pretzels for too long. Over boiling them can result in soggy, dense pretzels – not the chewy goodness you’re looking for.
Kneading: Don’t over-knead your dough! Over-kneading the dough can make your pretzels stiff and dense.
Yeast: If your yeast doesn’t froth or foam after five minutes of sitting, it is most likely expired. Discard and start again with fresh yeast.
Shapes: Not feeling the classic pretzel shape? Shape it any way you like, from pretzel bites, rings or sticks.
Pretzel Dogs: Form the pretzel rope around a hot dog or sausage. Then boil and bake as directed.
Flavors: Knead Italian seasoning, garlic powder, or any other seasoning that you love, right into the dough. Or after baking, you can toss the pretzels in seasonings like garlic parmesan, cinnamon sugar, etc.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pretzel, Calories: 547kcal, Carbohydrates: 103g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Sodium: 3339mg, Potassium: 147mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 208IU, Calcium: 35mg, Iron: 6mg

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5 stars
I love all your recipes & this one certainly didn’t disappoint either! Do you remember the Auntie Ann’s pretzels from the mall? These remind me of them but my question is ,if you know how to make the almond crunchy layer to put on the outside? I would love to find out. Thanks Jessica!

Im am from Germany. Did you know that there are different styles of Bretzeln/Bretzen. The lower part always need to be thick, so you can cut it with a knife and add butter or sausages to it. In some parts the upper part is also thick and in other parts the upper part needs to be very thin also almost hard. If you go the Oktoberfest you migth get a very big Bretze.

5 stars
I went to Oktoberfest in New Braunfels, Tx & WOW talk about delicious pretzels & sausages, OMG it was AMAZING!

Beautiful pretzels, Jessica!

Thanks for testing out this recipe!

I love making soft pretzels! They are a lot more manageable to make than I originally thought, but anything good does take a little effort. Yours look great! If you ever want to get even more creative, I have a recipe for pretzel dough filled with ham and cheddar that I think you’d love! Anyway, thanks for sharing these!

I’ve attempted to make pretzels before and it was a huge disaster….but I may take anotehr stab at it, your picture looks awesome!

Yup, I could eat 3 or 4 right now! Give me a cold pint along side and maybe I could down 5 or 6!!!

look so delicious,..

Those look divine! When I made them (once, and only once, because I ate 2/3 of the batch myself), I made some homemade honey mustard to dip them in. OMG. Good stuff.

These look so tasty!

Great job with these pretzels, and there’s nothing wrong with a little carb-o-licious every now and then 🙂 As you said, it’s all about moderation! Have you got a good honey mustard dipping recipe for them??

Yum! These look fantastic.

Had to laugh at the Kraft Dinner=blue crack!

Your pretzels look yummy!

Ooooh carby deliciousness! We love. We have got to try making our own pretzels…these look so completely amazing!

My family is from Philadelphia so I can’t wait to try this recipe and test it on them. See if I can compare to the real-deal!

I’m making these today! And I’m super excited about it! 😉

Those pretzel stands are ridiculous. Ours is right by the bookstore and you can smell them as you browse books. Ugh.

Your pretzels look awesome. I’m not good at shaping but I want to give this recipe a try now!

yep, you sold me. my husband will likely propose to me again when i make these…which is fine since a girl can always use more diamonds 😉

Thank You For Being Here!

Jessica
For the past 15 years, Jorge & Jessica have loved getting to share their families' favorite recipes with all of you. They live in Florida with their 3 kids.