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Homemade Soft Pretzels

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Good old fashioned Homemade Soft Pretzels made from scratch. Better than pretzels from the fair.

Homemade soft pretzels on a cooling rack

We are making an old recipe for Homemade Soft Pretzels. This will be a Saturday snack for a fun treat everyone enjoys. It’s a game day snack for my family but you can make these anytime the crew will be hanging around the house.

The success of this recipe is credited to the dipping of the pretzels in the baking soda bath. Do not skip this step. It will give your fresh-baked pretzels that rich brown color and the soft chewy center they are famous for.

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How to Make Homemade Soft Pretzels

Anytime homemade bread is cooking in the kitchen your house smells amazing. These pretzels are no exception.

Make these for game day or family movie night. The process should take less than 2 hours.

Ingredients Needed to Make Soft Homemade Pretzels from scratch

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups very warm water
  • 1 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 1/2 cups All-purpose flour, divided
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • Sea Salt

Directions for making soft pretzels

Step 1

Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats, like these. Grease a large bowl with one tablespoon olive oil. Set aside.

yeast, salt and brown sugar in a bowl
Step 2

In another large bowl add the warm water, yeast, 1 tsp. salt, and brown sugar. Stir to blend and set aside for about 5 minutes to allow the yeast to rise.

adding flour to bowl with yeast mixture for homemade soft pretzels
Step 3

After the yeast has risen, add the remaining olive oil to the bowl with the yeast.

mixing the flour into the wet ingredients to make homemade soft pretzels

Gradually add four cups flour, one cup at a time, stirring vigorously with a fork and scraping the sides, until the flour is thoroughly incorporated into the dough without any lumps.

Step 4

Sprinkle remaining flour onto a clean, dry work surface and lightly coat hands with additional flour. Drop the dough onto the work surface and knead in the remaining flour just until the dough is no longer sticky. Do not overwork.

Pretzel dough in a glass bowl covered with a towel so it can rise
Step 5

Shape dough into a ball and add to the clean bowl coated in olive oil. Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place for one hour to let the dough rise. It should double in size.

I like to set mine on the top of the stove and turn on the hood vent light to help the process.

Step 6

When the dough is almost done resting, position the oven racks so that the oven is divided into thirds and pre-heat the oven to 450°F.

Pretzel dough in a glass bowl punched down after rising. Now ready to be used
Step 7

Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down with your lightly floured fist.

Rest for a couple of minutes, then drop the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 12 equal pieces.

Boiling water in a pot to add baking soda
Step 8

While the dough is resting, fill a large pot with 8 cups water and one-half cup baking soda and bring to a rolling boil.

Shaping the homemade soft pretzels

Step 9
Rolling out pretzel dough Step 1

Step by step photos of shaping the pretzel

Roll each section of dough into a thin, long rope as shown above.

Rolling out pretzel dough. Step 2

The second step in shaping the pretzel is to bend the long rope of dough into a “U” shape.

pretzel twisted

Now twist the loose ends of the rope around each other, twice before attaching each tip toward the bottom of the “U” to form a traditional pretzel shape, as shown.

Shaping the pretzel

Transfer pretzels to the prepared baking sheet.

Kitchen Tip: If the pretzels are allowed to sit for 10-15 minutes once shaped, they will continue to rise or “puff up” to form a nice full shape.

pretzel in boiling water
Step 10

Drop each pretzel, one at a time, into the boiling baking soda bath and boil for 20 seconds before flipping. Boil for another 20 seconds, then transfer with a slotted spatula to a wire rack to drain excess liquid.

Step 11

Gently pat pretzels dry with a paper towel and transfer back to the prepared baking sheets.

Pretzels basted with egg wash and sprinkled with coarse salt
Step 12

Beat egg and water together in a small bowl and brush each pretzel with the egg wash.

Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and place in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Tip: For even browning, rotate the baking sheets and move the baking sheet on the bottom rack to the top (and vice versa) halfway through baking.

Pretzels fresh from the oven
Step 13

Remove your homemade pretzels from the oven and cool.

Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

  • Melted butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup granulated Sugar

After removing from the oven, brush each pretzel with melted butter.

Blend the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl.

Dip the tops of the warm buttery pretzel into the cinnamon-sugar mixture and enjoy!

Yield: 12

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Homemade Soft Pretzel

Homemade Soft Pretzels made from scratch. Top these homemade pretzels with Sea Salt or a Cinnamon sugar topping. Great Game Day food.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups very warm water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 4 1/2 cups All-purpose flour, divided
  • 8  cups water
  • 1/2 cup Baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • Sea salt

Instructions

Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats, like these. Grease a large bowl with one tablespoon olive oil. Set aside.

In another large bowl add the warm water, yeast, 1 tsp. salt, and brown sugar. Stir to blend and set aside for about 5 minutes to allow the yeast to rise.

After the yeast has risen, add the remaining olive oil to the bowl with the yeast.

Gradually add four cups flour, one cup at a time, stirring vigorously with a fork and scraping the sides, until the flour is thoroughly incorporated into the dough without any lumps.

Sprinkle remaining flour onto a clean, dry work surface and lightly coat hands with additional flour. Drop the dough onto the work surface and knead in the remaining flour just until the dough is no longer sticky. Do not overwork.

Shape dough into a ball and add to the clean bowl coated in olive oil. Cover the bowl with a towel and set it aside in a warm place for one hour to let the dough rise. It should double in size.

When the dough is almost done resting, position the oven racks so that the oven is divided into thirds and pre-heat the oven to 450°F.

Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down with your lightly floured fist. Rest for a couple of minutes, then drop the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 12 equal pieces.

While the dough is resting, fill a large pot with 8 cups water and one-half cup baking soda and bring to a rolling boil.

SHAPING THE PRETZELS

Roll each section of dough into a thin, long rope as shown above.

The second step in shaping the pretzel is to bend the long rope of dough into a “U” shape.

Now twist the loose ends of the rope around each other, twice before attaching each tip toward the bottom of the “U” to form a traditional pretzel shape.

SOFTENING

Transfer pretzels to the prepared baking sheet.

Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes once shaped, they will continue to rise or “puff up” to form a nice full shape.

Drop each pretzel, one at a time, into the boiling baking soda bath and boil for 20 seconds before flipping. Boil for another 20 seconds, then transfer with a slotted spatula to a wire rack to drain excess liquid.

Gently pat pretzels dry with a paper towel and transfer back to the prepared baking sheets.

BAKING

Beat egg and water together in a small bowl and brush each pretzel with the egg wash.

Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and place in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove your homemade pretzels from the oven and cool.

Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Tip: For even browning, rotate the baking sheets and move the baking sheet on the bottom rack to the top (and vice versa) halfway through baking.

Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 212Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 16mgSodium 2774mgCarbohydrates 37gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 6g

Nutrition information is estimated and may not be exact based on uncontrolled variables in home kitchens used by each individual cook.

Did you make this recipe?

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