This easy homemade soft pretzel recipe yields a soft chewy texture with a golden brown crust. It’s a foolproof recipe that requires no baking soda solution, no resting the dough, and no fancy mixers to get the signature pretzel flavor we all crave! This satisfying snack is made with a simple dough baked with a sprinkle of sea salt. They’re even better with a side of your favorite dipping sauce!
I can’t remember the last time I walked past the mall food court, or smelled the aroma of soft pretzels at a food truck and didn’t stop for one!
There’s something so crave-worthy about the soft fluffy pretzels with a golden chewy crust. I tell you, whether they’re a savory snack sprinkled with salt and dipped in cheese sauce, or a dessert coated in cinnamon sugar, it’s all I can do to stop at just one!
That’s why making them at home is almost dangerous. This homemade soft pretzel recipe is better (and cheaper to make) than any mall pretzels I’ve tried!
Why you’ll love a Homemade Soft Pretzel 🥨
Simple Ingredients – Made with flour, sugar, salt, egg, and yeast. That’s it! Oh, and water.
Foolproof Recipe – As long as you measure your flour correctly, you can’t go wrong! They’re easy, baked, and delicious!
Taste & Texture – There’s something comforting about a soft pretzel with a slightly chewy texture. We cover ours in the egg wash to brown it and add a sprinkle of salt, but there are plenty of ways to make it your own!
Savory or Sweet – You can enjoy these pretzels either way with a simple swap of salt for sugar on top!
Equipment you’ll need
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.
- Warm Water – Warm water should be approximately 100° – too hot and it will kill the yeast.
- Active Yeast – This is what helps the dough to rise. If it’s expired it won’t work, so make sure you’re using fresh yeast.
- Salt – Brings out the flavor.
- Granulated Sugar – Yeast feeds on sugar, so this not only lends a subtle sweet taste but also helps the yeast do its job.
- All-Purpose Flour – To get the right soft and fluffy interior, you want to make sure to use the right amount of flour. It’s best to use a kitchen scale if you have one or the spoon and level method.
- Large Egg – We’re not using a baking soda bath to help give the pretzels a deeper color, so we use an egg wash for that. It also gives it a bit of a sheet and gives the salt something to stick to.
- Coarse Sea Salt – This type of salt has larger granules that are nice to bite into, but this kind will prevent over-salting the top.
How to make Homemade Soft Pretzels
This section shows you how to make this recipe, with process photos showing the steps to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Step One: To a large mixing bowl, add warm water and sprinkle the yeast overtop. Stir for about 1 minute to dissolve. It’s OK if it’s not fully dissolved. Then, stir in the salt and sugar.
- Step Two: Add flour 1 cup at a time. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix until the dough is thick. Continue adding more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. When it bounces back when you poke it, it’s ready.
- Step Three: Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured, flat work surface. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes and then shape it into a ball. Divide the dough into 1/3 cup sections, making about 10-12 depending on the size.
- Step Four: Take one of the sections of dough and use the palms of your hands to roll it into a rope. Using your palms, rather than fingers, helps to get it to an even diameter all the way along. It should be about 16-18” long. Take the ends of the rope, draw them together and twist them around each other a couple of times. Then bring the twist towards yourself and press them down into a pretzel shape.
- Step Five: Once formed, dunk both sides in the egg wash and place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and repeat with the remaining dough. Place the baking sheet in a preheated 425°F oven for 10 minutes and broil for another 5 minutes to brown.
What to serve with Homemade Soft Pretzels
Soft pretzels are even better when you’ve got something to dip them in!
Jalapeno cheddar sauce, honey mustard, marinara sauce, plain mustard, or nacho cheese dip are all my favorites! When I need something quick and easy, I turn to an easy cream cheese dipping sauce. Make it by heating a couple of tablespoons of cream cheese in a microwave-safe dish for approximately 20 seconds.
Tips & Suggestions 🥨
- To cut the dough, use a sharp knife or flour scraper for easy slicing.
- You may need to use two baking sheets to not overcrowd one pan. Don’t forget to line them both with either parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- If you’re interested in trying the baking soda bath, boil 9 cups of water and 1/2 cup of baking soda. Use a slotted spoon or tongs to dunk the twisted pretzels in the bath for 20-30 seconds instead of the egg wash. Then drain and place them on the baking sheet.
- You can use a stand mixer with the hook attachment if you prefer.
- To make this homemade pretzel recipe a bit sweeter, skip the egg wash and salt. Instead, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.
- Soft pretzels are best served warm, but can certainly be eaten at room temperature too.
- If you don’t want to form full pretzels, try simple twists or pretzel bites!
How to reheat and store Homemade Soft Pretzels
How to store leftovers
Pretzels can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container. Keep them covered so they don’t dry out.
Can I freeze this soft pretzel recipe?
Homemade soft pretzels freeze well. Once completely cooled, transfer them to a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Layer them with wax paper and freeze them for up to 3 months. Reheat straight from frozen!
How to reheat soft pretzels
You can either place them back in the oven until warmed through or use the microwave.
Absolutely! Turn these into a fun little appetizer by cutting your rope into equal bite-size pieces. Just eyeball it! Then, continue with the recipe as directed.
There are a couple of ways to tell. It should bounce back when it is poked, it will no longer be sticky, and if you take a small piece and stretch it out, you should be able to hold it up against natural light and see through it without it breaking apart.
If it breaks, it’ll need a bit of extra kneading for the gluten to form properly.
You can. Prepare the pretzel dough, roll them, twist them, and place them on the tray. Cover them and refrigerate them overnight. When you’re ready to bake, continue as directed.
There are so many ways to add your twist to these pretzels! Add a drizzle of vanilla or chocolate glaze on top. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese and fresh herbs, or melted butter and sesame seeds! Poppy seeds are great too.
Baked Homemade Soft Pretzel
Need more dip recipes for your soft pretzels? Try these:
Click here for my entire collection of homemade dip recipes.
Originally published January 5, 2013