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Learn how to make baked homemade pretzels that are soft and chewy, and so much better than store bought. These soft pretzels take about 40 minutes to make with these simple, step by step instructions.
Soft pretzels make a tasty after school or anytime snack. I used to be afraid of baking recipes with yeast, like these One Hour Dinner Rolls, but after a few practice rounds I’ve gotten comfortable and confident and I love baking rolls and homemade pretzels and bread.
If you’ve never worked with yeast dough before, it can be a little intimidating and it can take some practice to get it just right. A lot of things can affect the dough, like humidity and even the temperature of the water. With a little patience, and the right recipe, you’ll be able to make delicious homemade baked goods like a pro!
Do you have to boil pretzels before baking?
Once the dough is shaped, you’ll want to dip them into a boiling baking soda bath. This helps to give soft pretzels their unique flavor. It also helps the dough to puff up for that chewy texture.
You can skip this step if you want, but I really recommend it. It takes just a few minutes and makes a huge difference in the taste and texture.
How to make soft homemade pretzels
Make the dough – Making yeast dough is one of the best reasons to have a stand mixer. Attach the dough hook and let the mixer do its thing. No kneading by hand! Make the dough and let it rise. This recipe uses active, dry yeast. Be sure to check the expiration date. If expired, the yeast won’t rise properly. One packet of yeast will yield 2 ¼ teaspoons of yeast.
Shape – Form the dough into a uniform shape and cut into 8-10 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long, snake-like shape, then twist into a pretzel shape. This doesn’t have to be perfect and will take some practice. The shape of the pretzel won’t affect the taste!
Baking soda bath – Dip the pretzels into a pot of boiling water and baking soda for about a minute each, then transfer to baking sheets.
Bake – Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and just beginning to crack. Before baking, sprinkle with sea salt, cinnamon sugar, sesame seeds, or everything bagel seasoning for unique flavorings.
What to dip soft pretzels in
There are a lot of different ways to eat your baked soft pretzels. My grandma loved them warm with butter, so that’s how we usually eat them, too. They are also delicious dipped in yellow mustard, honey mustard, or Spicy Nacho Cheese Sauce or spread with Garlic Butter.
For a sweeter pretzel, brush with butter and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top or spread with Honey Butter.
Storage, freezing, and reheating homemade pretzels
Storage – Store homemade pretzels in a resealable plastic bag at room temperature for up to 3 days. Reheat, wrapped in a damp paper towel, for 15-20 seconds in the microwave, if desired.
Freezing baked pretzels – Cool completely, layout on a baking sheet and pop it into the freezer. Once they are solid, transfer to a plastic freezer bag and freeze for 2-3 months. Heat frozen pretzels in a 350 degree F oven for 15-20 minutes.
Freezing pretzel dough – you can freeze the unbaked soft pretzel dough in an airtight container for 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then let sit out for 20-30 minutes before shaping so the dough can puff up a bit. Bake as directed.
More snacks to try
- Air Fryer Tater Tots
- Slushy Frozen Fruit Cups
- Everything Bagel Pigs in a Blanket
- How to Make Stovetop Popcorn
- Easy Muddy Buddies Recipe
Soft Baked Pretzels
- 1 ounce package active dry yeast 1 envelope or 2 ¼ teaspoons of active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 - 3 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
- Flaked sea salt for sprinkling on top
Baking Soda Bath
- 9 cups water
- ½ cup baking soda
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with silicone mats of parchment paper. If using parchment, spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Pour the warm water into a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment and stir in the yeast. Let stand for 1-2 minutes.
- Add 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and salt and mix until combined. Add 3 cups of flour and combine, adding more flour as needed until a ball of dough is formed and it’s no longer sticky; about 5 minutes. When you poke your finger into it, it should spring back. (If you don't have a stand mixer, stir by hand using a wooden spoon).
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 3 minutes. Alternatively, if using a stand mixer, use the dough hook and stir at medium-low speed for 3 minutes.
- Form a ball with the dough, cover with a clean dish towel and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, boil baking soda and water.
- Cut dough into 8 equal pieces and roll them into a long snake-like piece of dough. Twist to form the pretzel shape, or any shape you like.
- Place shaped pretzels in the baking soda bath for 30-60 seconds, then transfer to the lined baking sheets. Brush the tops with an egg wash and sprinkle with flaked sea salt and bake at 400 degrees F for 12-15 minutes, or until pretzels are golden brown.
- Let cool for several minutes and enjoy warm with butter, mustard or nacho cheese sauce.