My favorite homemade soft pretzels recipe makes buttery and soft knots that rival any mall pretzels! You can also use this recipe to make pretzel bites, buns, bread or rolls.
Every football season, I make this pretzel dough and form them into either large soft pretzels, miniature twists, or pretzel bites. There is nothing like munching on the chewy texture of these homemade soft pretzels on game day!
Ingredients for Pretzel Dough
All you need to make pretzel dough is flour, butter, sugar, salt and yeast. Then baking soda and boiling water is used for the baking soda bath.
How to Make Dough for Pretzels
It is very easy to make soft pretzels at home. We've been making this recipe for over 10 years, with 5-star reviews from many friends and family. Scroll to the bottom of this post for the full ingredient list and instructions. The general steps are as follows:
- Mix butter, sugar, salt and water with yeast in a large mixing bowl.
- Add flour and mix until a dough forms.
- Knead and add more flour until dough is tacky.
- Let dough rise 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven and bring large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add baking soda.
- Shape dough into desired pretzel shape. Boil 30 seconds and place on baking sheet.
- Bake 14 minutes for large twists, 10 minutes for mini twists or bites.
(Find a helpful video tutorial in the recipe card at the end of this post.)
Pretzel Shape Photo Tutorial
For those of you intimidated by shaping a perfect pretzel, it's easier than I should even admit. Just roll the piece of dough into a 24-inch rope, hold the ends, cross them over one another, and then twist. Place the ends at the top center of the rope. For those visual people (like me) here is some photo help:
I often make the baked pretzels ahead of time to store in the freezer and reheat in the oven at 350°F when ready to serve. Freeze them before or after baking, either way works just as well and saves you time.
The original recipe calls for eight big pretzels, but sometimes I form them into miniature pretzel twists to serve a crowd. Or, roll the dough into a rope and cut little pretzel bites! The recipe card at the end of this post gives instructions for all sizes.
Make these into cinnamon sugar pretzels by slathering on butter and cinnamon sugar while the baked pretzels are still warm!
We love to dip these into honey mustard, cheese sauce, or just enjoy it's saltiness on its own.
More Pretzel Recipes
- Canned Biscuit Pretzel Bites
- Pretzel Bread Bowls
- Pepperoni Pretzel Bread Stromboli
- Pretzel Dogs
- Ham and Cheese Soft Pretzel Bites
Eat It, Rate It, Share It!
Made it and liked it? Leave a star rating, take a photo and tag me on social media @seededtable so I can share it!
This recipe was originally published February 2012 and updated August 2022 with new photos and tips.
Homemade Soft Pretzels
- 4 Tablespoons butter , melted
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt , plus more for topping
- 1 ½ cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees F)
- 1 package (2 ¼ teaspoons) instant yeast
- 22 ounces (about 4 ½ cups) all-purpose flour
- Vegetable oil (nonstick) spray, for pan and bowl
- 10 cups water
- ⅔ cups baking soda
- 1 large egg yolk , beaten with 1 Tablespoon water (for egg wash)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, sugar, salt and 1 ½ cups warm water. Sprinkle the yeast on top. Add the flour and mix with the dough hook attachment on low speed. Once the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix for another 4 to 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- Remove the dough from the bowl, wipe the bowl and then spray with the vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, turning once to cover both sides with the oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for approximately 45-50 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray with vegetable oil; set aside.
- Bring the 10 cups of water to a boil in a large sauce pan or stock pot, then add the baking soda.
- Meanwhile, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface or pastry mat. Divide into 8 equal large pieces (about 4.5 oz each) or 30 small pieces (about 1.2 oz each) and shape into balls. Roll each dough ball into a rope (24 inches long for the large pretzels or 10-12 inches long if making the smaller pretzels.) Holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other, twist one turn, then press onto the center of the rope, to form a pretzel shape. Place onto the parchment lined baking sheets.
- Working with one to two pretzels at a time, boil each pretzel for 30 seconds. Use a large slotted spoon or spatula to remove from the water and return to the pan. Brush the top of each pretzel with the egg wash then sprinkle with kosher or pretzel salt.
- Bake in the preheated oven until dark golden brown (approximately 12 to 14 minutes for 8 large pretzels, or 10 to 12 minutes for 30 small pretzels.) Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.
- If you do not plan to consume pretzels the same day, then I suggest freezing them immediately after they hit room temperature. The more fresh they are when you freeze them, the better. Throw them in a freezer bag and freeze up to 1 month. Reheat in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes (until heated through). This is what I do, and they taste just as fresh!
- I have also used this recipe to make pretzel buns for our hamburgers. To do so, after the rise and before bringing water to a boil, shape dough into 8 equal sized rolls by pulling the sides together and pinching to seal. Place the formed rolls, seam side down, on a large baking sheet and cover with a clean towel. Let rise again for 30 minutes. After 15 minutes into this rise, you can do steps #2 and #3 to preheat oven and get the water boiling, then continue with step #5. I also slice a shallow "X" onto the top of each roll after the egg wash and salt. Baking time is about 12 to 14 minutes. (They are done when you tap on the top of the buns and they sound hollow.)
- Nutrition information is an estimate only, based on 1 large pretzel as a serving.