Homemade Soft Pretzels

If you do a search online for homemade soft pretzels you will likely find a large number of results. Reason being? Homemade soft pretzels are extremely easy to make!  I was admittedly daunted for some time, but finally gave in and found that these were amazingly easy to mix together and the entire process was not very time consuming at all. By the second batch I had even gotten the hang of shaping the pretzels like a pro at Auntie Anne’s!

These are great fresh out of the oven dipped in mustard or melted cheese.  If you make a double batch or don’t think you’ll eat these all within a day or so, throw the extras in a freezer bag and just pop one in the microwave when you’re ready for a snack.

Since posting this recipe, I tried another soft pretzel recipe that is very similar, but includes a rise time which makes for pretzels that are a bit plumper. Be sure check out Soft Pretzels: Part II.

Want to serve pretzels as a snack, but don’t want to go through the trouble of yeast, mixing and kneading? Check out my super quick recipe for ranch-seasoned pretzels.

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Homemade Soft Pretzels

1 tsp dry yeast (the doubled recipe would use 1 full packet of yeast)
1 T. hot water
2/3 cup warm water
2 T. and 2 tsp brown sugar
2+ cups flour
coarse kosher salt
baking soda
shortening or butter

1) In large mixing bowl mix 1 T. HOT water and 1 tsp yeast. Mix until yeast dissolves completely.

2) Stir in 2/3 cup WARM water.

3) Stir in 2 T. and 2 tsp brown sugar.

4) Slowly add 2 cups flour, stirring constantly. Contuine stirring until the mixture is smooth and does not stick to the sides of the bowl.

5) Lightly flour counter. Dip your hands into extra flour. Knead the dough until it is stretchy and smooth. (Push it down and away from you with the palms of your hands, turning the dough as you work)

6) Grease cookie sheet(s) well with butter or shortening. Sprinkle greased cookie sheet(s) with kosher salt. Preheat oven to 475.

7) Using liquid measuring cup fill a large saucepan at least 1/2 full of water. For each 1 cup of water, add 1 T. baking soda.

8) Divide the dough into 16 equal sized pieces.

9) Using the following 4 steps shape each dough ball into a pretzel shape…
— Roll the dough into a rope 14″ long and as thick as your thumb. Bend the dough into a U shape.
— Cross one end of the rope over the other one. The ropes should cross about three inches from the tips.
— Twist the crossed ends, making a full turn. Fold the ends back, towards the middle of the U.
— Open the ends slightly to form a pretzel shape. Press the ends into the dough firmly.

10) Bring water in saucepan to a gentle boil (not too many bubbles)

11) Use pancake turner to lower each pretzel into the saucepan. Count slowly to 30. Then lift the pretzel onto the greased and salted cookie sheet (shaking off excess water back into the saucepan). Repeat until all the pretzels are done.

12) Sprinkle some kosher salt on top of the pretzels and put them in preheated oven. Bake for 8 minutes or until the pretzels are golden.


18 Responses to “Homemade Soft Pretzels”

  1. Carrie on February 16, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    I have seen this on the nest over and over. But the picture made it pass! I will be making these this week!


  2. Krashed24 on February 18, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    They are making me drool! I might go make some now. I am so glad that you enjoyed the recipe and I feel important that my recipe is in someone’s blog. 😉
    * Amber


  3. kayte on February 21, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    you are going to have to teach me how to make them look that pretty. i think i make mine too small. i need to practice! you’re such a a great cook!


  4. A-Man on February 17, 2010 at 8:05 am

    Thank you for the recipe. Now we can start our own soft pretzel bakery.


  5. CB on March 7, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    I tried making these once before and I wasn’t happy with the results – too hard! I shall be trying this version!


  6. Jen @ How To: Simplify on April 20, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    I’ve been wanting to bake homemade soft pretzels for quite some time now. Yours look great…especially if they were served with a side of mustard. Yum!


  7. Tracy on April 20, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Mmm, it’s been so long since I’ve had a soft pretzel. I’ll have to give these a try!


  8. Cookin' Canuck on April 21, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    How fun! I would love to make these with my kids.


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  10. Sumaiyyah on December 1, 2011 at 2:37 am

    Hi Michelle. I made pretzels once and they turned out super tough and almost impossible to chew. My dad still has nightmares about them. I haven’t figured out what went wrong… I love pretzels but I feel a bit reluctant about making another attempt lest I cause someone to lose his teeth…


  11. 7th Star Baker on February 21, 2012 at 8:59 am


    Being from the UK or measurements are slightly different, so could you explain what 1T. and 2T. means as in the following?

    1 T. hot water
    2 T. and 2 tsp brown sugar

    I’d love to try this recipe but want to get my measurements right!



    • Michelle on February 21st, 2012 at 9:53 am

      Hi, the “T.” stands for tablespoon. Sorry about any confusion!


  12. Mikayla on May 13, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Just scrolled through all 179 pages of your recipes, and I created a list (its quite big) of what I am 100% going to make in the future. I love this webpage! I just discovered it as I was searching for new recipes because I’m at home sick with strep. I think its so cool that you have kept up with this website for years, and that so many people look on your website. I’m so inspired by it, and hopefully once I finish my eighth grade year I can get going on completing my to-do list of recipes I’m going to try from your website. I mostly bake for my family (whether they want it or not) because I absolutely love trying things out. My little brother’s First Communion was last week, and I baked a ridiculous amount of goodies that everyone devoured. My one question for you if you even see this: What is your absolute favorite recipe that you have ever made? I’m supposed to bake cookies and cupcakes for my family and family friends because we’re going up to Yosemite (it’s so pretty up there!) Anyways please keep blogging because I am so inspired to make everything on your webpage!
    Thanks so much,


    • Michelle on May 15th, 2013 at 12:46 am

      Hi Mikayla, I’m so happy to hear you’re enjoying the website! As for your question about my favorite things – I have no many it’s hard to narrow it down! A few of my all-time favorites are: Baked Brownie, New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies, Banana Split Ice Cream Cake, and a lot of my dips!


      • Mikayla on May 20th, 2013 at 9:38 pm

        I took your “suggestion” and made the New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies. Amazing! I got so many compliments on them and they were perfect for Yosemite. We made s’mores with them substituting the graham crackers for the cookies. Delicious, yet fattening (It was worth every calorie). I also made the Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Pound Cake and that turned out so yummy. I sadly overcooked it a bit due to distractions, but it still turned out amazing and I had people asking for the recipe.


  13. Ashley Osborn on June 29, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Ohhh! These look delicious! I think I will make these for our family movie night! Yum! 🙂


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