Never again will you have to splurge on a pricey mall pretzel when you can make these Perfect & Easy Soft Pretzels in the comfort of your jammies at home! Super soft and chewy with a light brown crust, they’re buttery, fluffy, and simply perfect!
You guys. I did a thing.
I made homemade pretzels. And it changed my life.
I know that sounds dramatic – how can a pretzel possibly be life-changing? Well, when your life consists of furry sandals, Criminal Minds reruns and eating Goobers on repeat, it IS life-changing. It’s the little things, people! Let me have my moment!
I dunno why I put off making pretzels from scratch before… possibly because I’m still newish to yeast-based doughs and because there’s the whole step where you boil them. It just seemed… scary. Daunting. Intimidating.
But I promise you – these Perfect & Easy Soft Pretzels are none of those things!
I’m gonna hold your hand and walk you through the steps to making these beauties from scratch in the comfort of your own home. Because if your mall’s pretzel shop is anything like mine, there’s always a mile-long line that I don’t want to waste my time in. (Wasting my time in Sephora, however, is preferred).
So for these pretzels, you’ll need some pantry staples. Literally nothing in this recipe requires a special store-run or anything fancy or special. Flour, yeast, butter, sugar, baking soda, and salt are pretty much the only ingredients, but when you add them in the right steps, magic happens!
To start, you’ll make your dough. You’ll mix together some yeast and warm water, then toss in butter, sugar, salt, and some of the flour. Let your stand mixer do the work for you and knead that sucker with the dough hook. Of course, you can make this by hand… but you’ll definitely be getting some muscles as a side-effect. Add in some more flour to make the dough pliable and bouncy. If you touch it with your finger, it shouldn’t stick but should spring back lightly.
Because I love you, I made this dough my you-know-what and ensured you only have to let it rest for 20 MINUTES! That’s like nothing when it comes to yeast doughs – pretzels especially. They usually need an hour, sometimes overnight (what!), but this just needs 20 minutes to chill before they bake. Easy! While they’re resting, you’ll get your oven preheated and your water mixture ready.
The water mixture is simply water with baking soda. I know you’re asking: can I skip this step/why do I par-boil the pretzels?/do I have to? And the answer is: this is MANDATORY! Pretzels as you know and love are always par-boiled in a baking soda water mixture, and here’s why:
- Baking soda basically gelatinizes the outside of the pretzel, preventing it from fully springing up when baking (like most bread does).
- The baking soda bath gives pretzels their signature chewy crust and lends that authentic pretzel flavor.
I promise, par-boiling these lil guys is not as daunting as I thought it’d be! I just shape the pretzel dough into that iconic pretzel shape, place it carefully onto a slotted spatula, and lower the spatula into the gently boiling water for a few seconds. Let it float and par-boil for 30 seconds tops, then gently remove them, let them drain, and place them onto your greased baking sheets. Sprinkle them with salt and bake!
Soft and chewy pretzels with a fluffy interior and a golden brown crust! Don’t forget to slather them with hot melted butter after baking to really drive home that mall-pretzel flavor!
Oh, and if rolling pretzels isn’t your forte, feel free to make pretzel nuggets! Just roll them into a a rope shape and cut into 1-2″ nuggets with a knife or pizza wheel. Par-boil, sprinkle with salt, and bake! How cute!!
Perfect and Easy Soft Pretzels
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water around 110°-115°F
- 2 Tablespoons softened butter
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2¾ cups all-purpose flour may not need all of it
BAKING SODA SOLUTION
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- Coarse sea salt for sprinkling
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- Place the 1 cup warm water in the bowl of your stand mixer. Sprinkle the top of the water with the yeast packet. Let it dissolve for about 2 minutes. Once dissolved, add in the softened butter, brown sugar, salt, and 2 cups of the flour. Using a dough hook attachment, mix on medium-low speed until a sticky dough comes together and dough is smooth. Stir in any remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl and when touched with a finger, does not stick and springs back lightly when touched. Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a tea towel. Let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone liners or parchment paper. GREASE whatever liner you use - trust me on this! I just spread a stick of butter around the parchment paper to make sure it is greased well.
- Punch the dough down a couple times to break up any air pockets. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. The best way to do this is to cut in half with a pizza cutter, then cut each half into fourths. Using your palms and the heels of your hands, roll each piece into a 12-15" long rope on a clean work surface - do NOT flour your work surface, as this will prevent the stretch of your dough. Shape the rope into a circle with about 2-3" inch of each end overlapping (think the shape of a breast cancer awareness ribbon). Twist the ends where they overlap, then flip the twisted ends over the circle, pinching the ends into the circle to form a pretzel shape.
- In a large saucepan, bring the 4 cups water to a boil over medium heat. Add in the baking soda; mixture will bubble violently for a minute. Drop a pretzel into the boiling water using a slotted spatula. Let boil for about 30 seconds, then gently remove with the spatula, allowing excess water to drip off. Place on the greased baking sheets and shape back to pretzel shape if needed. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt, if using. Repeat with remaining pretzels.
- Bake the pretzels for 10-12 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time to ensure even baking, or until golden brown on top. Brush with melted butter while still hot. Serve warm or room temperature!
I mean… you have to give these a try this weekend! (And then invite me over!)
Have a super sweet day!
Andrea Pepe says
I just made these. AMAZING! No, really, I”m not just saying that. AMAZING! Exactly like a mall pretzel. The twisting was the only part that was a little tricky.
Andrea, I am so glad you loved them! The twist definitely takes a little practice but no matter how they’re twisted, they taste great!
So, I love the recipe pretzels are great… but the temp is too high. Maybe 400 would be better. I have a convection oven (not expensive) and even with 8 minutes cook time they get dark fast (especially the bites). I would maybe mention that.
Other than that they taste delicious :)).
Have you made them with cinnamon and sugar? Wondering if I would put it on before baking like the salt?
Hi Andrea, I would omit the salt, bake them plain, and then once baked, brush with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar!
I don’t have stand mixer, can I make it with just a regular mixer?
Yes, but it’s going to take longer – and you’ll get an arm workout!
I made them with out stand mixer as I have lost my dough hook. Just used a fork and then kneed the dough adding adding flour tell it no longer sticks to your fingers.
Just made these and OMG. They are fantastic. So easy to make
Yay, so glad you loved them, Cathie!
Savannah Garcia says
I was wondering if you ever made this with the mini hot dogs? I know my mall does this and I don’t want to spend almost 12 dollars for a cup of them, plus I want to make these for my family for Christmas.
Hi Savannah! Yes, that would be awesome! So instead of creating the traditional pretzel shape, I would still roll it out into a long rope, then cut into maybe 1-2 inch pieces with a pizza cutter or knife. Wrap the pretzel rope piece around the Lil Smokie hot dog and then dip in the baking soda solution and bake. Hope this helps!
Sherry Wright says
These are delicious!!! Thanks for sharing!!!
Hi there, wondering if the dough can sit on the counter for a few hours or if the 20 minute rise time is important? We’re doing this with several other dishes and anything that can be done ahead of time helps! Thanks for sharing the recipe
Hi Jeff, you could try letting the dough set for a few hours. It shouldn’t be too bad.
These are wonderful! Can they be frozen? At what point in the process?
Hi Cheryl, I would freeze them after baking! Just thaw at room temperature or in the fridge and reheat in the microwave.
Just wondering how large these are?
Asking bc I need to make LAAAARGE pretzels… like 10” across, and I’m needing to convert the recipe. (And would appreciate tips! 🙂
Hi Jennifer, they’re definitely smaller than an Auntie Anne’s pretzel. If you make the ropes longer before you twist into the pretzel shape, it’ll make the pretzel larger! You can also try to stretch it out.
Hollis Rotella says
Delicious and easy to make ! I made these pretzels with 8th and 9th graders at school and everyone loved them !
Laura Casey says
These are seriously SO GOOD!!! I would get a mall pretzel every time I went shopping and these are on par if not better. They were super easy to make too! Sprinkle them with grated parmesan cheese after brushing them with butter. You will not be disappointed.
I made these for religious education class & my students raved about how good they were! 5th grade kid approved!!
Harry Johnson says
This recipe was to DIE FOR! I made this for my buddy Will, and he was so impressed. He is a soft pretzel connoisseur. The domestic rebel, you are a mastermind! XOXO
Harry, I am so thrilled you and Will loved the pretzels!
We made these the other day and they were super delicious!!!! They really did taste like Aunti Anne’s pretzels. My family ate them all and are asking when i’m making them again, lol.
Brenda, woohoo! So happy to hear your family enjoyed them!
Billy Pierce says
Absolutely love these! First time making a pretzel and I will never buy them again. Ever. Thanks for the quick, simple and delicious recipe ?
Does the baking time change if I make them as nuggets instead of pretzels?
Hi there, yes definitely! Decrease by a couple of minutes.
Hi these look so good. Could I use just whole wheat flour?
Hi Jan, I have not tried this with whole wheat flour. It usually isn’t an equal ratio from all-purpose to whole wheat so if you try it, let me know!
Can I make these with quick rise yeast?
Gina Pascarella says
What is the nutritional information on these delicious pretzels. I have to track my sugar and carbs due to diabetes
Hi Gina, unfortunately I do not offer nutritional information. Perhaps there is an online calculator of which you can input the ingredients to generate an analysis?
Carol Matthews says
They came out perfect and delicious. Very easy too!
Sheri henry says
Made these and loved them! Was wondering I’d you could double the recipe? Didn’t know if it would affect anything.
Hi Sheri! I have not tried doubling the recipe but usually with bread recipes I think it is best to make two batches rather than a single double batch.
I’m making 200 nuggs and dbld thr recipe—-turned out ??! ?
So excited to make these! Are there any special instructions or tips if you need to mix it by hand? Or do you recommend using a regular mixer if I don’t have a stand mixer.
Hi Caresse, you can absolutely use a hand mixer, but it may take a bit longer than a stand mixer. Just be prepared for a serious arm workout!
How and when could you add cheese to the method to make a cheesy pretzel.
Hi Merry! I would add the cheese to the dough OR after forming and boiling the pretzels, brush them with egg wash and sprinkle with shredded cheddar or parmesan.
This recipe came out a success the very first time I tried it. After practicing it several times afterwards at home, tonight was the first time I prepared it for my son’s family at their house. Everyone loved the result, commenting on how much the pretzels tasted like the ones you buy at the mall. Thank you for sharing it!
These are super delicious! We don’t have Auntie Anne’s in Canada but I love to buy them whenever I go to the states and I’m so excited that now i have the secret to making them in my house! I was even tempted to buy a pretzel making kit last time I was in the states but this recipe is sooooo simple and easy, I’d rather make them this way than from a kit! I was really impressed with how good they looked and tasted. I brought them to a super bowl party and was so proud that that’s what I contributed to the spread! They looked and tasted so good that I was getting “wow you MADE these?” comments! The best part was that my husband didnt believe that I could make these in the short amount of time we had before the party but I proved him wrong! The recipe was so well written and easy to follow and like she promised, quick! Thank you so so much! I cannot wait to try more of your recipes!
Just made these for the first time and they turned out perfectly! My oven must run hot because they were perfectly toasted at the 8 minute mark. Looking forward to making them again and trying out a cinnamon sugar version 🙂
Amy, a cinnamon sugar version sounds perfect! Thanks for your sweet review!
Are there any special directions for making them at high altitude?
Hi Diane, unfortunately I am not too familiar with altitude differences so I cannot say for sure. I apologize!
Joanne R Allen says
Just made these, YUMMY! Thank you for the new and easy recipe!
Tara M says
These were amazing! First time making homemade pretzels so I was unsure how they would turn out. I followed the recipe to a T and they turned out perfectly. Thank you!
Hi – I made these and they were delicious! Very easy to follow recipe.
They came out a little dense. Any suggestions?
These look so good! Question: the biggest pretzel fan in my household, my husband, is allergic to both dairy and eggs. Any suggestions for what I could use instead of butter?
Hi Theresa, oh no! Using margarine or a plant-based butter shouldn’t be a problem. The butter is so minimal in the pretzel dough itself that a simple margarine swap should be fine. And as for brushing on the finished pretzels, same thing! Whatever butter sub you use should work… maybe even ghee?
Casey Hahn says
Can I use the dough function in a bread machine to mix and knead this?
Hi Casey! I have actually never used a bread machine before so I am not positive, but I believe it should work!
I have a gluten allergy and was wondering if I could use gluten free flour instead??
Hi Dianne, I am sure using the cup-for-cup GF flour will work! I have not tried it but I would guess it will be fine!
Absolutely amazing!!!!! My husband and I made them at like 1 in the morning, lol. . . We made some butter/salt. The rest butter/ cinnamon and sugar. I made some icing out of 10× sugar and vanilla creamer. It was delicious with the cinnamon and sugar pretzels. It was like a pretzel cinnamon roll. Thanks for sharing the recipe! In LOVE!!!!!
Hi Rebecca, the idea of a pretzel cinnamon roll sounds AMAZING! So glad you and your husband enjoyed!
I made these with my kids today, and they were amazing!! So delicious. How would you store these (if not freezing)? Airtight container with a slice of bread to keep them soft?
Hi Colby! So glad you and your kids enjoyed. Yes, that sounds perfect! Airtight at room temperature or you can freeze them!
I made these, and turned out amazing and so easy to make!
Is it possible to freeze the dough prior to baking them, to use at a later time?
Hi Sara, I have not tried freezing the actual dough so I cannot say for certain, but I know you can freeze the baked pretzels!
Kristin Boardman says
STUNNING RECIPE!! They were a quick make and so versatile. We made some regular, salted bites, and cinnamon sugar bites paired with Baking Mischief’s small batch cream cheese icing. SOOO good!! Putting this one in my cookbook! ❤️
can you use a bowl and a mixing spoon because my mixer recently broke
Hi Matilda, you can but it’s gonna be an arm workout!
I made these today and they were perfect!! I Had never made pretzels before, so I was shocked at how great they turned out. Recipe is obviously foolproof!!
Thanks so much Kelly!
Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you cannot repeat thank you enough. You sound as far beyond as this recipe shared
These turned out amazing! It was my first time making pretzels, so I was a bit nervous. We made them exactly how it says (although we topped half with coarse salt and half with cinnamon sugar), and they turned out great! So delicious! I cannot rave about this recipe enough! So yum!
Heidi, I am so happy you enjoyed them! Love the idea of making some cinnamon sugary!
Yvette Snyder says
We made these today with our grandchildren ages 2 and 4. We were looking for a fun indoor activity that everyone would enjoy. Being our first time making homemade pretzels our expectations weren’t that high. Boy was I surprised when we ended up with an absolutely AMAZING final product. We followed the instructions exactly and the pretzels couldn’t have turned out any better! We can’t stop raving about them!! The kids had a blast making them too! So a win- win. I see A LOT of these yummy treats in our future!! Absolutely great recipe…super easy to follow….with fantastic results!! So glad we chose this recipe to try. It’s a keeper!!?
Yvette, I am so glad you and your grandchildren had fun making the pretzels!
How do I adjust if I only have rapid rise instant yeast?
Hi Cheryl! The rising time may be shorter for you. A good rule of thumb is to wait until it is double in size.
Thanks! So still same amount of water and yeast? Appreciate the fast response!
Yep, same amounts of those still! Since the rise time is only about 20 minutes, I’d just check around 15 minutes or so and you should be good to go!
These are the “bestest” I’ve ever had!!! Everyone loves them! Thanks alot for sharing!
Jennifer V says
I’m so excited to make these. Do you have a version for sourdough starter?
Hi Jennifer, I do not unfortunately!
Lisa Brooks says
I made these this evening. They were SO GOOD that I’m now making a second batch. Super easy too,, Thanks,,
Would you recommend salted or unsalted butter?
Either will work, but since there is going to be salt on top of the pretzels, I would maybe choose unsalted to control the salty flavor.
Unbelievably easy to make, soft, delicious, ADDICTIVE! I have never rated a recipe before – and I use other online blogs OFTEN – but Hayley’s recipes just hit different!!! 10/10 will make again and again. I also just made her no bake cheesecake and am basically dead from how tasty and easy that one is too! Obsessed! Thank you so much for blessing us with these recipes!!!!!
Brandiwyn, thank you so much for the kind comment and your review! I am so glad the pretzels have exceeded your expectations!
When I place them in the boiling water, do I need to flip them or just leave them on the one side for 30 seconds? Thanks!
Hi Kelly, kinda push them around and dunk them so they’re coated, but you don’t need to flip.
Came out awesome
Miriam Rose Blanar says
This was my first time making soft pretzels and these were soooo good! My family consumed 5 in 15 mins. It was so easy to make too!!!! Thank you so much! I will be making these over and over!!!!
I made these and they ended up having a bitter like taste on the bottom I was wonder if it was because of the spray on olive oil i used to grease up the baking sheet (I was out of butter) or perhaps the fact that I flipped the pretzels while boiling so that both sides would be coated. Besides that they were very yummy and I would try them again
Hi Adrianna, did you use baking soda or baking powder accidentally? Baking powder would have more of a bitter taste, but it definitely could be even that olive oil spray if you aren’t used to using it. Sorry you had this problem!
These pretzels are amazing!! I am just not too sure if my dough rose enough? I feel like it barely grew. How much is it supposed to grow?
Hi Annalyssa, it should get about double in size. Perhaps your yeast wasn’t fresh? A good rule of thumb is to just wait until the dough doubles in size rather than go by strict timing since everyone’s kitchen is different!
I absolutely love this recipe!! I have made it a dozen times now and they always turn out perfectly (except for once when I asked my partner to help me out and he didn’t properly shake the baking soda water off of the pretzels). I have since shared this with my friends and they have all had great success making them! I tried the Joanna Gaines Magnolia recipe and it wasn’t as good. These have more of that authentic pretzel flavour/texture!
Just made them. Have not tasted but I just saw the post ahead of mine. They were not double in size and i had a hard time making the shape. But they look great. Do u have problems keeping the shape?
Stephanie, the pretzel shape is definitely tricky but it should hold its shape once it has been formed.
Oh. My. Gosh! These ARE easy and perfect! And MAN ARE THEY GOOD!!!
Made these last night and they turned out great! Only problem was with storing them. I put them in an airtight container and this morning the salt had basically melted on the pretzels. What should I do differently?
Yeah, the regular salt will do that. If you want the salt to really stick, I would use actual pretzel salt.
What are doing wrong? It is just a thick liquid with the 4 cups water and the 2 3/4 cups flour. Is that really the right ratio? Thinking about it and seeing how much flour we’re adding it seems backward. Help!!
Hi Teri, the 4 cups of water are for the baking soda solution. There is only 1 cup of water for the pretzel dough.
That’s hilarious! Didn’t even see 2 different lines for water. That’s what I get for going too quickly. Looking forward to trying it again. Thanks!
Pat B says
My first attempt at making these may not be perfect but the taste delicious anyways. Will definitely make them again.
I made these for the first time today. Dough was easy to make. All went well exactly as indicated in the recipe. My only issue was that the bottom had a bitter taste. Otherwise bread was soft and tasty. Maybe too much baking soda? For sure has to do with the salt bath. Can I make bread rolls out of this recipe?
Hi Maria, you could probably make bread rolls, yes! As far as the bitter taste, it may be baking soda. Try decreasing by just a little; it does still need a significant amount of baking soda in order for that signature chewy pretzel texture.
Easy recipe. Rather than twisted shape- I divided into 16 sections. Made pretzel sticks. Did one at time in soda bath. After each removal, placed wet slotted spoon holding pretzel on clean tea towel. This minimized water on greased baking sheet. Will make again. My teen boys loved them.
Hi, I made these the 1st time and they came out absolutely perfect ! I have tried 4 more times and I cant get it right . No matter what I do the dough is just sticky , when I try to roll them out after proofing them to cut into nuggets it just sticks everywhere , I don’t understand , like I said the 1st time they were absolutely amazing. Any idea what may be the problem ? I bake for a local hospital on a weekly basis during this pandemic and was making them for this week , so disappointed hoping you can suggest what im doing wrong.
Hi Debbie! I am sorry there’s been some issues with the dough. Have you tried adding more flour? Anytime we’re working with bread/doughs, the flour can be more of an approximate measurement than a dead-on “4 cups”, for example. Try working in increments of 1/4-1/2 cup until the dough is pliable. Everyone’s kitchens and weather is different and bread dough can be fickle!
Super easy recipe to follow. Super quick and everyone LOVED them. I love finding good recipes that I can add to my collection and this one is a keeper! Thank you for sharing!!!!
I’m very inexperienced in making recipes and food but this recipe was easy and turned out amazing! I’ve already made it three times because they are SO good!
Jaclyn, so so happy you loved the pretzels and found them easy to make!
Leslie Heath says
I’ve tried several “soft” pretzel recipes over the years that were “good” but they just weren’t quite what I was looking for, UNTIL these! Made these today and WOW, they were sooo nice and soft but still had that little “crust ” on the bottom that we like. I rolled out 12 fairly thin ropes and wrapped each one around a hot dog and made pretzel dogs (kept soda boil and cook times the same) YUM!. The leftover dough I cut into bites. I do recommend if you make pretzel dogs you cook the bites first as the water will take on a hot dog taste. After years of looking I finally found the perfect pretzel, THANK YOU
Leslie, I am so thrilled you enjoyed them! Great tip about making pretzel dogs!
So easy to make and delicious. Never thought I can make my own pretzels 🙂 Thank you, Thank you! Five stars…
Super easy to make and I didn’t use salt but rolled in cinnamon and sugar. My husband who is super picky gave his stamp of approval so that means I will definitely make again.
These were great and easy to make! But I have made them twice now and each time they have stuck to the well greased parchment paper. We have a non-stick pan that’s usually very good, I’m thinking about trying it without the parchment paper.
I love this recipe thank you , how yeast in spoons if I have a large amount to measure from a large pack of instant yeast from Amazon , how much tank you
Hi Ana, it is 2 & 1/4 teaspoons of yeast.
Is the butter salted or unsalted ??
Hi Mihaela, either will work! But if you’re going to be putting coarse salt on your pretzels as a finish, I recommend using unsalted butter.
I would sell my soul for these pretzels. Brushed them with egg wash before baking and baked at 400 so it took a little longer. But so easy and so delicious! I recommend.
Just gotta say…LOVE THESE! I’ve actually had friends pay me to make them for them! Great and easy recipe! Thanks for helping us with a new addiction.
These were really easy and delicious!!!
Good LORD. These are just ridiculous. Sooooo delicious and easy, exactly as the recipe reads. Thnx a million Hayley;-)
Thanks For Sharing this amazing recipe. My family loved it. I will be sharing this recipe with my friends. Hope the will like it.
Oh, too bad the ingredients are not measured also in grams 🙁
This is my second time making them! They are delicious! Thank you for sharing
Tami S says
Can you use granulated sugar instead of brown sugar?
Sure, that should work. Brown sugar helps give a chewy texture though.
I will NEVER buy a mall soft pretzel again! These are insanely good and pretty easy to make (especially with a stand mixer). They ate so soft and have a perfect chew….only problem is I just ate four of them! Wonderful recipe.
Stine Kjær says
Hello. How big a cup do you use in grams ..? 🙂
Just made these (eating one now!) and, boy, are they good!!! Very easy to follow recipe and perfect results. Thanks so much!
I love these pretzels! They are always a hit and my friends love them. I’m trying to make them for a party tomorrow but won’t have time to do the whole process before the party. Is there a way to do some of it in advance? Like could I make the dough and leave it over night? Or would it work to boil them tonight then bake them tomorrow afternoon?
Nia Taatas says
Amazing recipe. Turned out great !