Homemade Soft Pretzel Recipe - Cooking With Karli (2024)

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Soft Pretzels are both delicious and EASY! The classic tangy, chewy crust with the fluffy inside is exactly what this recipe will provide. This Soft Pretzel Recipe is fast, too! It takes less than 1 hour from start to finish.

Homemade Soft Pretzel Recipe - Cooking With Karli (1)

Soft Pretzel Recipe- Easier than you’d think!

I remember making homemade soft pretzels quite a few times growing up. The insides were never quite as fluffy as they should have been though. (Don’t worry, I’ve worked out all the kinks for this brand new recipe! 😉)

When we were at the mall this past week (for the second time. That is a whole different story in and of itself, though) we walked by the Pretzel Maker. 1. Why does every mall in America seem to have a Pretzel Maker? 2. Why does the smell of fresh pretzels immediately make me salivate and forget all of my money saving habits?

Okay, kidding about the last part. I can only remember once in the past 7 years where I’ve actually given into the salivation and bought a pretzel. I was pregnant at the time andneeded food though, so it is totally justified. 😉

Only this time at the mall, it wasn’t just me salivating. Chase said ‘Woah. What’s that smell??’ And that is when I knew, I needed to bust out a soft pretzel recipe. And FAST!

After a couple of test runs (all within the past few days!) I think I’ve nailed it. The dough is an absolute DREAM to work with. Guess what? They aren’t even that hard! I would say a beginner would be able to follow the instructions and be totally successful!!

Have an hour and a handful of ingredients to spare?? Let’s make some Pretzels! Ps. I now have a Pretzel Bites recipeand Cinnamon and Sugar Pretzel Bites!

Homemade Soft Pretzels ingredients

  • warm water- I always just use tap water. We are aiming for about 100-110° F for the temp of the water.
  • dry active yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar- This helps activate the yeast as well as gives the pretzel a hint of sweetness.
  • 1 tbsp melted butter- This is a fat added to the dough that makes it nice and soft.
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour- All purpose flour is all we need here!
  • 1 egg white optional
  • sea salt optional
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How to make this Soft Pretzel Recipe

First, let’s make the dough.

The dough is very simple.

  1. First, proof your yeast in some warm water with some sugar. If you aren’t familiar with the terminology, proofing means to activate the yeast. This is done by mixing together the yeast, warm water and some sugar (yeast feeds off of sugar and will help activate it) and letting it sit until it is nice and frothy (see photo below). If it bubbles up, you know your yeast is active and well. If it doesn’t bubble up, your yeast is dead.The yeast could be dead for a few reasons, too hot of water, not warm enough water, old yeast, too much sugar, or accidentally using salt instead of sugar (you know I know that from experience, right?😉). Follow my exact measurements below in the recipe card and you will be golden!As for the temperature of water, test the water on the inside of your wrist, the water should feel warm there, not hot, just warm.
  2. After the yeast has been proofed, add in some melted butter, salt and flour. Mix for 10 minutes. The dough should not stick to the sides of the bowl at all and should be extremely smooth and elastic.
  3. At this point, it is time to rise the dough. I like to use my Instant Pot to rise the dough quickly. If using the Instant Pot, turn the Instant Pot onto the Normal YOGURT setting and allow the dough to rise fo 15 minutes.
  4. If you do not have an Instant Pot or don’t have the yogurt button, allow the dough to rise on the counter top until double is size. Approx. 1 hour.
  5. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch the dough down. Divide into 8 equal pieces.
  6. It is now time to prepare the baking soda and water bath. Again, I like to use my Instant Pot for this but you could definitely use your stove top!
  7. If using the Instant Pot, place 4 cups of water with 1/4 cup baking soda in the Instant Pot and set to Sauté HIGH. If using the stove top, add the same (4 cups of water with 1/4 cup baking soda) to a large pot and turn the stovetop on to medium high. We are looking to get this water boiling.
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While the water is heating up, it is time to shape the pretzels! You won’t believe how easy this is!

  1. roll the dough into a long rope. Approx 2 ft long.
  2. lay the rope into a ‘U’ shape.
  3. cross the ends of the ‘U’. Repeat.
  4. fold the ends down towards the bottom of the ‘U’.
  5. Pinch the ends in place.
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When all of the pretzels have been shaped, dip each pretzel one by one into the boiling soda water.

Let the pretzels sit for about 30 seconds before removing the pretzels and transferring them to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Repeat with the remaining pretzels. Brush each pretzel with egg white and then sprinkle sea salt on top.

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Bake at 425° for 10 minutes. Allow the pretzels to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Best if eaten right away or within the hour. If the pretzels won’t be eaten within the hour I would suggest freezing them as soon as they are cool. The best way to reheat a frozen pretzel is in the oven at 425° for 10 minutes.

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I like to serve the pretzels with a simple cheese sauce. I need to make and test the cheese sauce a bit more, but I’ll write down what I usually do in case you are interested. 😉

Dips to try with this Homemade Pretzel Recipe

Cheese Sauce

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sharp white cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 1/2 cup milk cheddar cheese (grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Melt the butter and flour over medium heat in a small sauce pan. Cook for 3 minutes.
  2. slowly whisk in the milk.
  3. add the cheese, whisk until melted and combined.
  4. season with salt and pepper.

What to eat with Soft Pretzels

Soft pretzels are a versatile snack that can be enjoyed on their own or paired with a variety of dipping sauces and other foods. Classic pairings for soft pretzels include mustard, cheese sauce, and hummus, while beer cheese and sweet dips like caramel or chocolate sauce are also popular choices.

How to store Homemade Pretzels

Soft pretzels are best eaten fresh, but if you need to store them, there are a few things to keep in mind. To store soft pretzels, first, make sure they have completely cooled down to room temperature. Once cooled, place the pretzels in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. If you want to store them for a longer period, you can freeze them. Place the pretzels in a freezer-safe container or bag, and freeze for up to two months.

How to reheat Soft Pretzels

When you’re ready to eat the pretzels, let them thaw at room temperature for a few hours, then reheat in the oven or microwave until warm. Remember that reheating the pretzels can affect their texture, so it’s best to eat them fresh if possible.

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Homemade Soft Pretzels FAQs

Why do you boil soft pretzels before baking?

Boiling soft pretzels before baking is a traditional method that helps give the pretzels their characteristic texture, color and flavor.

Is pretzel dough different than regular dough?

They both include the same ingredients but the difference comes with how the pretzels are boiled in a baking soda bath prior to baking which gives it a different flavor and texture.

What is the secret ingredient which makes a pretzel taste like a pretzel?

A baking soda bath! We will boil the dough in a mixture of boiling water and baking soda prior to baking.

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4.46 from 90 votes

Homemade Soft Pretzels

By: Karli Bitner

Homemade Soft Pretzels are both delicious and EASY! The classic tangy, chewy crust with the fluffy inside is exactly what this recipe will provide. This Soft Pretzel Recipe is fast, too! It takes less than 1 hour from start to finish.

Prep Time: 45 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes minutes

Total Time: 49 minutes minutes

Servings: 8 pretzels

Ingredients

Pretzel Dough

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 pkg dry active yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 egg white, optional
  • sea salt, optional

Baking Soda Bath

Instructions

  • Add the warm water, yeast and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Let sit for 5 minutes or until bubbly. If the yeast isn’t bubbly, it isn’t active and the pretzels will not work. Repeat this step with new yeast until it is bubbly.

  • Add the melted butter, salt and flour to the stand mixer. Turn on LOW and allow the stand mixer to knead the dough for 10 minutes.

  • The dough should be very soft, but shouldn’t stick to the sides of the bowl at all.

  • Allow the dough to rise until double. (1 hour on the counter) If using the Instant Pot, spray the liner with non stick spray and then let the dough rise in the Instant Pot on the Yogurt NORMAL setting for 15 minutes.

  • After the dough has doubled, punch down the dough and divide into 8 equal sized pieces. Set aside.

  • Combine the water and baking soda in either a large pot on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot. Bring the soda water to a boil. If using the Instant Pot, set it to Saute HIGH.

  • Preheat oven to 425°.

  • While the soda water is coming to a boil, shape the pretzels.

  • Take one piece of dough and roll into a 2 ft long rope. Lay the rope in the shape of a ‘U’.

  • Cross the ends of the ‘U’. Repeat this step so the rope is twisted.

  • Fold the ends of the ‘U’ down towards the bottom of the ‘U’ and pinch the ends to create the pretzel shape. (see image diagram in post).

  • Repeat with the remaining dough.

  • Once all of the pretzels have been shaped, gently place each pretzel (one by one) in the boiling soda water. Allow the pretzel to boil for about 30 seconds before removing and transferring to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

  • Repeat with remaining pretzels.

  • Brush each pretzel with egg white (if desired) and sprinkle with sea salt.

  • Bake at 425° for 10 minutes.

  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes before eating.

  • Best eaten within the hour. If you’d like to store for a longer period of time, I suggest freezing the pretzels as soon as they are cool. Reheat the pretzels in the oven at 425° for 8-10 minutes.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 4g | Sodium: 1185mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1.8mg

Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Homemade Soft Pretzels are both delicious and EASY! The classic tangy, chewy crust with the fluffy inside is exactly what this recipe will provide. This Soft Pretzel Recipe is fast, too! It takes less than 1 hour from start to finish.

Course Bread, Snack

Prep Time 45 minutes

Cook Time 4 minutes

Total Time 49 minutes

Servings 8 pretzels

Calories 152kcal

Ingredients

Pretzel Dough

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 pkg dry active yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 egg white optional
  • sea salt optional

Baking Soda Bath

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup baking soda

Instructions

  1. Add the warm water, yeast and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Let sit for 5 minutes or until bubbly. If the yeast isn’t bubbly, it isn’t active and the pretzels will not work. Repeat this step with new yeast until it is bubbly.
  2. Add the melted butter, salt and flour to the stand mixer. Turn on LOW and allow the stand mixer to knead the dough for 10 minutes.
  3. The dough should be very soft, but shouldn’t stick to the sides of the bowl at all.
  4. Allow the dough to rise until double. (1 hour on the counter) If using the Instant Pot, spray the liner with non stick spray and then let the dough rise in the Instant Pot on the Yogurt NORMAL setting for 15 minutes.
  5. After the dough has doubled, punch down the dough and divide into 8 equal sized pieces. Set aside.
  6. Combine the water and baking soda in either a large pot on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot. Bring the soda water to a boil. If using the Instant Pot, set it to Saute HIGH.
  7. Preheat oven to 425°.
  8. While the soda water is coming to a boil, shape the pretzels.
  9. Take one piece of dough and roll into a 2 ft long rope. Lay the rope in the shape of a ‘U’.
  10. Cross the ends of the ‘U’. Repeat this step so the rope is twisted.
  11. Fold the ends of the ‘U’ down towards the bottom of the ‘U’ and pinch the ends to create the pretzel shape. (see image diagram in post).
  12. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  13. Once all of the pretzels have been shaped, gently place each pretzel (one by one) in the boiling soda water. Allow the pretzel to boil for about 30 seconds before removing and transferring to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  14. Repeat with remaining pretzels.
  15. Brush each pretzel with egg white (if desired) and sprinkle with sea salt.
  16. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes.
  17. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before eating.
  18. Best eaten within the hour. If you’d like to store for a longer period of time, I suggest freezing the pretzels as soon as they are cool. Reheat the pretzels in the oven at 425° for 8-10 minutes.
Homemade Soft Pretzel Recipe - Cooking With Karli (2024)

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