How To Make Homemade Soft Pretzels (It’s Easier Than You Think!)

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Is there anything more comforting than the aroma and promise of Homemade Soft Pretzels? Despite the impressive and delectable result, the recipe is fairly straightforward using flour, yeast, brown sugar, baking soda, and eggs. Serve with your favorite cheese dip. Yum!

3-panel image with baked soft pretzels on the top, and two other images below. One is of the dough shaped into a pretzel, and the other of a rack of cooked pretzels, one is being lifted with a spatula. Text overlay says"Step-by-Step Recipe - Homemade Soft Pretzels". Similar photos of the recipe from various angles are used throughout but with different text overlays unless otherwise described.

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Homemade Soft Pretzels

The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading all the way through for any tips or substitute suggestions, to ensure that you have any specialized ingredients and equipment required and that you understand the steps and timings involved.

It’s time to stop buying soft pretzels from the store and to have a go at making them yourself! Is there anything better than the chewy, salty crust and the soft fluffy interior of this twisted baked good?

Depending on how tightly you tie the pretzel knot you could use these as rolls to fill with deli meat or even sliced German sausage – with mustard of course!

Or just tear the soft pretzel into pieces and dunk into your favorite cheese dip. Or make a tasty honey-mustard dip by combining the two together to your personal tastes.





One of the keys to success with this recipe is to dip the pretzels in a boiling alkaline bath before baking. This step is what gives soft pretzels that distinctive rich brown exterior color and the coveted soft, chewy interior. Professional bakeries often use lye for this process, while many home cooks prefer to work with baking soda as a less caustic alternative. Here, the more user-friendly baking soda bath is used.

Another important step is to brush each pretzel with an egg wash after they have been removed from the alkaline bath and patted dry. This step imparts a nice shine to the pretzels and helps the coarse sea salt adhere while baking. For a richer golden color, use a whole egg or just the yolk (vs. just the egg white) for this step. 

You’ll see in the photo below the various ways we tested preparing the pretzels – with and without the soda bath, and with and without the egg wash.

Recipe for Soft Pretzel Rolls

Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe

While most ingredients can be bought in grocery stores, for your convenience, any specialized or notable ingredients (and equipment) needed for this recipe have been listed below and linked to Amazon or other stores if available online.

It does not include staple ingredients such as oil, salt, and pepper, as you’re likely to have those in your kitchen already. The complete list of ingredients with measurements is found in the recipe card.

  • Brown Sugar
  • Active Dry Yeast
  • All-Purpose Flour also known as Plain Flour.
  • Baking Sodaalso known as Bicarbonate of Soda.
  • Spicy Mustard – to serve
  • Cheese Dip – to serve

Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog use both cup measurements and/or weighted measurements. American cups and kitchen food scales are handy pieces of equipment to have in your kitchen as it means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog. I try to give American, imperial, and metric measurements in my recipes. Please note, you can mix cup measurements with weighted measurements, but never mix imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.,) with metric (kilograms, grams, litres, etc.,).

Recipe for Soft Pretzel Rolls
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Recipe Tips

  • Alternative Serving Suggestion: After baking, brush each pretzel with melted butter and dip each pretzel into a shallow bowl filled with a mixture of sugar and ground cinnamon to coat.

How Do I Make Soft Pretzels?

Check out the printable recipe card below with full ingredients and instructions. Any demonstration photos do not print out to save your ink.

Recipe for Soft Pretzel Rolls

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Is there anything more comforting than the aroma and promise of Homemade Soft Pretzels?

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1½ cups very warm water
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2¼ tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 4½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 8 cups water
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • Sea salt
  • Spicy mustard or cheese dip, to serve, optional

Instructions

  1. Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats and grease a large bowl with one tablespoon olive oil. Set aside.
  2. Add the warm water to a different large bowl, followed by the salt, brown sugar, and yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes.

    Step 2 - Yeast in bowl
  3. Add remaining olive oil to the bowl with the yeast. Gradually add four cups flour, one cup at a time, stirring vigorously with a fork and scraping the sides, until the flour is thoroughly incorporated into the dough without any lumps.

    Step 3 - Adding Flour to Dough
  4. Sprinkle remaining flour onto a clean, dry work surface and lightly coat hands with additional flour. Drop the dough onto the work surface and knead in remaining flour just until dough is no longer sticky. Do not overwork.

    Working the Dough
  5. Shape dough into a ball and add to the clean bowl coated in olive oil. Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside in a warm place for one hour or until the dough doubles in size.

    Step 5 - Leaving Dough to Rest
  6. When the dough is almost done resting, position the oven racks so that the oven is divided into thirds and preheat the oven to 230°/450°F.Gas 8.
  7. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down with your lightly floured fist. Rest for a couple minutes, then drop the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 12 equal-sized portions.

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  8. While the dough is resting (Step #7), fill a large pot with 8 cups water and one-half cup baking soda and bring to a rolling boil.
  9. Roll each section of dough into a long, thin rope, with your hands. Bend the dough into a “U” shape and twist the loose ends together twice before attaching each tip toward the bottom of the “U” to form a traditional pretzel shape, as shown. Transfer pretzels to the prepared baking sheets. Tip: If the pretzels are allowed to sit for 10-15 minutes once shaped, they will continue to rise or “puff up” to form a nice full shape.

    Shaping the Pretzel Dough

    Shaping the Pretzel Dough

    Shaping the Pretzel Dough

    Shaping the Pretzel Dough
  10. Drop each pretzel, one at a time, into the boiling baking soda bath and boil for 20 seconds before flipping. Boil for another 20 seconds, then transfer with a slotted spatula to a wire rack to drain excess liquid.

    Pretzel Dough in Baking Soda Bath
  11. Gently pat pretzels dry with a paper towel and transfer back to the prepared baking sheets.
  12. Beat egg and water together in a small bowl and brush each pretzel with the egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and place in the pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Tip: For even browning, rotate the baking sheets and move the baking sheet on the bottom rack to the top (and vice versa) halfway through baking.

    Pretzels with Egg Wash & Salt
  13. Remove from oven and cool for a couple minutes before serving with some spicy mustard or your favorite cheese dip. Enjoy!

    Baked Soft Pretzels

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 222Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 2823mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 6g

This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.

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Make It A Full Meal

These pretzel rolls could be served as a snack, or as pre-dinner bread service, or with dinner.

Here are additional recipes to make a full meal for a dinner party or special occasion:

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