Fifteen Spatulas

Hot Buttered Fluffy Pretzels

Soft Pretzels

Have you ever waited in one of those really long lines at the mall for a soft pretzel? You know…the ones for Auntie Anne’s, or Wetzel’s Pretzels? You just can’t help it, right? You can smell that darned cinnamon sugar and butter wafting over from like 100 feet away.

Well try these at home, and you’ll never buy those mall pretzels ever again. There’s just no reason to anymore, because these homemade soft baked pretzels taste better and only cost a buck or two to make a whole tray.

Start by making a simple yeasted dough, and shape it into a ball.

Soft Pretzel Dough

Let the yeast work its magic and create these gorgeous bubbles.

Sometimes I just stare at the dough because it’s sooooo prettyyyyyy…

Soft Pretzel Dough Recipe

Divide up the dough into pieces, and roll each into a long rope.

How to Shape Soft Pretzel

Shape into pretzels by looping the rope through.

How to Shape a Soft Pretzel

Sprinkle each pretzel with coarse sea salt and send them into the oven.

Shaped Soft Pretzels

Bake until golden and puffed, then brush with butter.

Baked Soft Pretzels
Enjoy while they are hot!

UPDATE: I have posted a 100% Whole Wheat Version of these pretzels (cinnamon sugar ones!):

Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels

Click here to check it out.

Soft Baked Pretzels

Yield: 8 pretzels

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes


For the Dough:
12.5 oz all purpose flour (2.5 cups)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp sugar
2.25 tsp instant quick rise yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)

For the Topping:
1/2 cup warm water
1 tbsp baking soda
vegetable oil for greasing the sheet pan
coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted


Combine all the dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer, and mix with the paddle attachment until somewhat combined (or just mix by hand with a wooden spoon). Change to the dough hook and knead on medium low for 5 minutes. The dough should feel soft and smooth, not sticky to the touch.

Lightly dust the dough with flour, then place in a ziploc bag and let the dough rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, and lightly grease a baking sheet with vegetable oil. You could also do parchment paper if you can find one that's rated high enough (most parchment papers I've seen only go up to 420 degrees F).

Remove the dough from the bag and place onto a lightly oiled countertop. Divide the dough into 8 pieces (just cut it with a knife).

Whisk to combine the warm water and baking soda and cook in the microwave for 1 minute. FYI it's not going to dissolve completely, and that's okay.

Roll each of the eight pieces into a long rope, and shape each one into a pretzel (see the step-by-step photos on the blog post to see how to do this). Dip each pretzel into the soda wash and place onto the greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt, then let them rest for 10 minutes.

Bake for 9 to 10 minutes until the pretzels are golden brown. Brush the pretzels with the melted butter while they are hot out of the oven. Enjoy while they are hot, and keep in mind these don't taste as amazing the next day. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Glenda's Hot Buttered Pretzels who adapted from King Arthur Flour.

Other simple breads from scratch on Fifteen Spatulas:

Homemade Pita Bread

Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Foccacia

A Bread Recipe for Those Who Don’t Know How to Boil Water

374 comments on “Hot Buttered Fluffy Pretzels

  1. Perfection! Thanks for the recipe. My first attempt @ pretzels & they were perfect. We ate them fresh out of the oven dipped in honey mustard

  2. So, I made these tonight but for some reason I couldn’t get the dough to turn smooth and not sticky. I went ahead and let it rise and made them anyway, but the pretzels turned out spongy, like a breadstick, instead of dense, like a pretzel. Any ideas what I may have done wrong?

    • Hi Laura, it sounds like the dough had too much water/not enough flour. Next time add enough flour so that the dough feel “tacky” but not sticky. Having a higher water content in bread will make it lighter and more spongy, so just add some more flour next time. I should note though, that these are soft pretzels and probably won’t be dense regardless.

    • David Schofield

      Like bagels, dense (commercial) pretzels are boiled first before they’re baked. This gives them that kind of moist crusty density.

  3. Trying out this recipe atm! Hope it comes out gooood! 😀

  4. LOVE these! I am planning on making some to take to work, however I want my co-workers to enjoy them fresh so I was planning on making the dough tonight, form the pretzels, and then freeze/refrigerate (?) them to bake at work the next day. Have you ever done this? Do you have any recommendations for how to best prep the pretzels ahead of time but bake later?
    Thank you so much!!

    • Hm, I would say it’d be best to refrigerate them (don’t recommend freezing for such a short time period, as you’d have to let them thaw first, then bake). They might puff up a bit in the fridge but they should bake okay =) What a nice co-worker you are!

  5. These were insanely good! Thanks for the detailed descriptions, they came out perfectly!

  6. Hi Joanne
    I made your pretzels with a few of my kids last night and they were a hit. I loved how quickly the dough came together (hooray for my Kitchen Aid!) and how quickly the dough rose (rised? risened? oh,well). The kids had fun rolling and shaping the dough and we especially loved gobbling them up.
    Thank you, thank you for a quick, simple and fun treat! I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

  7. Hi Joanne!

    My family loves these pretzels! I made a double batch tonight and used white whole wheat flour. They still turned out great!! Thanks for such an easy recipe :)

  8. Wilton parchment is rated to 450, FYI.

  9. Thanks for sharing this recipe! It was super easy…especially for a novice like me! I look forward to trying these and more of your recipes soon!

  10. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us! It was super easy to make, even for a novice like me.

    I look forward to trying more of your recipes!

  11. So these look absolutely delish!!! but… what is soda water?

  12. Think it could work with GF flour? And what if tour mixer doesn’t have a paddle attachment?

  13. Is it possible to use rice flour for the dough rather than regular flour?

    • Hi Rebecca, unfortunately rice flour won’t be able to develop any gluten, so I don’t think it would work. You might be able to use gluten free flour maybe? But I don’t have any experience with it so I’m not sure how it would go. If you try it please report back and let us all know =)

  14. Is that 2 cups + 5oz. of flour
    and 2 1/4 t yeast?

    • Two and a half cups of flour. And two and one quarter teaspoon yeast (the equivalent to one instant package).

  15. Tried these today – my first attempt at a dough/bread recipe – they turned out AMAZING! Honestly one of the best tasting and easiest recipes I have ever made. Thanks so much!

  16. Although these did stick to my sheet pan a bit, they tasted amazing! I’ll be making them again very soon with a bit more oil on my baking sheet. Thanks for posting this recipe!

  17. with your delicious recipe me and my family made ” Pretzels hot dog roll ups.”

  18. I don’t have course sea salt. Would regular salt mess them up?

  19. Hi I have tried this ,itis so good… iI melt some butter and dip the pretzel in ..Mmmmm.try it ..

  20. I love these! I made them multiple times! It takes alot to impress my dad with food and he loved them! We dipped them in cheddar cheese!

  21. These look delicious! Can’t wait to try them 😀 however I like in the UK and I’ve checked in superstores and we don’t have All Purpose Flour .. any idea which is better .. Plain Flour or Self Raising Flour? Please and Thank You

  22. WOW ! looks amazing … Bookmark this recipe will make this for my iftar..

  23. Hi! I made these with my 10 year old daughter, Leilah, today. They turned out great —- we dipped them in yellow mustard. What a treat! Thanks!

  24. My 10 year old daughter, Leilah and I made these together this afternoon. They were fantastic dipped in mustard — What a treat! Thanks for sharing!

  25. Huge hit with the fam! I doubled it.
    Now, less than a week later I am making them again.
    I used a silicone baking mat. Worked great!

  26. I love making pretzels!

  27. My dough came out very well. But when it came out of the oven it was not soft and it did not get the golden color. It was more of a yellow and over done. I tried again baking again but it again so it wasnt over done but didnt get that yello color as before. and on the inside both times baking its not done. Oven is at 420°

    • Hi Jan, the baking temperature in the directions is 450 degrees, so I’m wondering why you’re baking it at 420? Is it because you’re using parchment paper that only goes up to 420? If so, try to use a Silpat or go without the parchment and make sure the baking sheet is well greased. The pretzels should be baking at 450. Hope this helps!

  28. I want to make these pretzels but I am a bit confused by your measurements. it says 12.5 oz (2.5) cups. 2.5 cups would be 20 oz. Which one is it?

    • The standard weight for a cup of all purpose flour is 5 oz. America’s Test Kitchen uses this measurement. At 5 oz per cup, 5+5+2.5 = 12.5 total ounces . 20 ounces is way over and would be the equivalent of 4 cups. Hope you enjoy the pretzels.

  29. Hi Joanne,

    So, as promised, I made these pretzels today and they were absolutely awesome! I will never buy mall pretzels again– just that good! My only problem was the pretzels sticking to the pan– had it been anybody other than family eating them, I would have been embarrassed. Can you tell me where I went wrong? I lightly oiled the pan with vegetable oil, gave the pretzel dough a ‘soda bath’ and let them rise for 10 minutes before baking them. Did I not use enough oil? Or, should I have tried to get as much of the baking soda mixture off as possible before placing them in the pan? I just dunked them and slapped them on the pan. Any ideas? Thanks!

    • Hi Veronica, glad that you enjoyed the pretzels!! As far as the sticking, I think it depends on the pan. I use an uncoated pan and haven’t had any issues with sticking, and I don’t really grease it heavily. Do you have a silpat? You could use that, or a high temp parchment paper.

      • Hi Joanne,

        I used a pan that already had a nonstick coating. I didn’t grease it heavily– I poured a small amount of vegetable oil and used a pastry brush to spread it around. I do not have silpat or a high temp parchment paper (before reading the other posts, I saw parchment while shopping for the ingredients, but didn’t get it due to the 420 degree rating), but I will definitely invest. I saw another post where someone said Wilton makes parchment that goes up to 450 degrees so I will look for it.

        Thanks Joanne! I look forward to trying more recipes!

        • Hi Veronica, I actually don’t use nonstick pans anymore for this reason. I found that stuff stuck to them more often than not, which didn’t make any sense to me. I actually ended up throwing them away. I have less issues with a completely uncoated pan like this one Hope that helps!

  30. I just made these. I used a silpat and they came out wonderfully. However next time I will make a few changes. They came out way too fluffy to be considered a pretzel and reminded me more of a biscuit, so I will cut out small balls of dough from the big dough and roll it thinner to make them more like Auntie Anne’s. I divided my dough up into 8ths like the recipe said but my dough could have actually produced more pretzels than that. I would have needed to make the pretzels much bigger than the photos show to make 8 pretzels or would’ve made more smaller pretzels. I’ll use my own judgement next time.

    • Oh! And I will also brush on the baking soda water rather than dip. They came apart when I dipped them and then after baking I realized I had missed some spots.

  31. Just made these… They are AMAZING!!! Personally I think they are WAY better than store bought or pretzel shop ones!!!!
    This is a great recipe for other bread bases. I am gonna try it as a pizza crust tomorrow for dinner, and probably as burger buns in a few days! lol
    My 2.5 year old step daughter helped make them, and when told she could have one after she ate dinner she ate so fast I had to check the floor around her to make sure she didn’t just toss it. lol We loved them! Thank you!

  32. Just made these for Monday’s pre-school snack. I doubled the recipe but realized they are plenty big enough to stretch the recipe to 12 pretzels for little people. I also had to add a little extra flour, about 1/2 a cup and it was still super sticky when I left it to rise. It is a good thing I doubled it because they are ssooooo good! I think I ate three. I just hope they last for school tomorrow and that the kids enjoy them. I’ll be coming back for more recipes!

  33. Huh… I don’t have a bread hook…But I’m a Clay Mator Which Means I make clay mation…
    So I make my own clay with flour water and salt and then paint it…So do I really need a bread hook? ‘Cause I if I knead it with my hands it will come out fine…Right? OH MY GOSH! I just got an idea for my next clay project, CLAY PRETZEL! Gotta run!
    Oh Thanks By The Way

  34. My kids are adults and since I found this recipe last year i have made it numerous times and they constantly want more!! They insist I no longer twist them but make large stick pretzels as they prefer them that way. Thank you for a great, fun and easy recipe.

  35. I just made your recipe for preztel and they turn out great . I made the typical shape , nuggets, stcks and some unusual shapes. I also don’t have an oven so I used my toaster oven and still the great . This recipe is a keeper . Thank you so much .

  36. Came to pin this yummy pretzel recipe and was intrigued by your “A Bread Recipe for Those Who Don’t Know How to Boil Water” recipe. When I click on it I get a 404 error. Any chance you’ll repost it or is there a fix?

    • Hi Hilary, I’m really glad you said something! A while back all the URLs on my site got updated, but because these were inserted manually, they didn’t get updated too. They should be good now =)

  37. I just made these and I’m sure I did something wrong. For some reason the 2.5 cups of flour was nowhere near enough to reduce the stickiness of the dough. I swear I added flour at least 25 times to several pieces just to be able to work with them and it was still difficult. I didn’t use a dough hook, by the way..I kneaded it by hand. How much is a dough hook with that excellent futuristic contraption!? I enjoy making home-made pizza often anyway and it would be nice to have. Anyway, mine came out OK, but I’m sure I did something horribly wrong (like: are we supposed to very lightly dip JUST the bottom of the pretzel in the water/baking soda mix or are we supposed to soak it?). Thank you for the recipe.

    • Hi Josh, hm, I have never made these by hand so I can’t comment on that personally, I just know that several people have commented saying they’ve made these successfully by hand. A stand mixer is fairly expensive, I think around $400, but it should last a lifetime and I use mine often. The baking soda wash doesn’t have any impact on the fluffiness or anything, it’s solely for flavor (and that step can be skipped if desired).

  38. I think I’ve discovered my new comfort food website…

  39. I made this tonight after finding it on pinterest. I have been making them in the past with a different recipe, but this recipe was much easier and tastes almost identical. Thank you so much, yum! :)

  40. This recipe looks AMAZING !
    How long can I keep the dough ? Do I have to use it right away ?

  41. Do you have any gluten free recipes for the pretzels?

  42. Thank you! It was amazing and so easy!

  43. Hi Joanne! Love your site and this recipe. Quick question…..even after 5 mins with the dough hook attachment on my mixer, the dough was still sticky. What might I have done wrong? It made rolling out the strips very trying! I baked them as directed and they tasted delicious but weren’t pretty due to difficulties forming the actual pretzel. LOVED the taste but HELP this novice please! (This was my first time using yeast). Keep these awesome recipes and videos comin’!!!!! Fondly, Beth

    • Hi Beth, did you measure or weigh the flour? It sounds like it might’ve needed just a little more flour. Next time you can add additional flour, a tbsp at a time, to make sure it isn’t sticky (tacky is okay).

  44. my first job was as a pretzel roller at auntie Anne’s and I have always loved them. this recipe is even better! my 5 year old helped make them, which is always fun and my husband devoured them! no worrying about leftovers here. thanks for sharing!

  45. were can i buy the yeast?

  46. What a lovely recipe! I saw first time this recipe an it has fully impressed me. I would definitely love to cook it at home for my family.

  47. I had to come back and leave a comment- I just made these and they are SO GOOD!!!! They really do taste just like Auntie Anne’s pretzels, but so much healthier! I LOVE LOVE LOVE these- we will be making them often in our household!

    Thank you!

  48. I sincerely hope you weren’t joking about being allowed to eat the whole batch in one evening- because my boyfriend and I have just about every time I make these! Trying the cinnamon sugar ones tonight :)

  49. Does it have to be instant rise yeast, or is a typical jar of active dry yeast okay? (And are they the same thing?) Thanks! Can’t wait to try these. They look amazing!

  50. One of my favorite recipes!!! Have made this twice and absolutely loved it both times. I tripled the recipe the most recent time I made it and didn’t have any difficulties to those also looking to make a lot at once!

  51. When you say save for later, how would you save it for later and how long can you save it?

    • Because of the butter, you really should refrigerate them or freeze. In the fridge I wouldn’t keep them longer than a couple days.

      • In your video you say you are going to save some of the dough for later. How do you go about doing that? Thanks!

        • Hi Erin, you can shape the dough into pretzels, keep them on the sheet pan and freeze, then let them come to room temp and bake. OR, you can just bake all of it, and freeze the pretzels after baked, and reheat. Bread freezes very well!

  52. Soo good! Thanks so much for this!! My hubs even thought they were great…this from a guy who doesn’t understand the obsession with hot soft pretzels! However, if u manage to have a few left over in the am…a fresh layer of butter and salt and a few seconds in the microwave and ur good!! ~blessings~

  53. Just made these ,they turned out great! i had to add almost another half cup of flour to reduce stickiness,and that made me stress out,i almost cried.i added flour little by little till i got perfect consistency.Afterwards it was just amazing,i couldn’t leave the ovens side,i just watched them as they get fluffier and fluffier each minute passing by.this is just perfect.Thank you for sharing this :3

  54. Do I need to proof the yeast before adding it to the mixture or can I just add it directly to the other dough ingredients?

  55. just got done with the pretzels . . . the fam. loved them and they were almost gone with in mins. lol they turned out amazing(and the pictures helped a lot)

  56. Those pretzels look soooooooooooo good! Thanks for sharing this recipe :)

  57. Hi. just found these on Pinterest. We are gluten free so I have a batch in the oven using gluten free flour. Super easy and cannot wait to try them. Thanks!

  58. I was looking for an easy to make recipe for my daughter’s birthday party next Saturday( I like to test them out before making them for guests). I came across this one and it seemed pretty easy. I’ve never made pretzels myself but have helped my sister when I was little and love soft pretzels. Just pulled these one out and they are so yummy. I did have to proof my yeast and I didn’t use a Ziploc but an oiled bowl and plastic wrap and my dough still rose nicely. I kneaded it once or twice before cutting it. The twisting part was fun. Can’t wait till next weekend, I think the girls will have a blast making these. Maybe shape them for their initials? Anyway, thank you so much for this awesome recipe, this one’s a keeper!

  59. Oh these look positively delicious!

  60. The pretzels I’m in love with and most all of the recipes..

  61. Made these today, so easy and delicious. I am going to try them with cheese next.

  62. Just took my “FIRST” batch out of the oven. Enjoying one now they are great.

  63. so cute! Imma try this 😀 

  64. Love the recipe it doesn’t matter where you got it from I’m making them now for Sunday breakfast can’t wait to eat some and will share this recipe with family and friends . Julie

  65. Looks very good, but please i dont understand what backing soda is….could You please tell me what it Is ? Many thanks and good luck.

  66. I just made these pretzels and they are perfect!!!  What a great recipe… I didn’t  have instant quick rise yeast. I had active dry yeast so I mixed that separately with the warm water until the yeast dissolved then added it. I also didn’t have a mixer so it’s all made by hand and I also doubled the recipe…. This is magnificent and I think it will be my new favourite thing to make for my family!!! Thanks so much

  67. Honestly the best pretzel recipe I have ever found! I have tried so many recipes but they always never turn out right when I tried recipe it was absolutely amazing. This recipe will tingle you tastebuds! Love this. 

  68. Made these yesterday and they came out great. It has the exact pretzel taste ( I was hoping it didn’t taste like just bread). Considering making them again today!

  69. Thank you for this recipe! I’m afraid I’m addicted to them, but whenever I make them my home fills with friends………wanting one! I’ve also made them into pretzel balls and just pushed small chunk of string cheese in them=DELISH! Those didn’t last more than 15 minutes! Thank you again for a go to recipe!

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  72. I just loved it :-) I will surely make it as soon as possible

  73. Yummy!  Thank you. In addition to making pretzels, my roommate and I used the dough to make a Stromboli.  It rocks!

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