These are the absolute best Homemade Soft Pretzels! They’re fluffy and buttery, baked up just like the ones you get at the mall, but made from scratch with no preservatives. The dough is very easy to make, and even kids can easily work with this recipe. Make this whole recipe in one hour!

Homemade Soft Pretzels - On a Sheet Pan with salt On Top

Once you try these homemade soft pretzels, you will never bother with those mall pretzels ever again. I used to love Auntie Anne’s and Wetzel’s Pretzels, and waited in some pretty long lines upon smelling that darned cinnamon sugar and butter wafting over from like 100 feet away, but these are SO much better.

Plus, it only costs a buck or two to make a WHOLE TRAY instead of just getting one kind of pretzel. Not to mention there aren’t any artificial ingredients or preservatives when you make them yourself. And all the ingredients are the simple ones that you’d expect, like flour, yeast, water, and salt.

Tips for Best Results

Use instant rise yeast – At the grocery store you can buy “active dry yeast” or “instant rise yeast” (sometimes also called “quick rise yeast”). They are the same price, and I always recommend the instant rise, which is what we’ll use here.

Make sure the yeast is fresh – Yeast does expire, so make sure those packets haven’t been hanging out in your pantry for too long. Check the date, and try to use newer yeast.

Be patient – This entire recipe, even with rise time, should generally take an hour, which is really fast for bread. However, if your kitchen is cold and the dough has not doubled in size during the 30 minute rise, give it another 15 minutes.

Soft Pretzels - On a Baking Sheet with Sea Salt on Top

I love prepping a fresh batch of these homemade soft pretzels on football game-watching days, along with a fresh pan of Buffalo Chicken Dip and Baked Chicken Wings. So good!

More Flavor Options

The default here is to simply brush with butter, and enjoy these soft pretzels “plain” with butter and salt. However, here are a few more flavor ideas.

Cinnamon Sugar – In my 100% Whole Wheat Version of these pretzels, I share a cinnamon sugar coating that is wonderful.

Garlic Parmesan – Use the sauce from my Garlic Parmesan Wings for brushing the outside, for an extra flavorful garlic parmesan butter.

Buffalo – When the pretzels come hot out of the oven, brush with Buffalo Wing Sauce and serve with Blue Cheese Dip.

Orange Honey Butter – When hot out of the oven, brush the pretzels with Homemade Orange Honey Butter.

Pretzel Recipe Baked On a Sheet Tray and Sprinkled with Salt

Step by Step Overview:

I have a full video on how to make the pretzels, as well as a quick visual photo overview.

Start by making a simple yeasted dough, made with flour, water, yeast, salt, and sugar, then shape it into a ball. You can make it in a stand mixer or by hand!

Raw Dough Ball on Wax Paper

Let the dough sit for about 30 minutes, until doubled in size. The yeast will work its magic and create these gorgeous bubbles that will give us the rise and fluffy texture we want.

Cut Dough Clumps to Show Air Bubbles Inside

Make-ahead option

If you wish, you may keep the risen dough in the fridge for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, simply proceed with the recipe as usual, cutting and rolling the pretzels.

Divide up the dough into 8 pieces, then roll each into a long rope.

Partially tied rope shape for shaping pretzels

Shape into pretzels by looping the rope through.

Making Pretzels by Tying It In a Loop

Dip each pretzel into a baking soda wash, then sprinkle each pretzel with coarse sea salt and send them into the oven on a greased tray.

Tip: Let the excess water drip off the pretzels before putting on to the tray. You don’t want them too wet, or they may stick to the tray, even if it’s greased. You may also place the pretzels on parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Raw Shaped Homemade Pretzels on Sheet Pan with Salt

Bake the pretzels until golden and puffed, then brush with butter while hot, or any other sauces or coatings you’d like.

Brushing Freshly Baked Home Made Pretzels With Butter on Sheet Pan

How to Serve

These are great hot out of the oven, either with plain butter and salt or one of the flavor options I suggested above.

You can also try serving with Homemade Nacho Cheese Sauce, Marinara Sauce, or even Basil Pesto.

For something sweet, try the icing on my Overnight Cinnamon Rolls or homemade Caramel Sauce.

More Snacks that Pair Well

If you’d like to make a nice spread of homemade snacks with these pretzels, I recommend Buffalo Garlic Knots, Homemade Corn Dogs, and Jumbo Garlic Knots.

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeños, Homemade Mozzarella Sticks, and Homemade French Fries are also fantastic.

Tips and FAQ

How do you store leftover homemade soft pretzels?

Let cool completely, then keep at room temperature for 1 day, in the fridge for 1 week, or in the freezer for 2 months.

Can you freeze homemade soft pretzels?

Yes, in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Let them cool first before freezing.

How do you reheat pretzels?

Warm in a 300F oven for 5 minutes. Add an extra 3 minutes if reheating straight from frozen.

Can you make ahead homemade pretzels?

Yes, keep the risen dough in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

Did you enjoy the recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page. Or, follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest!

Soft Pretzels on a Sheet Pan with Salt

Homemade Soft Pretzels

These Homemade Soft Pretzels are fluffy and buttery, baked up just like the ones you get at the mall, but it’s homemade with from-scratch ingredients! The dough is very easy to make.
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Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 2.25 tsp instant or "quick rise" yeast
  • 1 cup warm water 110 degrees F
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 12.5 oz all purpose flour, by weight (2.5 cups, if measuring)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • oil for greasing the sheet pan
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter melted

Instructions 

  • Combine the yeast, warm water, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer*, and let sit for 10 minutes until foamy. This indicates the yeast is alive and working. Add the flour and salt. Mix with the dough hook by hand for a few seconds to roughly combine, then fit the hook and bowl on the mixer and knead on medium low for 5 minutes. The dough should feel soft and smooth, not sticky to the touch.
  • Cover the dough and let rise for 30 minutes, until doubled in size. If your kitchen is cool, you made need closer to 45 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 450F, and lightly grease a baking sheet with oil. You may also use parchment paper or a silicone mat to prevent sticking.
  • Place the dough onto a lightly oiled countertop. Divide the dough into 8 pieces (just cut it with a knife or bench scraper).
  • Whisk to combine the warm water and baking soda and heat 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 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!

Notes

*If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can also knead the dough by hand.
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour.
Storing leftovers: Keep at room temperature for 1 day, in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Freezing: Keep in an airtight container for up to 2 months. To thaw, leave in the fridge overnight.
Reheating: Place in a 300F oven for 5 minutes, until warm. If heating from frozen, add an extra 3 minutes.
Make-ahead: After the dough rises, you may keep the dough in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

Nutrition

Calories: 197kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 11mg, Sodium: 476mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Post updated in December 2017. Originally published 2011.