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Best Soft Pretzels

Best Soft Pretzels are warm and golden with a chewy salty crust. Serve them plain or dip them into your favorite mustard or cheese sauce.

The ingredients are typical pantry staples making it convenient to whip up a batch of pretzel dough anytime you are in the mood. Once you taste these pretzels, that mood will be often!

This recipe makes a small batch of 4 soft pretzels or cut the dough into pretzels bites.

a plate filled with big fat soft pretzels and pretzel bites and a bowl of mustard in the middle and text saying soft pretzels recipe at zonacooks.com
Giant Soft Pretzels

These pretzels also go really great with this Blue Cheese Beer Dip.

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How to make Easy Soft Pretzels

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees F. This is for the dough rise cycle.

In the bowl of a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer, dissolve the yeast with the sugar and warm water (110 degrees to 115 degrees). The water is the right temperature when it feels only slightly warm to your finger. If it feels hot it will kill the yeast and if it’s too cold it won’t activate the yeast. Click for a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer.

a silver bowl filled with foamy yeast activating in water and sugar

Let the yeast mixture sit for about 5 – 10 minutes until it is activated and foamy.

Add in the melted butter, table salt, and 1/3 cup of the flour. Mix using the dough hook until combined.

butter, salt, and a little flour added to yeast in a bowl

Add in the remaining 1 cup of flour and continue to mix until it forms a sticky ball of dough. Add in small amounts of additional flour if it needs it.

soft pretzel dough ball in a silver bowl

Leave it in the Kitchenaid Stand Mixer to do the kneading by letting it run for a few extra minutes. You can also put the dough on a floured surface and knead it by hand for about 5 minutes.

Place it back into the bowl, if you kneaded by hand, and add a small amount of oil to the bowl. Turn the dough to coat all sides and cover the bowl with a damp towel.

soft pretzel dough ball covered in oil in a bowl

Turn off the oven, place the bowl inside, and let it rise for about 1 hour.

Remove the bowl from the oven and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Bring 8 cups of water and the baking soda to a boil in a large sauce pan.

While that comes up to heat, punch down the dough and divide it into 4 equal portions. Roll each one into a long log shape.

4 pretzel dough rods on a cutting board

Form the pretzel dough into twisted pretzel shapes, roll them long and thin for pretzel rods, or cut them into 1 inch pieces for pretzel bites.

pretzel dough twisted into pretzel shapes and bites

Drop each pretzel into the boiling water. Let them boil for 30 seconds on the first side then gently flip them over for another 30 seconds.

pretzel dough cooking in boiling water

Using a slotted spoon, transfer them one at a time to a plate lined with paper towel to drain. They will still be pretty raw and very sticky to the touch.

boiled pretzel dough draining on paper towel

Move the pretzels to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Whisk the egg with the 1 teaspoon of cold water until well combined.

egg and water egg wash whisked in a bowl

Brush the tops of the pretzels with the egg wash mixture and sprinkle with the coarse salt. 

a baking sheet filled with soft pretzels and pretzel bites covered in egg wash

Bake the pretzels at 425 degrees F for about 10 – 15 minutes until golden brown.

Allow to cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve warm with your favorite mustard or cheese sauce. Enjoy!

a close up front view of a plate filled with big fat soft pretzels and pretzel bites and a bowl of mustard in the middle
Easy Homemade Pretzel Bites

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a close up front view of a plate filled with big fat soft pretzels and pretzel bites and a bowl of mustard in the middle

Best Soft Pretzels

Best Soft Pretzels are warm and golden with a chewy salty crust. Serve them plain or dip them into your favorite mustard or cheese sauce.
4.58 from 19 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Rise Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Bread and Dough
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Pretzels
Calories 202 kcal

Ingredients

  • ¾ teaspoon active dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm water (110 degrees – 115 degrees *See Notes)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 ⅓ cups to 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 8 cups water (to boil)
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon cold water
  • Coarse sea salt (for topping)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 170 degrees F. This is for the dough rise cycle.
  • In the bowl of a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer, dissolve the yeast with the sugar in 1/2 cup of warm water (110 degrees to 115 degrees). *See Notes
  • Let the yeast mixture sit for about 5 – 10 minutes until it is activated and foamy.
  • Add in the melted butter, table salt, and 1/3 cup of the flour. Mix using the dough hook until combined.
  • Add in the remaining 1 cup of flour and continue to mix until it forms a sticky ball of dough. Add in small amounts of additional flour if it needs it.
  • Leave it in the Kitchenaid Stand Mixer to do the kneading by letting it run for a few extra minutes. You can also put the dough on a floured surface and knead it by hand for about 5 minutes.
  • Place it back into the bowl, if you kneaded by hand, and add a small amount of oil to the bowl. Turn the dough to coat all sides and cover the bowl with a damp towel.
  • Turn off the oven, place the bowl inside, and let it rise for about 1 hour.
  • Remove the bowl from the oven and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Bring 8 cups of water and the baking soda to a boil in a large sauce pan.
  • While that comes up to heat, punch down the dough and divide it into 4 equal portions.
  • Roll each one into a long log shape.
  • Form the pretzel dough into twisted pretzel shapes, roll them long and thin for pretzel rods, or cut them into 1 inch pieces for pretzel bites.
  • Drop each pretzel into the boiling water. Let them boil for 30 seconds on the first side then gently flip them over for another 30 seconds.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer them one at a time to a plate lined with paper towel to drain. They will still be pretty raw and very sticky to the touch.
  • Move the pretzels to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Whisk the egg with the 1 teaspoon of cold water until well combined.
  • Brush the tops of the pretzels with the egg wash mixture and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
  • Bake the pretzels at 425 degrees F. for about 10 – 15 minutes until golden brown.
  • Allow to cool slightly on a wire rack.
  • Serve warm with your favorite mustard or cheese sauce. Enjoy!

Notes

  • For the warm water (110 degrees to 115 degrees) – The water is the right temperature when it feels only slightly warm to your finger. If it feels hot it will kill the yeast and if it’s too cold it won’t activate the yeast.
  • To make this vegan use vegan butter.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Calories: 202kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 6gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 4459mgPotassium: 66mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 147IUVitamin C: 0.003mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 2mg
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4.58 from 19 votes (19 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating




Roy

Saturday 2nd of March 2024

So can these be done by hand, I don’t have access to a mixer.

Zona House

Sunday 3rd of March 2024

Hi Roy, yes you could do this by hand but you will need to plan for it to take a bit longer for that. Thanks for your question and enjoy!

Kim Biondi

Sunday 19th of December 2021

Did you use the dough hook or the beaters on the mixer?

Zona

Monday 20th of December 2021

Him Kim, I use the dough hook. I updated the recipe to include that information. Thanks :)

Sandy

Monday 27th of April 2020

This is just what I needed! I haven't been so excited about anything since the shelter-at-home orders went into place. I just made them and they look amazing!

Zona

Tuesday 28th of April 2020

Hi Sandy, I hope you enjoyed them as much as I do! Thank you :)

berrygirl

Sunday 19th of April 2020

They are in the oven!! Cant wait. love all the small batch recipes. Thank you.

Zona

Sunday 19th of April 2020

Enjoy!

Chris

Tuesday 31st of March 2020

So glad I found this recipe they are amazing! I made pretzel bites out of them instead of making them into the twisted pretzel shape. Only thing bad about them is they are addicting! Made them two days in a row! Thanks again for the recipe.

Zona

Wednesday 1st of April 2020

Hi Chris, I agree and thanks so much for the lovely comments :)