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Homemade Pretzels

Recipe Level: Moderate Recipes

These homemade pretzels are a pure delight! They are soft, a tad salty and bring all those street vendor memories back! Serve with a homemade honey mustard dip.

Baked by Alie Romano

Professional Baker and Recipe Developer

* For best results, read the entire article. Every step matters, and I’ll provide helpful tips along the way!

Homemade Pretzels

These twisted delights have a golden brown exterior with an interior that has a soft and chewy texture. Making homemade pretzels is fun, and is way easier than it looks! If you have any experience in making bread then you can definitely tackle making buttery soft pretzels! 

Pretzels remind me of New York street vendors, fairs, and of course game day! Yes, we are talking American football here. The men in the family have been celebrating the Super Bowl together at the cottage with a handful of friends ever since I can remember, no girls allowed might I add! But my mom and I always bake for the guys and stock them up on goodies. The first time I made homemade pretzels they got good reviews, but when I decided to make them for the boys that’s when I knew I would get the real deal. The verdict… best homemade soft pretzels around! So there you have it, coming from 15 men that they were a hit! 

Ingredients

  • Active dry yeast (or one package)
  • Granulated sugar
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt & Flaked sea salt
  • Baking soda
  • Egg

Dipping Sauce Options

  • Cheese Sauce
  • Honey Dijon Dip (recipe below)
  • Spinach and Artichoke Dip
  • Chocolate Fondue
Homemade Pretzels

What Makes a Pretzel a Pretzel?

Pretzels are made with a simple bread dough but the twist to making them taste like a ‘pretzel’ is the way they are baked! They are first given a bath in baking soda which creates a chewy interior by forming a crust on the outside, before placing them in the oven to bake. This gives the crust a head start on the baking while keeping the interior soft and light. Salt also plays a big role in pretzels and the type of salt is all in your preference; from coarse sea salt and flaky sea salt you can even find salt that is called ‘pretzel salt’ in stores!

Tips for Making the Perfect Pretzels

  1. Always keep your dough covered with plastic wrap or use a clean dish towel while you are working. You can use a damp towel/cloth as well. Too much air exposed to the dough will create a skin. 
  2. When working with yeast, you need to let your dough proof or rise until doubled in size. Most recipes give an approx. time of 1 hour. This time may differ for you as no two homes have the same temperatures. Use the 1 hour as a guideline, although it could take less time or even up to 2 hours. Don’t panic if it’s taking longer, the dough just needs more time.
  3. Careful not to overboil your pretzels in the baking soda bath. Once the dough puffs up, flip the pretzel over and let both sides boil for a total of approx. 30-40 seconds.
  4. Don’t overcrowd the pretzels in the baking soda bath. Use the largest, widest pot you have and add 1 or 2 pretzels at a time. The more pretzels you add the harder it is for the water to boil around the dough.
  5. If the water is boiling too hard while the pretzels are in the bath, turn the heat down (just a little) so you can see what’s happening to the pretzels. This will avoid overboiling. 
  6. Don’t leave pretzels while boiling, always keep an eye on them.
  7. Use a large slotted spoon to remove the pretzels from the water bath. This will prevent the pretzels from falling apart when you remove them.
Homemade Pretzels
homemade pretzels

Storing Homemade Pretzels

Homemade pretzels are best enjoyed the same day – right out of the oven! To store leftover pretzels place them in a large airtight container with space between the pretzels. The moisture from the salt will evaporate so don’t be disappointed when you reach for a pretzel and the salt is gone. Re-heat pretzels in the oven at 350˚F for approx. 8 minutes. 

How To Make Homemade Pretzels

Step One: In a large bowl add yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup warm water. Let sit for approx. 10 minutes or until mixture is frothy. Stir in the remaining warm water and the oil. Add flour and salt to make a sticky dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured worked surface and knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (or make your dough in a bowl of a stand mixer using the dough hook attachment). Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm space until doubled in size; approx. 1 hour.

Step Two: Once dough is doubled in size press the dough flat and cut into 8 equal pieces. Use a kitchen scale if you have one to make equal-sized portions.  Roll each piece into a long rope approx. 18 inches.

Step Three: Make a ‘U’ shape with the rope and cross the top ends over each other. Now, cross them one more time to make a twist, then fold the twist back down to form a pretzel shape. Stretch out the dough as needed. Place pretzels on prepared baking sheet. Cover with a clean damp towel (or plastic wrap) and let dough rest for 15-20 minutes in a warm place.

Step Four: Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add baking soda. Carefully add 1- 2 pretzels to the boiling water. Boil for approx. 30-60 seconds turning over once until they are puffy. Use a slotted spatula to carefully remove the pretzels. Transfer the pretzels to a wire rack (or place them back on the prepared baking sheet).

Step Five: Once all pretzels have been boiled and are cooled transfer them back to the baking sheet. Brush the top of the pretzels with the egg wash and sprinkle sea salt on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and pretzels sound hollow when tapped.

Homemade Pretzels with Honey Dijon Dipping Sauce
Homemade Pretzels
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Homemade Pretzels

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These homemade pretzels are a pure delight! They are soft, a tad salty and bring all those street vendor memories back! Serve with a homemade honey mustard dip. See the recipe below.

  • Author: Alie Romano
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 mins
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: German

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water plus 1 1/4 cups warm water, separated
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 33 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons baking soda

For the Topping

  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 teaspoons flaked sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl add yeast, sugar and ¼ cup warm water. Let sit for approx. 10 minutes or until mixture is frothy.
  2. Stir in the remaining warm water (1¼ cups) and the oil.
  3. Add the 3 cups of the flour and salt to make a sticky dough.
  4. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (add the 1/2 cup of the reserved flour if the dough is too sticky to handle).
  5. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest until doubled in size; approx. 1 hour.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Once dough is doubled in size press the dough flat and cut into 8 equal pieces.
  8. Roll each piece into approx. 18 inch ropes. Form ropes into pretzel shapes; make a ‘U’ shape with the rope and cross the top ends over each other. Now, cross them one more time to make a twist, then fold the twist back down to form a pretzel shape. Stretch out the dough as needed (use images above for a reference). Place pretzels on prepared baking sheet. Cover with a clean tea towel (or plastic wrap) and let rest for 15-20 minutes in a warm place.
  9. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add baking soda.
  10. Carefully add 1- 2 pretzels to the boiling water. Boil for about 30-60 seconds turning over once until they are puffy (don’t over boil them or they will go soggy). Use a slotted spatula to carefully remove the pretzels. Transfer the pretzels to a wired rack or place them back on the prepared baking sheet.
  11. Once all pretzels have been boiled and are cooled transfer them back to the baking sheet.
  12. Preheat oven to 400˚F.
  13. Make an egg wash to brush the tops of the pretzels; in a small bowl add egg and mix approx. 2-3 teaspoons of water and whisk together. Brush the tops of the pretzels with the egg wash and sprinkle salt on top.
  14. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and pretzels sound hollow when tapped.
  15. Serve warm.

Notes

Pretzels are best enjoyed the same day.  To store leftover pretzels place them in a large airtight container with space between the pretzels. The moisture from the salt will evaporate so don’t be disappointed when you reach for a pretzel and the salt is gone. Re-heat pretzels in the oven at 350˚F for approx. 8 minutes. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: per pretzel
  • Calories: 193
  • Sugar: 0.7g
  • Sodium: 1724mg
  • Fat: 2.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 36.7g
  • Fiber: 1.5g
  • Protein: 5.9g
  • Cholesterol: 20mg

Did you make this recipe?

Write a review and let me know!

Share a photo and tag me on Instagram @bakingforfriends_

I can’t wait to see what you’ve made! xo alie

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Honey Dijon Dip

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This simple and easy to make dipping sauce is sweet and tangy. It adds sophistication to burgers, sausages, charcuterie boards and pretzels.

  • Author: Alie Romano
  • Prep Time: 8 mins
  • Total Time: 8 mins
  • Yield: 1 Cup 1x
  • Category: sauce
  • Cuisine: German

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup liquid honey
  • 1/4 cup seeded (dijon) mustard
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together until well incorporated.

Did you make this recipe?

Write a review and let me know!

Share a photo and tag me on Instagram @bakingforfriends_

I can’t wait to see what you’ve made! xo alie

FAQ’s

Can I use instant yeast instead of active dry yeast?

Yes, you can use instant yeast instead of active dry yeast when making pretzels. The ratio and technique will differ a little. Use 25% less of the instant yeast. Then add all ingredients together and knead as directed, there is no need to ‘bloom’ instant yeast.

Can I make pretzel shapes other than the traditional twist?

Absolutely! Get creative with pretzel bites, sticks, or even pretzel buns. Follow the recipe as is and simply shape the dough as you like and continue following the baking instructions.

Can I make pretzel dough ahead of time?

Yes, making the pretzel dough ahead of time can be a convenient option. After the dough has gone through its first initial rise, cover and refrigerate it until the next day. Then shape the dough and follow the directions of the recipe.

You may also like:

pretzel baked beer dip with Oast beer
pretzel baked beer dip

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Baker Alie Romano

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Alie

I'm a professional baker, recipe developer & photographer behind Baking For Friends. I specialize in classic & comforting baking. I hope you enjoy the recipes & find inspiration of your own to bring your family & friends together over home-cooked food!

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