These handmade soft pretzels are created in one dish and ready in less than an hour! You won’t have to wait long for the dough to rise, and you won’t need a thermometer. The end product is warm, golden twists of buttery, salty deliciousness! Serve with my simple beer cheese dip and add both to your Super Bowl snack list.
Being from a German family, I have a special place for soft pretzels. I can build a dinner out of a pretzel, a variety of mustards and cheese dips, and a large glass of beer.
When I lived in Vermont, there was a bierhaus where I spent, well, let’s just say I lived. I survived on bratwursts, spaetzle, and enormous pretzels. I knew I wanted to create my own recipe to make them at home once I moved away (and it closed soon after sobbing sniffle).
Fortunately for you, it isn’t that difficult!
- Making homemade soft pretzels
- How do I know when the dough is ready?
- How to shape your pretzels
- What goes well with soft pretzels?
- Can you freeze homemade soft pretzels?
- How to reheat homemade soft pretzels
- Homemade Soft Pretzels
- Why do you boil soft pretzels before baking?
- How to make super pretzel soft pretzels?
- What’s the best way to soften pretzels?
- Are soft pretzels just bread?
- How long do you soak pretzels in baking soda?
- How does Auntie Anne’s cook their pretzels?
- What gives soft pretzels their shine?
- What are soft pretzels dipped in before baking?
- What gives soft pretzels their flavor?
- What makes a pretzel hard or soft?
Making homemade soft pretzels
Sure, we’re dealing with yeast, but no thermometer is required!
Don’t be alarmed; it will be less complex than you think.
Just combine the yeast and warm water, let it rest for a minute, and then whisk in the sugar, melted butter, and salt.
You’ll need a dough hook for the rest (pictured above). If you want to purchase one, be sure to verify the size to ensure that it is compatible with your stand mixer (aff link).
This recipe can be made with a wooden spoon, but for the benefit of your arm muscles, I suggest using a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment (aff link).
How do I know when the dough is ready?
When the dough for this pretzel recipe is no longer sticky to the touch and pulling away from the edges of the bowl as the dough hook spins the dough, it is ready to be removed from the bowl and kneaded.
Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes after turning it out onto a lightly floured surface (I usually use a big silicone baking mat). The dough should be thoroughly integrated and stretchy.
It will be a lightweight, stretchy pillow. I promise it makes sense.
How to shape your pretzels
This isn’t as difficult as you would think:
- Cut the dough into 8 equal-sized pieces, or 10, or 12. It all depends on the quantity desired. The recipe yields 8 large pretzels, but you may alternatively make up to 12 smaller pretzels.
- Roll out each part into a 24 strip (shorter for smaller pretzels, around 18-20).
- Drag each end up and around to form a circular shape. Twist the ends once towards yourself and push each end firmly into the bottom of the circular (see above).
The baking soda bath comes next. Just place each pretzel into a boiling mixture of water and baking soda, wait 30 seconds, and then gently remove with a big slotted spatula.
Sprinkle salt on top of the water mixture. When each one has been withdrawn from the water, lay them on your prepared baking sheets and coat with a beaten egg yolk.
Now you’ll bake them until they’re golden brown and smell delicious.
Take a look at that color! There will be portions of the dough that will split and stretch as they bake, and this is quite normal. That just adds to the rustic allure of a handcrafted soft pretzel.
What goes well with soft pretzels?
Anything, to be honest.
Alright, not everything, but my personal faves include dipping them in cheese dips, mustards, vanilla frosting, chocolate, caramel, and Nutella.
Can you freeze homemade soft pretzels?
The difficulty with freshly made soft pretzels is that they don’t keep well. This is the kind of item you want to cook if you know you’ll eat it the same day since it loses texture and becomes less attractive after that.
That being said, you can freeze them if you do it correctly. Let the pretzels to cool fully before wrapping them individually in plastic wrap and storing them in a big freezer-friendly plastic bag for up to 1 month.
How to reheat homemade soft pretzels
Reheat them in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350F. They won’t be the same, but it’s better than starting from scratch, right?
Homemade Soft Pretzels
- ✓ Read the recipe beginning to end
- ✓ Check oven calibration
- ✓ Check expiration dates
- ✓ Properly measure ingredients
- ✓ Check butter temperature
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 packet active dry or instant yeast, 2 tablespoons active dry or instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and gently cooled
- 4 cups of all-purpose flour
- a cup of baking soda
- 1 egg yolk + 1 Tablespoon softly beaten water
- For garnish, sprinkle with sea salt.
- 4 tablespoons dried or instant active yeast
2 cups hot water 2 1
Whisk together the water and yeast in a large mixing dish. Allow for one minute.
- Whisk together the sugar, butter, and salt.
1 tbsp. granulated sugar, 1 tbsp. unsalted butter, 2 tsp. salt
- Using a dough hook on low speed or a wooden spoon, combine until the dough is thick and no longer sticky, and pulls away from the edges of the bowl. You may not need all four cups, or you may require somewhat more.
4 cups regular flour
- Put out the dough onto a floured surface (I usually use a big silicone baking mat) and knead for 2 minutes before shaping into a ball. Return the dough to the bowl and cover with a clean dishtowel. Allow for a 10-15 minute rest.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and line two baking sheets with nonstick silicon mats or parchment paper. Set aside.
- Place the dough on your prepared work area after removing it from the bowl. Cut the dough into 8 equal-sized pieces using a knife or bench scraper (can also be cut into 10 or 12 if you want to have more, smaller pretzels). Roll each piece into a 24-inch-long rope.
- Drag each end up and around to form a circular shape. Twist the ends once towards yourself and push each end firmly into the bottom of the circular (see the body of the post above for photos).
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
Bring 2 cups baking soda to a boil.
10 cups of water 1
Combine 10 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt in a big saucepan.
- In a small mixing dish, whisk together the egg yolk and water. Set aside.
1 egg yolk + 1 teaspoon of water
- Drop each pretzel, one at a time, into the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from the water with a broad flat slotted spatula and put on the prepared baking sheets (4 to each).
- Brush the egg wash over the tops of each pretzel and sprinkle with sea salt (to taste).
a pinch of sea salt
- 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately or transfer to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!