Homemade Pretzels are one of the ultimate comfort foods. It’s hard to beat a fresh and warm soft pretzel. Chewy on the outside, pillowy on the inside, with just the right amount of salt. If you love the pretzels you get from the kiosk in the mall, then you will love making them in your own oven.
Reasons You’ll Love This Recipe
These homemade soft pretzels are perfect as after school snacks or party food. And, don’t forget to bring them out when watching a game.
Hot and fresh at home! Pretzels are not only easy to make at home, they are also budget friendly.
Pick your dip! Pretzels pair perfectly with so many dips, from cheese to mustard, to chocolate! We love them with Beer Cheese Dip. Your family and friends will love picking their favorite dip to enjoy.
With a chewy interior and crisp crust, these pretzels pair perfectly with my deliciously creamy homemade beer cheese. Not only are the pretzels warm and fresh, but the beer cheese is warm, melted, and full of cheesy goodness.
How Do You Make Homemade Pretzels?
When it comes to making these homemade pretzels, you won’t be disappointed. Before you get started, make sure you have everything you need to make the best pretzels you’ve ever had.
Let’s discuss how to make homemade pretzels, as well as the ingredients that are needed. Please take note that below you will find discussion, expert tips, and answers to frequently asked questions about this recipe to help you recreate it in your kitchen.
If you *just* want the recipe itself, scroll down. The full printable recipe itself, with exact measurements and instructions, is found at the bottom of this page.
- Milk: Any type of milk works, but I do prefer to use one with at least some fat in it.
- Yeast: The dough won’t rise as you cook it without a little bit of yeast. I like to get the yeast packets for easy measuring.
- Salt: Don’t skimp on salt! I prefer using a Kosher salt.
- Brown Sugar: With any dough, you always want to add a little bit of sugar to feed off the yeast to start the rising process. For this recipe, we use brown sugar.
- Butter: Salted butter is called for, but if you only have unsalted, that will work.
- Flour: I like to use all-purpose flour. I have not tried this recipe with a gluten free flour.
- Baking Soda: When making pretzels, the pretzels get a quick dip in a mixture of boiling water and baking soda. This helps create the chewy crust that is unique to pretzels. Make sure you have baking soda, not powder!
- Sea salt: Coarse sea salt is used on top of your pretzels. If you don’t like additional salt, you can pass on this.
How To Make Homemade Pretzels
First, you will need to begin making your dough. In a large bowl, mix warm (approximately 110 degrees) milk and yeast together. This lets the yeast activate. Let it sit for a few minutes.
After you have activated the yeast, you will whisk in the salt, brown sugar, and melted butter.
Begin gradually adding in the flour to it, 1 cup at a time. You will continue mixing and adding the flour until the dough is no longer sticky.
Then, knead the dough for 5 minutes on a floured surface.
After you are done kneading the dough, shape it into a ball and place it into a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
While your dough is resting, go ahead and preheat your oven to 40 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Next, prepare the baking soda water. Bring water and baking soda to a boil in a large pot.
Cut your dough into 10 equal pieces and shape them into ropes about 18 inches long. Then, shape the ropes into pretzels, pressing the ends to make sure they are stuck down.
Once you have your pretzels made, it’s time to give them a baking soda bath. Use a slotted spoon to dip each pretzel in the baking soda water for 30 seconds. Sprinkle them with salt if desired.
Finally, bake your pretzels in the oven for 15 minutes or until they are golden brown.
Mixing the dough: When mixing the dough, I use a standing mixer with a hook. If you don’t have one, you can use a wooden spoon until the dough is too thick, and then use your hands.
Adding the right amount of flour: Keep in mind that you may not need to use all four cups of flour for this recipe. Continue adding 1 cup at a time until the dough is no longer sticky. At that point, do not add any more flour.
Temperature matters: If your milk is too hot, it will kill the yeast. If it’s too cool, the yeast won’t activate and help your pretzels rise. Aim for 110 degree milk.
Storing Soft Pretzels
Storing leftovers: Chances are you won’t have any left, but if you do, you can store leftover pretzels at room temperature. Simply wrap them individually with plastic wrap and leave them on the counter for no more than 2 days.
Freezing Leftovers: Additionally, you can freeze these pretzels. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap and place them in freezer zip lock bags. They can be stored for a month in the freezer.
Reheating: Pretzels are best reheated in the oven. Heat them at 350 degrees until they are hot all the way through.
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)
How much yeast is in a yeast packet? There are 2 ¼ teaspoons of yeast in each yeast packet.
What is the purpose of the baking soda bath? The baking soda bath makes a big difference in the texture and taste of the pretzel. It’s what makes it chewer and taste more like a pretzel instead of bread.
Can I use white sugar? Absolutely! If you don’t have brown sugar, go ahead and use the same amount of white sugar.
How do I make sweet pretzels? If you want sweet pretzels, simple brush them with melted butter and sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar as soon as they come out of the oven.
- 1 1/2 cups warm milk approximately 110 degrees
- 1 packet rapid rise yeast
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon salted butter, melted
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup baking soda
- 8 cups water
- 1/4 cup coarse sea salt
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the warm milk, and yeast. Allow this to sit for a few minutes. Then whisk in the salt, brown sugar, and melted butter.
- Gradually add flour to this mixture, 1 cup at a time. I use my standing mixer with my dough hook, but you could use a wooden spoon until the dough is too thick, then use your hands. (It will be a workout.) Add flour until the dough is no longer sticky (you may not need to use all 4 cups). Then turn it out onto a floured surface and knead it for 5 minutes.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a lightly greased bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes.
- While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line 2 baking sheets with lightly sprayed parchment paper, and prepare the baking soda water.
- Bring the water and baking soda to a boil in a large pot.
- Cut dough into 10 equal pieces and shape each piece into 18-inch-long ropes. Shape the ropes into pretzels. Press the ends in to make sure they are stuck down.
- Use a slotted spoon to dip each pretzel in the baking soda water for about 30 seconds. Then allow the water to drip off of the pretzel and place it on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Do this for each pretzel. Sprinkle with salt as desired.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately.