Homemade Soft Pretzels that are soft and chewy on the inside and crackly brown on the outside. Knot or twist your way to the BEST soft pretzels you’ve ever had!

Homemade Soft Pretzels that are soft and chewy on the inside and crackly brown on the outside. Knot or twist your way to the BEST soft pretzels you've ever had!

Ingredient notes:

  • Baking soda: Dunking the knots into a boiling baking soda bath before baking gives you that crackly brown outside on your pretzel.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Bloom the yeast in a mixture of warm water (110 degrees) and dissolved sugar until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
    Yeast blooming in warm water and sugar in a glass bowl.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer with the dough hook attached, combine flour, salt, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Add melted butter and bloomed yeast mixture. Stir until the dough just comes together, pulling away from the sides of the bowl but clinging to the bottom.
    Dough in a standing mixer.
  3. Coat a large bowl lightly with oil or nonstick spray. Transfer dough to the coiled bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap coated with nonstick spray.
    Dough before proofing.
  4. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Prepare the baking soda bath. In a small bowl, whisk together yolk and water.
    Dough after proofing.
  5. Turn out dough on to a lightly floured surface and shape into an 8-inch round disc and cut the disc into quarters. Then, cut each quarter into thirds so you have 12 pieces. Shape each piece of dough into a long rope and lay each rope in a horseshoe shape. Twist the ends together, then wrap under the knot and pull the ends through the loop. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough.
    Homemade Soft Pretzels that are soft and chewy on the inside and crackly brown on the outside. Knot or twist your way to the BEST soft pretzels you've ever had!
  6. Working with one pretzel at a time, drop a pretzel in the boiling baking soda water for 30 seconds. Remove and transfer to a prepared baking sheet. Immediately brush with the egg yolk wash and sprinkle with coarse salt. Repeat with remaining pretzels. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the pretzels are dark brown, crackly, and fragrant.
    Homemade Soft Pretzels that are soft and chewy on the inside and crackly brown on the outside. Knot or twist your way to the BEST soft pretzels you've ever had!

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Proofing the dough: Turn your oven on to the lowest temperature it will go, usually 200 degrees. Once it reaches 110 degrees, turn the oven off. Place the dough in the oven and close the door. Opening the oven door will lower the heat a bit, and that’s okay (you’re aiming for 75 to 85 degrees).
  • Knotted up: I went with a less traditional knot shape, but you can twist the dough any way you see fit.
  • Serving suggestion: Serve with my favorite Homemade Cheese Sauce.

More baking recipes:

 

Four Homemade Soft Pretzels on parchment paper with a side of cheese sauce.

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Homemade Soft Pretzels that are soft and chewy on the inside and crackly brown on the outside. Knot or twist your way to the BEST soft pretzels you've ever had!
5 from 2 votes
Cook Time 1 hr 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Servings 12 servings
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American, German
Calories 158

Ingredients 

  • 1 ¼ cup plus 2 quarts water divided
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar divided
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon Salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • ½ cup baking soda (see note 1)
  • 1 egg yolk + 1 tablespoon water
  • Kosher salt for sprinkling
  • Homemade Cheese Sauce for serving

Instructions 

  • In a small saucepan, heat 1 ¼ cups water to 110 degrees. Stir in 1 teaspoon sugar until dissolved and remove from heat. Pour yeast over the top and set aside to bloom until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing mixer with the dough hook attached, combine flour, salt, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
  • Add melted butter and bloomed yeast mixture. Stir until the dough just comes together, pulling away from the sides of the bowl but clinging to the bottom.
  • Coat a large bowl lightly with oil or nonstick spray. Transfer dough to the oiled bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap coated with nonstick spray. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour (see note 2).
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat. In a 3-quart saucepan, bring remaining 2 quarts (8 cups) water and baking soda to a boil. In a small bowl, whisk together yolk and water.
  • Turn out dough on to a lightly floured surface and shape into an 8-inch round disc. Using a bench scraper, pizza cutter, or butter knife, cut the disc into quarters. Then, cut each quarter into thirds so you have 12 pieces.
  • Shape each piece of dough into a long rope and lay each rope in a horseshoe shape. Twist the ends together, then wrap under the knot and pull the ends through the loop (see note 3). Repeat with remaining pieces of dough.
  • Working with one pretzel at a time, drop a pretzel in the boiling baking soda water for 30 seconds. Remove and transfer to a prepared baking sheet. Immediately brush with the egg yolk wash and sprinkle with coarse salt. Repeat with remaining pretzels.
  • Bakeuntil the pretzels are dark brown, crackly, and fragrant, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve with Homemade Cheese Sauce.

Notes

  1. Baking soda: Dunking the knots into a boiling baking soda bath before baking gives you that crackly brown outside on your pretzel.
  2. Proofing the dough: Turn your oven on to the lowest temperature it will go, usually 200 degrees. Once it reaches 110 degrees, turn the oven off. Place the dough in the oven and close the door. Opening the oven door will lower the heat a bit, and that's okay (you're aiming for 75 to 85 degrees).
  3. Knotted up: I went with a less traditional knot shape, but you can twist the dough any way you see fit.
  4. Serving suggestion: Serve with my favorite Homemade Cheese Sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pretzelCalories: 158kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 4gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 1517mgPotassium: 42mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 109IUCalcium: 7mgIron: 2mg
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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Comments

    1. Hi Amy! I used regular all-purpose flour. I am not sure what the effect would be with bread flour, so unfortunately I can’t say. :-/ Sorry about that!

    2. No worries. I did use bread flour and they turned out amazing! Love these! Thank you for sharing!!

    3. You did?! Did you use the same quantity? That’s so exciting! I can’t wait to try it out myself so that I can officially add that option to the recipe. Thanks for passing along the info!

  1. Just LOVED reading this post, just as I did reading Nagi’s post about your trip. :-)

    The food does indeed look incredible, and that view… wow!

    As for those pretzels, my mouth is literally watering at the sight of them – you nailed it, Meggan! Must check out the dip recipe too!5 stars

  2. ??? OMG OMG! You totally took me back to our magical holiday!!!! And those PRETZELS! I need some NOW!!! Pretzels here are so sad compared to in the states, I am making these STAT!!! And thank you for the mention re: dip :)

    Seriously makes me so nostalgic reading this….. N xx5 stars

    1. *Magical* is the keyword here! We seriously need to make this an annual excursion. I’m making your DIP stat, it looks so good! Glad you left out the blue cheese. :)