Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels that can be made sweet or savory! This is a small batch recipe for 6 perfect pretzels that are chewy on the outside and soft on the inside. These pretzels are an easy snack to satisfy your sweet and salty tooth!
Homemade Soft Pretzels
Pretzels are just for the mall anymore! Though – the one thing I loved about mall pretzels was the variety of flavors you can get. Aside from the fact that they are perfectly soft and chewy. The good news here – you can re-create those mall memories right at home with these Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels.
And more good news – they are very easy to make and you can have your very own batch in under an hour. This is another recipe I had help with from CourseHorse. Let’s just say I was very delighted with the outcome and enlightened with how easy it is to make pretzels.
Soft pretzels are easy to make
I was a little worried the first time I made these. I thought I’d be in the kitchen for hours kneading and proofing the dough to perfection. Then the thought of how to shape the pretzels – I was certain it would take me more hours to figure out the signature knot.
That said, don’t be like me. There is no need to worry when making these pretzels.
- First – you only need a few ingredients and most you already have in your pantry.
- Second – the kneading and proofing I was worried about are super easy. So easy, you will wonder why all bread recipes aren’t this easy!
- And lastly – the shaping is easier than tying a bow. But if you are uncertain, I’ve added a helpful link in the recipe. 🙂
Much like my Homemade Bagels, the seasoning options to top these pretzels are almost infinite. The soft and buttery flavor of the pretzel is delicious enough to stand on its own. Though, it is also a perfect canvas to add flavors on top – both sweet and savory. Some other seasoning toppings I have on my list to try:
- Cheese – broad category but need I say more?! 🙂
- Chili and Lime
- Cinnamon Sugar and Orange Zest
- Hazelnut Spread Drizzle (i.e. Nutella!) and Sliced Almonds
- Candied Ginger
- Garlic, Rosemary, and Thyme
Tips for making Homemade Soft Pretzels
Active or Instant yeast will work – I lean towards active yeast because I like to make sure the yeast is going to work – and letting it get foamy in the water reassures me of that. The flip side of that is if the yeast does not get foamy, it could be old or the water could be too hot and killed it.
You can make and knead the dough by hand or in the mixer – I prefer by hand because I like to feel the gratification of making the dough by hand. 🙂
All-purpose flour works just fine – even though this is a chewy bread, we are not using bread flour. To be honest – I have not tested the recipe with bread flour, therefore, I don’t want to speculate how it would turn out.
You can make these into pretzel bites too – if you want bite-sized pieces, cut into 1-inch pieces once you have rolled out the dough strips.
The baking soda wash gives the pretzels color and chew – this works much like boiling bagels in a baking soda bath. The baking soda wash assists with the sturdy chewy exterior of the pretzel. Not to mention the wash is much easier than boiling in a bath!
More Bread Recipes
- Homemade Bagels
- Asiago Olive Pizza Dough Breadsticks
- Kalamata Olive and Onion Bread
- Cheddar and Jalapeno Bread
Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels
- 1 – Baking Sheet Unlined
- 3/4 cup water, warm
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar (or granulated white sugar)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (for brushing the baked pretzels)
Baking Soda Wash
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Sweet Dipping Sauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- Preheat oven to 425F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position.
- Sprinkle the yeast and brown sugar on top of the warm water. Stir to mix and let sit for about 5 minutes until the yeast starts to get foamy.
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Pour the yeast water over the top of and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough starts to come together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough will be scrappy and should still feel moist to the touch.
- Pour the dough onto a very lightly floured surface. Gently press into a ball and knead for about 5 minutes. The dough doesn't need to be entirely smooth, just kneaded into a tight ball – you will know when you have kneaded enough when you poke the dough with your finger and it bounces back.
- Very lightly oil the bowl you used the mix the dough. Shape the dough into a ball and place in the bowl to proof. Cover with a dish towel, set in a warm place, and proof for 30 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- While the dough is proofing, make the baking soda wash and pretzel toppings (if using). In a small bowl, mix the baking soda and water. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, add all of the savory seasonings and stir to combine. In another small bowl, add all of the sweet glaze/dipping sauce ingredients, and stir to combine.
- Pour the proofed dough onto your work surface no flour is needed to roll and shape the pretzels). Gently shape into a log and cut with a sharp knife, or bench scraper into 6 equal-sized pieces. Using the pads of your hands, roll the pieces into strips about 18" long.
- Shaping the pretzel – place the dough strip into a U shape. Cross the tops once, then once more. Take the top ends and fold them down onto the bottom of the U. Here is a good demo with pictures on how to shape pretzels.
- Place the shaped pretzels on the baking sheet and lightly brush with the baking soda wash.
- Bake for 8 minutes, or until the tops are light golden brown. Do not overbake.
- Remove from the oven and immediately brush each pretzel liberally with the melted butter. Then top with the toppings. The pretzels are great warm or room temp.
- Cinnamon Sugar
- Flaky Sea Salt