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Homemade Soft Pretzels

Homemade Soft Pretzels Recipe By: Cece Kirkwood, This post may contain affiliate links.

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Ever wander around wishing you could bring the great taste of a mall pretzel right to your home? I’ve got you covered. These Homemade Soft Pretzels are easy to make, delicious to eat and will be an absolute crowd pleaser at your next get-together.

I’ve made these a few times for our friends and before I can even pull them out of the oven, our friends are waiting in the kitchen to grab a nice, hot and fresh one. They throw caution to the wind and forget about burnt finger tips in order to devour the pretzels. While I would suggest waiting longer than my friends do, these are served best fresh and with a homemade (or store-bought) cheese dip on the side.  Take that mall food!

The Process 

For this Homemade Soft Pretzel recipe, it is important that once you warm the milk, things stay nice and warm to get the yeast activated and ready for its rise. To ensure this happens, measure out all your ingredients before you begin this bake. 

To mix the dough for these homemade soft pretzels…

In a small saucepan, warm milk on medium heat to 110-115degrees. Stir frequently and watch closely as milk can go from perfect to burnt and overflowing very very quickly! 

Remove from heat and stir in the yeast until it dissolves. Let that sit for 2 – 3 minutes, then transfer the milk and yeast mixture into a large metal mixing bowl.

Add in 3tbsp of brown sugar and about half of the flour and combine all of that using a wooden spoon. Things may look a little clumpy at this stage, but that is okay! 

Next, add in 2.5 tbsp melted butter and combine. Then, add in the rest of your flour and salt. You will be left with an extremely sticky dough, but do not be afraid… nothing a little knead won’t take care of!

Dump the dough onto a VERY well floured surface, keeping more flour off to the side to incorporate as needed. When you start kneading, begin with quick, decisive movements (a plastic dough scraper will help here) until your dough becomes a bit more workable.

Begin adding in flour as needed and move to a more traditional kneading pattern until your dough becomes smooth, but still tacky. This usually takes about 5 minutes. 

Shape the dough into a loose ball and place into a WELL greased bowl. Cover and leave to rise until doubled in size. Depending on how warm your kitchen is, it should take about 1 hour. 

Meanwhile, preheat the oven with a pizza stone to 450degrees.

After a nice rise…

After an hour, get some stress out and give your dough a good, slow punch to deflate and turn onto a well floured work surface.

Evenly divide your dough and shape into your favorite pretzel shape. This can be a traditional pretzel shape, as pictured below or you can cut into pretzel nuggets, pretzel sticks or really anything you like! 

Create a baking soda bath in a shallow dish by adding warm water and baking soda, stirring to combine.Quickly dip the pretzel into the baking soda bath and add to a piece of parchment paper. Repeat for all pretzel pieces. 

Using your remaining butter, brush the melted goodness onto your pretzels, top with pretzel salt and stick those cuties into the oven for 10 minutes or until golden brown. 

Allow to cool slightly and enjoy by dipping into your favorite cheese or mustard sauce! Enjoy!

The Tips 

Can I bake these ahead of time?

You can bake these homemade soft pretzels up to 2 days in advance. After cooling, tightly wrap the pretzels and place into a freezer safe bag for storage. When you are ready to eat them, allow the pretzels to defrost on the counter for a few hours, then reheat in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the over, brush a bit more melted butter on top and enjoy! 

Can I use an electric stand mixer to knead my dough?

You can definitely use a mixer, but be careful not to over knead. Since this is a sticky dough, sometimes the stand aid mixer can make things look a bit more sloppy than they really are. This type of dough does well with hands on attention and can easily be kneaded using a plastic scraper and flour to help. 

What if I don’t have Pretzel Salt?

While it is not the end of the world if you do not have pretzel salt, using another type of salt, perhaps Kosher or similar, will result in your salt dissolving while baking. Pretzel salt is specifically made with a larger crystal size and has a coating so that it does not dissolve completely while baking. More on the different types of salt can be found in my blog post: The Best Salt for Baking – Is there one?.

Can I add flavors into the dough?

This dough tastes wonderful with cheese, garlic or other seasonings added to it! Simply add in after the melted butter and knead fully into the dough before rising. You can also stuff with cheese post-rise when shaping the pretzels. 

Why is this recipe in grams? 

Baking is a science and in science you want things to be exact and precise. The best way to do this is by weighing out your ingredients using a simple scale. Ever baked a cookie using the same recipe, yet somehow it turns out slightly different each time? That is because when measuring by volume, you can’t be as precise. It is vital that your ingredient ratios are accurate for a reliable bake every time.

The Homemade Soft Pretzels Recipe

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Buttery Soft Pretzels

  • Author: Cece Kirkwood
  • Prep Time: 70 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 80 min
  • Category: Snacks

Ingredients

Scale
  • 240 g of whole milk (or 2%) 
  • 7g Active Dry Yeast (one package) 
  • 48g light brown sugar
  • 290354g of all-purpose flour 
  • 5 tbsp of unsalted melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp Morton’s Kosher salt
  • 43g baking soda
  • 260g warm water 
  • Pretzel salt to top

 

Instructions

  • In a saucepan, warm milk on medium heat to 110-115degrees. Stir frequently and watch closely! 
  • Remove from heat and stir in the yeast until it dissolves. Let that sit for 2 – 3 minutes. 
  • Pour milk and yeast mixture into a large mixing bowl
  • Add in 3tbsp of brown sugar and about half of the flour 
  • Combine with a wooden spoon 
  • Add in 2.5 tbsp melted butter and combine
  • Add in the rest of the flour and your salt and combine. You will be left with an extremely sticky dough, but do not be afraid… nothing a little knead won’t take care of
  • Dump your dough onto a VERY well floured surface, keeping about 128G of flour off to the side
  • Begin to knead your dough, starting with quick, decisive movements (a plastic dough scraper will help here) until your dough becomes a bit more workable
  • Begin adding in flour as needed and move to a more traditional kneading pattern until your dough becomes smooth, but still remains a tad sticky. This usually takes about 5 minutes. 
  • Place your dough into a WELL greased bowl to rise until doubled in size. Depending on how warm your kitchen is, it should take about 1 hour. 
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven with a pizza stone to 450degrees
  • Get some stress out and give your dough a good, slow punch to deflate and turn onto a well floured work surface. 
  • Evenly divide your dough and shape into your favorite pretzel shape 
  • Create a baking soda bath in a shallow dish by adding warm water and baking soda, stirring to combine
  • Quickly dip the pretzel into the baking soda bath and add to a piece of parchment paper. Repeat for all pretzel pieces. 
  • Using your remaining butter, brush the melted goodness onto your pretzels, top with salt and stick those cuties into the oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown
  • Allow to cool slightly and enjoy by dipping into your favorite cheese or mustard sauce! 
  • Enjoy!

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Baking By Cece is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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