{the best} Homemade Soft Pretzles

7:16 AM Elephant & Chick 2 Comments

Are you as excited to try these soft pretzels as I am to share them with you?  

Pretzels are my weakness!  Seriously, I could live off of them.  When Andrew and I were dating we would joke that I have 3 food categories that all happen to start with the letter 'P': popsicles, popcorn and pretzels.

I never attempted making homemade Pretzels till we were living in Pittsburgh and a bunch of our friends were getting together to watch the Super Bowl.  It seemed like the perfect opportunity to try out a new recipe that would be a crowd pleaser for sure.  Fast forward 4 years, and I now have a tradition of making these for every Super Bowl!

Homemade Soft Pretzels may sound intimidating, but believe me, they are straight forward and simple and you'll love giving it a try.  Below I have included a step by step photo process of how to form the dough into the pretzel shape.

Once your dough has doubled in size, 

dump it on your working surface 

and cut into 8 equal portions. Keep the portions you're not currently twisting under a slightly damp cloth to keep them from drying out.   

Lightly oil your working surface.  (I prefer to work on a silpat.)  Roll out your dough to be ruffly 24 inches long and form into a 'u" shape with the ends pointing away from you.      

Cross the left end over the right  

and give it a twist.  

After twisting, pick up both ends and bring towards you.  Tuck the ends under both sides of the bottom of the pretzel.  

Place pretzel back under your damp cloth and grab the dough for your next pretzel.  Continue until all 8 pretzels are formed.  

With this particular batch, I choose to freeze the dough.  Transfer your pretzels while still on the silpat into the freezer for 20 minutes until pretzels started to harden.  Then transfer them into freezer storage bags until you are ready to cook the pretzels. 

{the best} Homemade Soft Pretzels

These pretzels are best eaten when they are freshly made. To make them for a crowd, make the dough then form and freeze the pretzels in advance of your party. This will also give you a good opportunity to double or triple your dough in case you need a lot of pretzels. Instructions for boiling and baking from the freezer are below.

1 1/2 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees F)
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
22 oz all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
2 oz unsalted butter, melted
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
2 tbsp butter, melted
Pretzel, Kosher, or course sea salt


 To make the pretzel dough: 

1.     In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the water, sugar, yeast, and salt on low speed for 10 seconds.
2.     Switch to the dough hook and add the flour and butter. Mix on low speed until well combined.
3.     Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
4.     Remove the dough from the bowl and transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl.
5.     Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
6.     Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface and divide it into 8 equal pieces.
7.     Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope.
8.     Place a barely damp towel over the dough and the formed pretzels to prevent them from drying out while you form the other pretzels.
At this point, you can freeze the formed pretzels on the baking sheets. Once completely frozen, transfer them to a large zipper bag and continue to freeze until you need them. Use within 2 months.

To make the pretzels:

1.     Preheat the oven to 425° F.
2.     Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
3.     Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an wide 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan. If you're freezing your formed pretzels, skip this step now and continue with it when you're ready to boil and bake your pretzels from the freezer.
4.     Using a flat spatula, gently lower the pretzels into the boiling water and boil them for 30 seconds. If boiling the frozen pretzels, add them to the water directly from the freezer - do not thaw them - and boil for a total of 45 seconds. Depending on the size of your pot, boil 2 to 4 pretzels at a time.
5.     Remove the pretzels from the water using the spatula, drain as best you can over the pot, and place them on the baking sheets.
6.     Brush the top of each pretzel with some melted butter and sprinkle with the pretzel/Kosher/sea salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. If the pretzels were frozen, bake for an extra 1 to 2 minutes.
7.     Lightly brush pretzels with the remaining melted butter immediately after you remove them from the oven. Serve warm.

Source:  Slightly Adapted from Smells like Home 


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  1. This whole boil before baking is a completely new concept for me. I had no idea that's how you made pretzels. What is the purpose of that step do you know?

  2. I made these for my husband tonight and the step by step pics were so helpful. The pretzels turned out so well! Can't wait to make them again!