This is one of the simplest ways to make Homemade Soft Pretzels. The soft pretzel dough is a tried and true recipe that yields delicious results every time.
These soft pretzels are even better than Auntie Anne’s!
After experimentation, trial and error, and many snacks eaten, I have finally created the best Homemade Soft Pretzels Recipe. These delicious mini soft pretzels make the perfect snack all year long.
If you’re looking for an appetizer to serve, you can use this recipe to make soft pretzel bites too.
Mini Homemade Soft Pretzels Recipe
Growing up, whenever my mom took me to the mall, we always stopped by Auntie Anne’s to get a pretzel. Specifically, a cinnamon sugar pretzel. I can still close my eyes and picture the smell of fresh pretzels permeating throughout the entire 4th floor of the mall.
Whether you enjoy salty and savory or sweet and sugary, there is always something at a pretzel stand for everyone. Now, as much as I love a mall pretzel, I love recreating nostalgic foods in my own kitchen, so making a homemade soft pretzel recipe was a no-brainer.
I made these pretzels a bit smaller than what you might be used to with regular mall pretzels. While it took a lot of trial and error, in the end, it was definitely worth it to get these delicious and easy homemade soft pretzels perfect…not just for me to enjoy, but for you as well!
What Are Soft Pretzels Made Of?
Soft Pretzel Dough
Flour: for this recipe, you can stick to basic all-purpose flour. You’ll need about 6 cups of flour for the pretzel dough, and a bit extra for sprinkling on your counter while you roll out your dough.
Wet ingredients: to make these delicious buttery soft pretzels you’ll also need 3 tablespoons of melted butter, make sure to have extra unsalted butter handy for greasing the bowls. You’ll also need 2 cups of water to grow your pretzel dough.
Dry ingredients: this soft pretzel recipe is pretty straightforward and needs very few ingredients. To grow your dough you’ll need sugar and yeast; your dough will also need a pinch of kosher salt.
Optional ingredients: for golden brown salted pretzels, you can use a beaten egg to make an egg wash. You can also add pretzel salt, or coarse sea salt, to the top of each pretzel before baking.
For the Pretzel Bath
Baking soda: a baking soda bath is crucial to get your homemade soft pretzels looking better than the mall pretzels we all know and love. You’ll need to boil 4 tablespoons in water.
Water: you’ll need 6 cups of water, enough to completely submerge your uncooked pretzels.
*For a detailed list of ingredients and measurements, please reference the recipe card down below.
How To Make Homemade Soft Pretzels
1. Begin making the dough. Combine water, yeast and sugar in a standing mixing bowl fitted with the hook attachment. Mix until combined and let it sit for about 25 minutes or until it rises.
2. Continue making the dough. Once the yeast mixture has risen, add the melted butter. Continue adding one cup of flour at a time until a dough forms and it’s no longer sticky. If it’s still sticky you can add a little more flour. If you press your finger into the dough and it bounces back, it’s ready.
3. Finish the dough. Knead the dough for 4 minutes until smooth. Form the dough into a ball by hand and place the dough in a bowl with a little bit of butter so it doesn’t stick and allow it to rest for another 20 minutes. Cover the dough with a damp towel.
4. Prepare the oven. Once it’s ready, preheat your oven to 450° F. Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. Line two or three baking trays, depending on the size of the tray with parchment paper.
5. Shape the pretzels. Roll each one into a thin, long rope (approximately 20-22 inches long each), form a U and twist the two ends to form a pretzel shape. Gently pull the ends of the rope down and over the pretzel base to seal. Repeat for each rope.
6. Add pretzels to baking soda bath. Bring water to a boil and once it is boiling continuously, add the baking soda to it. Place one pretzel in the mixture at a time, and leave them in only for 30 seconds. Do not leave them in longer because they could end up tasting like baking soda.
7. Bake the pretzels. Place pretzels on the prepared baking trays, and brush them with the beaten egg if you want them to have a golden brown color. Sprinkle with salt if desired and place in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Helpful Tools For This Recipe
Since this recipe yields about 12 pretzels, you’ll need plenty of baking trays and mixing bowls. Like most bread or dough recipes, you’ll want to use a solid stand mixer ideally one that includes a dough hook attachment.
Here are some of the tools I used in my kitchen for this recipe:
Soft Pretzel Calories
On average there are 300-500 calories in a soft pretzel. In this recipe, each pretzel is roughly 324 calories. If you are using a special nutrition calculator for your diet, I recommend plugging the ingredients into the one you are using to keep things consistent.
The suggested serving size is 1 pretzel per person. However, if you are calorie conscious, these are great to share with a friend too!
How to Shape Pretzels
To create the classic twist pretzel shape, you need to make a long thin rope with your uncooked dough (ideally, the rope should be 20 to 22 inches long). Form a “U” and twist the two ends to form the classic twist.
Pull ends down and over the base of the pretzel to seal. Add a bit of flair by adding an extra twist or two to your homemade pretzels! I love when the shape of a pretzel looks unique.
Make sure to keep your “rope” thin while shaping to prevent your homemade soft pretzels from expanding too much while baking.
These easy homemade soft pretzels are great for pairing and combining with so many different flavors. You won’t be running out of toppings and dips to try anytime soon!
If you prefer your pretzels on the sweeter side, you can dip your freshly baked soft pretzels in a bowl of brown sugar before serving.
For added flavor, you can add a cheese sauce or top them with lump crab dip!
In Maryland, Crab Pretzels are an iconic snack and appetizer. Check out my Crab Pretzel Recipe to eat Maryland crab pretzels without even leaving your home!
What makes pretzels brown and shiny?
If you’re hoping to achieve the signature dark golden brown pretzel look, do not skip the baking soda bath (step 6 in this recipe).
By dipping the soft pretzels in a baking soda bath before baking you’ll create a coating that will prevent the pretzels from “fluffing up”, unlike other bread, while baking. This also gives pretzels their signature chewy texture and pretzel flavor.
Can You Freeze Soft Pretzels?
If you have any leftovers, these mini soft pretzels can be stored at room temperature for 2 days or frozen for up to a month. However, any uncooked pretzel dough can be frozen for up to three months in an airtight container.
More Bread Recipes You Might Like
- 25 Easy Homemade Bread Recipes
- Maryland Crab Pretzels
- Banana Bread Muffins
- Baked Brie And Apple Flatbread Pizza
- Strawberry Banana Bread Recipe
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Buttery Homemade Soft Pretzels Recipe
Soft Pretzel Dough:
For the bath:
- 6 cups water
- 4 tablespoons baking soda
- Combine water, yeast and sugar in a standing mixing bowl fitted with the hook attachment. Mix until combined and let it sit for about 25 minutes or until it rises.
- Once the mixture has risen, add the melted butter. Continue adding one cup of flour at a time until a dough forms and it's no longer sticky. If it's still sticky you can add a little more flour. If you press your finger into the dough and it bounces back, it's ready.
- Knead the dough for 4 minutes until smooth. Form the dough into a ball by hand and place the dough in a bowl with a little bit of butter so it doesn't stick and allow it to rest for another 20 minutes. Cover the dough with a damp towel.
- Once it's ready, preheat your oven to 450° F. Cut the dough into 12 pieces. Line two or three baking trays, depending on the size of the tray with parchment paper.
- Roll each one into a thin rope (approximately 20 – 22 inches long each), form a U and twist the two ends to form a pretzel shape. Gently pull the tips down and over the pretzel base to seal. Repeat for each rope.
- Bring water to a boil and once it is boiling continuously, add the baking soda to it. Place one pretzel in the mixture at a time, and leave them in only for 30 seconds. Do not leave them in longer because they could end up tasting like baking soda.
- Place the pretzels on the baking trays, and brush them with the beaten egg if you want them to look golden. Sprinkle with salt if desired and place in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- The pretzels will expand quite a bit while baking, so try to make the ropes thin before shaping them.