Learn how to make homemade soft pretzels with this easy recipe that is no-rise and no-boil. This recipe makes four jumbo soft pretzels, or eight large soft pretzels. They stay soft for days and taste amazing!
I have a confession. I’ve never been a fan of pretzels. They’ve always been a “meh” type of food for me.
Then my daughter took a foods and nutrition class at high school and made this recipe for soft pretzels at home. I took one bite, and I was reborn. This was a pretzel unlike any I’d ever tasted. It was super soft and perfectly flavored. It was so much better than any pretzel I’d ever had in my whole life.
The beauty of this recipe is that it is so quick! Yes, it has yeast, but you don’t have to wait for it to rise! And as you can see from the pictures, these pretzels get REALLY big and puffy in the oven, even without the traditional rising time!
Let me show you how easy it is to make these homemade soft pretzels with step-by-step pictures.
How to Make Homemade Soft Pretzels
First, you’ll need to whip up the dough. The only ingredients you need are warm water, yeast, salt, sugar, and flour. Super easy! (You may also want an egg if you decide to do an egg wash. Traditionally, pretzels are also sprinkled with large-grain salt. You could even do a sugar/cinnamon sprinkle if you want sweet pretzels!)
You can use a stand-mixer, or just mix up the dough by hand. You want the dough to be soft and not sticky. It should feel a lot like play dough and be really easy to handle.
Now you’ll want to divide your dough into four (or eight) equal-sized balls. If you want to get fancy, you can weigh each ball with a kitchen scale to make sure they are the same size.
Now it’s time to roll each ball into a long rope. It should be between 20-24 inches. I know that seems really long, but as soon as you start to form the pretzel, the rope shrinks.
Whether you are making four jumbo pretzels or eight large pretzels, your rope still needs to be 20-24 inches long. The rope you see in the picture above is for a jumbo pretzel. If you’re making a large pretzel (and you’ve divided the dough into eight pieces instead of four), then your rope will be half as thick, but just as long.
Now it’s time to form the pretzels. First, start making a circle and cross the ends of the rope over each other with a few inches left over.
Now twist the ends two or three times and tuck the ends under the bottom. (Some people leave the ends on top, but they can come out looking wonky once they’re baked, so I like hiding them on the bottom).
Place the pretzels on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Now I suggest doing an egg wash because it will make your pretzels look really pretty, and will also help the salt stick better 🙂
To prepare an egg wash, just crack an egg in a small bowl and add one tablespoon of water. Use a fork to beat the egg and water together. Then use a pastry brush to spread the wash over the pretzels.
Now it’s time to sprinkle some kosher salt or other large-grain salt onto your pretzels. I happened to have some super fancy salt from The Spice Lab that I was given as a gift. So I used a different type of salt for each pretzel.
Now you just need to bake the pretzels in a 425 F.-degree oven for 10 minutes. (If you’ve made eight large pretzels instead of four jumbo pretzels, cook for just eight minutes).
Now it’s time to make the pretzels really pretty. Turn on your broiler for 2-5 minutes. Stay and watch the pretzels carefully until the tops get nice and golden brown.
(If you have sprinkled the pretzels with sugar, skip the broiling, or your sugar may burn).
Then take them out of the oven and just TRY to wait until they cool off before you take a bite.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container, but eat within two or three days.
If you WANT to boil your pretzels before baking, here’s how you do it:
Put 9 cups of water in a large stock pot and add 1/2 cup of baking soda. Bring the water to a boil.
Once the water is boiling, drop a formed pretzel in and boil for 20-30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow the water to drip off. Then place the pretzels on your parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.
If you boil your pretzels, you don’t need to do an egg wash.
There you go, my friends! Time to make the yummiest pretzels you’ll ever eat!
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 cups flour
- 1 egg (optional)
- 1 tablespoons water (optional)
- Kosher salt (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
- Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. (If you're making eight pretzels, you'll need two cookie sheets).
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, add the warm water and yeast. Let the yeast proof for ten minutes, until frothy.
- Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt to the yeast.
- Add 3 cups of flour and mix by hand with a wooden spoon or with a dough hook on slow speed.
- Add up to 1 1/4 cups more flour until the dough is not sticky and is easy to handle. Knead by hand or with the dough hook for five minutes.
- Let the dough rest for five minutes.
- Divide into four equal pieces and form into balls. (If making eight pretzels, make eight balls).
- Roll each ball into a long rope, 20-24 inches in length.
- Curve the rope into a circular shape, crossing the ends over each other and twisting two or three times. Tuck the ends under the bottom of the pretzel. (See the pictures in the post to see how to do this).
- Place the formed pretzels onto your parchment-lined cookie sheets.
- Crack an egg into a small bowl and add 1 tablespoon of water. Use a fork to beat the egg and water together.
- Use a pastry brush to spread the egg wash over the tops and sides of the pretzels.
- Sprinkle kosher salt on top of the pretzels.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 425 F. (If you've made eight large pretzels instead of four jumbo pretzels, bake for eight minutes). Then turn on your broiler for 2-5 minutes. Watch the pretzels carefully. When the tops are golden brown, remove them from the oven.
You can sprinkle the tops of these with a cinnamon/sugar mixture instead of salt. If you do this, do not broil the pretzels at the end of baking, as the sugar can burn.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 492Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 699mgCarbohydrates: 100gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 15g