These Homemade Soft Pretzels are soft, buttery and easy to make! They sit in a baking soda water bath to produce that chewy pretzel texture and are baked to golden brown. Serve these with my irresistible honey mustard dipping sauce and you have the best homemade snack!

For more ideas of what to dip soft pretzels in you can make my honey mustard dipping sauce (found in the recipe card), Pizza Sauce with Tomato Paste, Raspberry Sauce (for a sweeter option), Basil Pesto, or my Amazing Green Sauce

Homemade Soft Pretzels on a tan parchment paper.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Best soft pretzels recipe. This easy soft pretzel recipe produces the best pretzels! They are soft in the middle and have the chewy exterior, buttered and sprinkled with salt! Dipped in a delicious honey mustard sauce, these are better than the mall pretzels at the pretzel shop! 
  • Chewy pretzels. The pretzel dough sits in a baking soda water bath to help give that chewy pretzel crust on the outside. 
  • Delicious dipping sauce. This recipe comes with a delicious honey mustard pretzel dip recipe! It’s the perfect complement to these best homemade soft pretzels!

Ingredient Notes

  • Warm Water: The warm water helps the yeast activate.
  • Sugar: This helps activate the yeast and encourage rising.  
  • Instant Yeast: These homemade gourmet soft pretzels are made with a yeasted dough.  
  • Coarse Sea Salt: It wouldn’t be a classic soft pretzel recipe without the iconic pretzel salt sprinkled on the pretzels! 
  • Baking Soda: The homemade soft pretzels sit in a baking soda water bath. This causes the external part of the dough to form that chewy pretzel crust by gelatinizing the exterior (reduces the springy-ness of traditional bread). 
  • Honey: These homemade soft pretzels are delicious when dipped in my honey mustard pretzel dip! 
  • Mustards: The honey mustard sauce is made with Dijon mustard and regular yellow mustard. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Make the soft pretzel dough. Add the warm water, sugar and yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Stir for a second or two. Let sit for 5 minutes to bubble.Once the yeast has bubbled, add 1 cup flour, 1 tsp salt and 1 tbsp butter (softened).Add the remaining flour and knead for 5-6 minutes on medium-low speed. The dough will form into a soft and smooth dough. 
A collage of two photos, one shows the yeast and water in a bowl with no foam. The other photo shows the yeast having proofed and foamed up.
  1. Let rise. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the pretzel dough in the bowl. Flip over so the top and bottom is lightly coated in the oil from the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. 
  2. Make the baking soda water bath. When the dough is almost done rising, bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, remove from the heat. Add the baking soda and stir until dissolved. Transfer to a glass baking dish and set aside to cool slightly. The water should still be warm when placing the pretzels in it (just not hot). 
  3. Divide the soft pretzel dough. Transfer the dough to a clean work surface. Divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into 26-28-inch thin ropes and twist into pretzel shape.
  4. Twist into the shape of a pretzel. With each piece of dough, form a U shape with the dough, then cross the ends of the rope twice. With an end in each hand, flip the ends down to the curve of the U shape to get the traditional pretzel shape. The ends will overlap the dough a tiny bit. 
A collage of four photos showing the steps it takes to twist a rope of dough into a pretzel.
  1. Let sit in the baking soda bath. Place the homemade soft pretzels in the water mixture (you may need to do 1-3 at a time depending on the size of the dish you are using for the bath). Spoon the water over top each pretzel and then let sit for 2 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
An unbaked pretzel in a baking soda and water bath.
  1. Sprinkle with salt. Sprinkle each soft pretzel with course salt and let rest on the baking sheet for 10 minutes.
  2. Bake the homemade soft pretzels. Place the baking sheet in an oven preheated to 475°F for 8-9 minutes or until golden brown. 
  3. Brush with butter. When the homemade pretzels are done, remove from the oven and brush with melted butter. 
  1. Make the mustard dip for pretzels. Add the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk to combine. 
A golden brown pretzel sprinkled with coarse salt being dipped into a small bowl of honey mustard sauce.

Recipe Tips

Dipping the pretzels in baking soda + water bath gives the outside of the pretzel its signature chewy crust and soft interior! It also gives them their unique and delicious “pretzel” flavor.

Baking at a high temperature gives the pretzels that perfectly golden appearance.

Melted butter is essential for luxurious buttery soft pretzels! Coarse salt gives it the signature salty pretzel flavor.

Hold the salt and you can brush with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar for delicious cinnamon sugar pretzels! 

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

Store the homemade soft pretzels in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. 

You can microwave them for a few seconds to enjoy them warm. 

Store the honey mustard dipping sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for 7 days. 

If you freeze pretzels, just note that they will be harder once thawed. Freeze them in an airtight container. Thaw in the fridge. Once thawed, microwave for a few seconds and enjoy them warm. Once they cool down, they’ll go tough again. It’s best to enjoy these best soft pretzels fresh out of the oven!  

Baked Homemade Soft Pretzels on a baking sheet.

Recipe FAQs

How do you twist a pretzel?

Roll the dough into a long rope. Form into a U shape and cross the ends together twice. Flip the ends down and let the ends overlap on the U. 

Are soft pretzels fried?

This recipe is for baked pretzels. Usually the best soft pretzels are baked not fried. 

Can soft pretzels be frozen?

Yes. However, it can sometimes make them tough once thawed. Microwave them for a few seconds and enjoy immediately while warm and soft. They’ll easily harden again. It is best to enjoy them fresh (not frozen) to avoid this!  

Why do soft pretzels get wet?

The baking soda water bath forms a chewy crust on the outside of the pretzels, giving them their iconic chewy texture. 

Why are my soft pretzels hard? 

Be sure to not over bake the pretzels or else they will be hard. Store them in an airtight container to avoid drying out. If you froze the pretzels then thawed them, they will be hard. Microwave them to help restore a bit of softness, and enjoy immediately while still warm. Once cooled, they’ll go hard again. Homemade soft pretzels are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven.

Homemade Soft Pretzels on a tan parchment paper.

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Golden baked Homemade Pretzels on a tan background.
Print Review
5 from 9 votes

Homemade Soft Pretzels

These homemade pretzels are soft, buttery, and easy to make! 
Prep Time: 1 hr
Cook Time: 9 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 9 mins
Servings: 8 pretzels

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter - softened
  • coarse salt - for sprinkling over the pretzels prior to baking
  • 3 tablespoons butter - melted, for brushing over the pretzels once baked

Baking Soda Bath

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons baking soda

Honey Dijon Mustard Sauce

  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1/8 cup mayo
  • 1/8 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon white vinegar

Instructions
 

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Stir. Allow this mixture to sit for 5 minutes. 
  • After 5 minutes add 1 cup of flour, salt, and butter. Mix until combined.
  • Add the remaining flour. Knead the dough for 5-6 minutes on low-medium speed. Dough will be soft and smooth. Lightly oil a large bowl, place dough in the bowl (flipping over once so that the top is lightly covered in oil), and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 30 minutes. 
  • When the dough is almost done resting, boil the water. Once it begins to boil, remove the water from the heat. Add the baking soda and stir until it’s fully dissolved. Transfer the water mixture to an 8×8 or 9×9” pan. Set the mixture aside to cool slightly. We want the water to be warm when we use it for dipping the dough into, but not hot. 
  • Preheat the oven to 475°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Transfer the pretzel dough to a clean work surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll the dough into 26-28” long rope. Twist the rope into a pretzel shape. 
  • Place 2-3 pretzels in the baking soda/water bath. Spoon the water mixture over top each pretzel. Leave the pretzels in the bath for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, transfer the pretzels to the prepared baking sheet. Continue until all of the pretzels have been in the baking soda bath. 
  • Sprinkle the pretzels with coarse salt. 
  • Let the pretzels rest on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Bake 475°F for 8-9 minutes or until golden brown. 
  • Remove from the oven and brush each one with melted butter. Eat pretzels while warm, serve with honey dijon mustard sauce. 

Honey Dijon Mustard Sauce

  • Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Keep covered in the refrigerator until ready to use. 

Notes

Store the homemade soft pretzels in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. Store the honey mustard dipping sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for 7 days. 
Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Nutrition

Calories: 248kcal (12%)Carbohydrates: 36g (12%)Protein: 5g (10%)Fat: 9g (14%)Saturated Fat: 4g (20%)Cholesterol: 16mg (5%)Sodium: 1636mg (68%)Potassium: 79mg (2%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 5g (6%)Vitamin A: 175IU (4%)Calcium: 11mg (1%)Iron: 1.9mg (11%)
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
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