Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels

I feel like I am a total failure when it comes to anything bread. Yeast and I just do not like each other.

To be honest, I’ve had this recipe written down (no idea where I got it from!) on a yellow post-it note for years and have never attempted making it. As I was randomly flipping through some of my fifty-zillion recipes, I saw this one and thought, “hmmm…do I dare try this?” I knew my boys would love shaping them into pretzel shapes but I was worried about the dough and if I could get it to rise, could I knead it okay, etc. Oh my goodness. This was SUCH an easy recipe to make!!! Don’t let the length of directions scare you away! If you’ve never before made homemade soft pretzels, TRY THIS RECIPE!!

It has few ingredients and you can add whatever toppings your family/kids/you like to the top. We will definitely be making these again. Forget Wetzel Pretzel’s expensive pretzels in the mall! Make ’em at home! Here’s what you need and how to put them together:

Click HERE for Printable Recipe

Ingredients for pretzels:

  • 4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (soothing warm, about 110 degrees)
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable/canola oil

Ingredients for baking soda solution:

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 4 cups hot water


  1. Combine the yeast, white sugar and warm water together in a small bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes until creamy.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl or kitchenaid, mix the flour, sugar and salt. Make a well in the center and add the oil and creamy yeast mixture. Mix together – I used my hands. If dry (which mine was…) add 1 Tbsp. water to mixture.
  3. Knead by hand for 7 minutes. This is a great way to work out your arms! 😉 (Click HERE for a good youtube video on how to knead) or if using a Kitchenaid mixer, use the knead attachment for about 4-5 minutes. Place kneaded dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for one hour until doubled in size.
  4. After the dough has doubled, roll it out onto a floured surface using a rolling pin to make it into a large rectangle. Take a pizza cutter and slice vertically into 1″ – 1 1/2″ slices. Take each slice and roll into a snake-like long rope, slightly longer than your body.
  5. To shape into a pretzel, I used THIS video on youtube to help me. (You can skip to 1:18 on the video to see instructions) It’s super easy! Even my eight-year old was whipping out pretzels like a pro!
  6. After your pretzels are shaped, mix up your baking soda solution. Using a spatula, dip each pretzel into the solution then place on parchment paper covered & sprayed cookie sheets. Sprinkle with coarse salt**. This recipe makes anywhere around 10-12 pretzels depending on the size.
  7. Let pretzels sit for about 20 minutes on baking sheets and then bake in preheated 450 F degree oven for 8 minutes. Then ENJOY your yummy creation!

**We sprinkled cinnamon & sugar on the top of some of the pretzels before we baked them, but next time we will definitely wait until after they are cooked (omitting the coarse salt step) and brush with butter and then sprinkle the top of the pretzel with cinnamon & sugar because the sugar on the parchment melted and burned the bottom of the pretzels.  :(

Click HERE to print this recipe.
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  1. 4


    Hi Jen,
    Every time I walk by a Pretzel place at the mall or in the store, I just want one of those Pretzels. Your recipe is awesome and it will be in my oven before the day is over, can’t wait!! Hope you are having a great week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  2. 5


    Oh My! I need you to deliver some of these to my house! I LOVE homemade pretzels….they are sooo good. I just never make them because they seem to take so much time.

  3. 12


    Wow, they look amazing! Thanks for joining the party at Keep Calm and Link Up this week! Can’t wait to see what you link up next Friday!
    Barbara at Chase the Star
    chasethestar dot net

  4. 15


    I too am intimidated by all things yeast…I tried one recipe for pretzels from Pinterest and it was a FAIL. They didn’t do the baking soda bath which I think is important. Can’t wait to try these. pinned them and I’m a new follower! Thanks!

  5. 19


    I cant wait to make these for the kiddos!, found you from Classy Clutter. Im your newest follower…I need new recipe ideas :)

    Laura from LifeWeLive4

  6. 20

    Ann says

    I am not sure what I did wrong…these came out just like a roll or bread, not a chewy pretzel texture at all. I even watched the video. I know other pretzel recipes I have seen have you put the pretzel dough in boiling water I believe. I wonder if that could be the issue?

  7. 21

    jennikolaus says

    Hi Ann! Did you use the baking soda and hot water solution?? That seems to make the dough less roll-like and give it the chewy outside texture.

  8. 23

    Sara lee says

    This turned out so bad :( I had to throw them away.
    The dough had too much yeast that the pretzel tasted bitter.
    very disappointed. I will go back to allrecipe.com and find better recipes that are proven to be good.

  9. 24

    jennikolaus says

    Oh man. I’m sorry they didn’t turn out well for you Sara! I feel really bad. Bread can be so tricky. I’m not sure what to tell you except to not give up on trying some of my other recipes! I have lots of good ones I think you’ll love! I hope you’ll come back soon!


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