Perfect Soft Pretzels





Introduction: Perfect Soft Pretzels

Nothing beats a buttery soft pretzel. They're pretty easy and fun to make. Playing with the dough and making different shapes is super fun for all ages. But eating them is the best part.

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

You'll need flour, sugar, baking soda, salt (regular table salt and coarse salt), active dry yeast, and butter (or margarine). This recipe makes a lot of pretzels, so feel free to half the recipe if you don't want that many. You can however freeze the extra pretzels and microwave them later. They are quite tasty and much cheaper than the store-bought ones.

Step 2: Yeast

Mix 3 packets of active dry yeast, and 2 teaspoons of sugar into 2 and 1/2 cups of very warm water. Mix until all is dissolved and set to the side while you get everything else together. It will start getting bubbly. Don't worry. It's supposed to. And yes, it has a very yeasty aroma. That's ok too.

Step 3: Everything Else

Go ahead and start melting 5 tablespoons of butter or margarine, but don't add it yet. Put 9 cups of all-purpose flour in a large bowl. Of course a flour war may ensue if you have helpers, but try to at least get what you need in the bowl first. Then add a cup of sugar and 3 teaspoons of salt. Blend well.

Step 4: You Really "Knead" It

Now you put it all together. Make a little well in the center of the flour mix and pour in the butter and the yeast mixture. Stir it up as much as you can until it starts getting really thick. Then start kneading it with your hands. It will get messy. Knead it until all ingredients are well blended and no flour remains on the side of the bowl. Should take quite a few minutes. Add a very small amount of water if needed in order to get all the flour blended in. When it is all kneaded and ready, place it into a greased bowl, spray a little cooking spray on top of the dough (so it doesn't get dry or crusty), and cover it. Leave it sit for at least an hour to rise. It should double in size.

Step 5: Punch It

*Boxing gloves are not really recommended for use in the kitchen. Once the dough has doubled in size, uncover it and punch it down. It's kinda neat watching it deflate.

Step 6: Baking Soda Bath

This part seems strange, but it's very scientific. Google it if you don't believe me, but the chemical reaction this makes with the dough is what gives it that pretzely color and texture on the outside. So all you do is take about 5 cups of water and half a cup of baking soda and mix it well. Set it to the side. You'll be using it soon.

Step 7: Play With Your Dough

Now comes the fun part. Separate your dough into as many pieces as you want. Roll it out and twist it up to make pretzel shapes, other designs, make smiley faces, peace signs, or cut it up into small pretzel bites. Whatever you make, dip it in the baking soda bath and set it on some wax paper, so the excess water can run off. Sprinkle with the coarse salt. (If you'd rather have cinnamon/sugar pretzels, don't put the salt on. Just dip the dough and set it down on the wax paper.)

Step 8: Baking

Go ahead and begin preheating your oven to 350. Carefully place pretzels on a greased baking sheet and let sit for about 15 to 20 minutes to rise up again a bit. I actually have 2 ovens, so I proof them in one on a low, warm temp. They rise up a little faster that way, but you don't have to do that. Then just bake them on 350 for about 8 minutes, depending on size, until they are a golden brown color. Take them out and brush them with melted butter. (This is when you'd sprinkle on the cinnamon/sugar if that's the way you want them.)

Step 9: Eat 'Em

Eat up. These are best fresh, but as I said, you can freeze them and reheat them later. We usually don't have enough left to save though. They're so soft and buttery and good, we devour them all.



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    these are the best pretzels, the flavour, takes me back to america

    If not making with kids (or at least you can make and mix this part on your own, it's safe to touch as long as you rinse the area off after getting on you and won't react badly with metals like lye can), you can try this instead. A recipe I tried out for pretzels said, "Line a small baking sheet with foil and spread the 1/3 cup baking soda on it. Bake in a 250ºF oven for one hour while you make the pretzel dough." 1/2 cup like you used would work the same way. You are essentially creating washing soda, which has a closer pH to lye than baking soda does. I can attest that it's safe to eat!

    Cool. Thanks for the info.

    My pretzels stick with the wax paper ...

    That's strange. You didn't cook them on the wax paper though, right? It was just to put them on to drain off the excess water. I've never had any stick before.

    I loved viewing the happy interaction of the
    Family most... And canlt wait to Mae these. Thank you.

    Thank you so much! The kids make it so much more fun. Their friends are even joining in now.

    I realize how "groovy" you are, but is it possible to add a more traditional itemized menu list somewhere for your pretzel recipe? Thanks!

    Ok, let's call it a "recipe." Your recipe is spread out all through the page and separated by photos.

    Not trying to be a pain, but you have people commenting about making mixing mistakes.