How to Make Pretzels in Four Easy Steps



About: I’m 13 like woodworking, forging, taking photographs from my phantom 4 drone, hunting, fishing, spearfishing, snorkelling, and climbing among a whole lot of other things

These pretzels are delicious, quick, easy, and fun to make. This would also probably be a good project to do with kids (though you might want to do the third step for them because it involves hot water). Also, this is my first cooking instructable so if you see any mistakes please tell me. Note: The cooking skills involved in this instructable is poaching (step 3) and following a recipe.



  • 3 cups all-purpose flour divided
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cups lukewarm water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon corse sea salt, or to taste
  • cooking oil


  • large mixing bowl
  • large measuring cup for liquids
  • assorted dry measuring cups
  • assorted measuring spoons
  • large baking trays
  • convection oven
  • timer

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Ingredients/Tools



Step 2: Making the Dough

Get your large bowl, stir together 1 cup of flour, yeast, sugar, 2 tablespoons of butter, and 1 1/3 cup of warm water. Mix it and let the mixture stand until it starts bubbling (about 10 minutes). Once it has started bubbling, stir in the 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2 remaining cups of flour. Mix until you are able to pick it up. Then sprinkle some flour on your counter, take the dough out of bowl and put on the counter. Start kneading the dough until it is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). It should not be sticky (add more flour if needed). Stop kneading when you can poke it and it bounces back slightly.

Step 3: How to Make That Awesome Pretzel Shape

Roll the dough into a cylinder approximately the length of the distance from your wrist to your elbow. Cut it in half using a knife (a bread knife works the best for this), divide each half into 3 equal parts, and roll each piece into a 15 inch rope. Fold each of the dough ropes to look like the 5th photo. Then twist the two ends over each other once and pinch down the ends to look like the 6th photo.

Step 4: Soda Bath

Preheat your oven to 450°F (220°C). Put the remaining 3 cups of water in your pot or pan, add the baking soda, and bring the water to a boil (You can use more water if you want for the soda bath. Remember for every cup of water you add, add another tablespoon of baking soda). Once the water is boiling, remove it from the heat. Next, dip the pretzels into the soda bath for 45 seconds and flip them over halfway through. Place the soaked pretzels on a greased baking tray and sprinkle them with the coarse sea salt. Put them in the oven and bake until they are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

Step 5: Brushing With Butter

Once they are finished in the oven, take them out and put them on a wire cooling rack. Before they are completely cool, brush the melted butter on them. Now you can eat them:)

If you like this project, please follow me and vote for me in the Kitchen Skills Challenge. Also if you notice any mistakes or have any questions please leave a comment. :4)

Kitchen Skills Challenge

First Prize in the
Kitchen Skills Challenge

3 People Made This Project!


  • Made with Math Contest

    Made with Math Contest
  • Candy Challenge

    Candy Challenge
  • Multi-Discipline Contest

    Multi-Discipline Contest

26 Discussions


22 days ago

Sorry to be a "Besserwisser" but traditional bavarian/swabian pretzels are made with lye NaOH and not soda - soda is sure less dangerous to handle, but the taste isn't the same.
Check this "educational" video about the most (south-) german thing:

it will explain it properly :)
" Besserwisser"- mode OFF.

10 replies

Reply 21 days ago

I will change the title to: How to Make Traditional Pretzels


Reply 3 days ago

Whoooops I didn't want to start a fire -.- seems like the conversation got away somehow.
Anyway thanks for a good recipe and congratulations on your first prize :)


Reply 2 days ago

No problem your comment was true and you explained to me nicely why the title was not right so I changed it. I just got annoyed when multiple people kept on telling me the title was wrong and telling me that I was lying without reading the comment I sent you saying that I was going to change the title. Your welcome and thank you for nicely explaining why the title was wrong.


Reply 21 days ago

Lye isn't that dangerous, if used at the low concentration required for Brezn (5%, iirc). Even if you get it all over your hands, you only get a rash, worst case, not a real burn.

Using soda instead of lye is what gave you the light, brown and yellow color, instead of the dark brown color that Bavarian Brezn have.

Unless you switch to fresh yeast and lye, calling them traditional would be a lie.


Reply 4 days ago

I switched the title but it is not the end of the world to call the traditional and frankly you are being a bit of a snob.


Reply 20 days ago

I've made pretzels with a simple trick you can do on baking soda. If you bake the baking soda for 1 hour in an oven at 100 °C (around 210 °F), it will get more alkaline with it's pH value closer to the lye. You will get more flavor, and richer brown color. When baking it, don't use aluminum tray because aluminum is sensitive to alkaline matter. Use ceramic or glass tray if you can. Just preheat the oven and put a tray with thin coat of baking soda (around 1 cm, or 1/2", not more) so it can bake evenly.

pH value of lye (Sodium Hydroxide) is from 13 to 14, of baking soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) is 9 and of baked soda (Sodium Carbonate) is from 11 to 12.

Be careful when using baked soda, try not to inhale it. Also, be careful with baked soda bath because it could harm your skin. Have vinegar prepared, to neutralize the potential injury.

Good luck!


Reply 21 days ago

Hello Seth
I'd second "Besserwisser" on the use of lye. I tried the baking soda way and i'ts just not the same. Furthermore one "smartass" comment from my side. The traditional salt, that's on the Pretzels or "Seelen" isn't coarse sea salt. It's called "Brezensalz or Hagelsalz" in German. I also used to use coarse sea salt, but it's too hard because it's one crystal. The Brezensalt is powdered and pressed to the size. It doesn't break your teeth and it's a bit less salty.
I asked my baker for 2lb of it, because it's not easy to find, unless you buy a 100lb bag.

On the pictures, you can see the "Hagelsalz" and my "Seelen" made of 100% spelt flour.


Reply 22 days ago

Thanks though there have to be recipes that are made using baking soda rather than lye.


Reply 22 days ago

have to agree with mimikry - lye dipping is the traditional Bavarian method - baking soda doesn't cut it
- perhaps re-title as "How to make non-traditional Pretzels"?


Reply 21 days ago

Do not worry I will change the title to: How to Make Pretzels

chloesudallPhillip Miller

Best Answer 20 days ago

This usually means divided in half, or if it’s 3 cups, kept divided in the three cups. Usually because the different portions will be used at different steps of the recipe.


Reply 4 days ago

Thanks for helping, your answer is clearer than mine.

SethsgPhillip Miller

Reply 21 days ago

It means the flour is in separate parts hope that helps :4)


20 days ago

I used to make pretzels with my dad when I was much younger, but we never gave them a bath before baking. Yours look delicious, so I'm going to have to try your recipe! Thanks for sharing!

1 reply