Homemade Soft Pretzels

By Maria Lichty

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The other night we were watching the Food Network, sometimes it sucks us in:) Well, we caught a Throwdown with Bobby Flay. He went to Philadelphia to challenge “The Pretzel Boys” who are famous for Philadelphia’s best soft pretzels. It was fun watching them make pretzels…both recipes looked tasty, but Bobby ended up winning…it is his show:)

After watching, we were inspired to make soft pretzels. Something we have never done before. So we set out to find the perfect recipe. After doing some research, we went with Alton Brown’s recipe. He usually is a go to guy for a good, standard recipe…and this time he didn’t let us down!

We had a good old time making pretzels! The dough was easy to make and rolling and twisting the pretzels was so fun!! We went with the classic salted pretzel and we also did some cinnamon sugar ones for dessert! The pretzels had the perfect texture…golden brown on the outside, a bit chewy, but still soft in the center. YUM! Josh even made a Monterey Jack cheese sauce to go with! I liked the salty and sweet ones. We will for sure be twisting up pretzels again!

Dividing the dough into 8 parts! It is Pretzel Time!

Giving the dough a nice twist!

Bath Time! Boiling water with baking soda!

Sprinkling them with salt!

Golden Delicious!

A super soft and salty pretzel!

Time for something sweet! Cinnamon and Sugar!

Homemade Soft Pretzels Recipe
Adapted from Alton Brown

1 ½ cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 ½ cups
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt

Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.

Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt or sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Josh’s Cheese Sauce

Melt ½ T butter in a small pot. Add in 2 T flour and stir. Stir in 6 oz. of shredded Monterey Jack cheese until melted. Add in salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste! Serve with salted pretzels on the side.

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. My husband and I are both from up north and we now live down south. You can’t find really good soft pretzels down here, but I made these today and we both couldn’t be happier with this recipe. Thank you for sharing it, we’ll definitely be making these again and again and…

  2. Thanks so much for this post! The step-by-step photos and instructions made it seem so easy I finally tried it and they came out great! Question: We did half of our batch with cinnamon sugar, but when I took them out of the oven after 12 minutes the cinnamon had burned. 🙁 Any suggestions for pretzels with lots of cinnamon sugar and no burning? Thanks! 🙂

    1. The best way to make cinnamon sugar pretzels is to brush them with butter right after they get out of the oven and them dip them in a cinnamon sugar mixture! Maximum cinnamon-sugar goodness and no burning!

  3. Suggestion on cheese sauces… do not use pre-shredded cheese. It contains anti-clumping agents and I find it makes my sauces lumpy. I get much better results when I use block cheese and freshly grate or shred it as needed.

  4. Wow! These are awesome! I have never made pretzels before and I hit the jackpot with this recipe!! Thanks

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