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Easy Soft Pretzel Recipe

  • Author: anita | wild thistle kitchen
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 9 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 9 minutes
  • Yield: 12 large soft pretzels 1x


Soft and slightly chewy, these pretzels are quick and easy to make, require NO BOILING, and can be either sweet or savory depending on what you add to them, top them with, or dip them in! If you start right now you could have warm pretzels coming out of your oven in about 2 hours!


  • 2 cups warm milk (100-110 degrees F)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or white sugar, honey, or malt syrup if you're really fancy)
  • 3 teaspoons yeast
  • 5 1/4 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 stick soft butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Egg Wash:

  • one egg yolk mixed with 2 tablespoons water

Topping suggestions: (see post above for a long list of add-ins, toppings, and dipping ideas)

  • Pretzel salt
  • everything bagel seasoning
  • cinnamon sugar
  • sesame seeds
  • poppy seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm milk, sugar, and yeast. Allow to sit for 5 minutes
  3. Add flour, butter, and salt and mix until dough comes together. Continue kneading on low speed for 5 minutes, adding one tablespoon of flour at a time until dough pulls away from the sides and you have a firm, smooth, not sticky dough.
  4. Cover and let rise in a warm place for one hour.
  5. Dump dough onto your work surface (I do this straight on my counter) and divide into 12 equal pieces.
  6. Roll each piece into a long rope - about 24 inches. It helps to keep a bowl of water nearby for this. I have found working with slightly damp hands will help you roll the dough into a rope much easier than using flour like many recipes suggest.
  7. Cross the two ends over each other to form a circle with overlapping ends, twist once or twice (twice is my signature move) and bring the two points down to make a pretzel shape. Here is a useful video on shaping pretzels (I don't flip them over like in the video but you feel free to do so!) and make sure to reference the step-by-step photos above. Once you do a couple you'll get the hang of it.
  8. Place the shaped pretzels onto a parchment or silpat lined baking tray. I usually do 4-6 per standard baking tray - they do puff up. 
  9. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with desired topping (see list of suggestions in blog post) - if you are going to brush with butter and roll in cinnamon sugar or something similar, do not egg wash before baking.
  10. Bake in preheated oven for 9 minutes.
  11. If you are going the cinnamon sugar route, you will brush the baked pretzels with melted butter and roll in cinnamon sugar after baking. 


If you want to make these into pretzel buns, instead of rolling them into ropes, simply shape each piece into a ball, flatten slightly and bake as instructed. 

  • Category: bread, snack
  • Method: baking

Keywords: easy soft pretzel recipe, homemade soft pretzels