Make Your Own Soft Pretzels

There's nothing like a fresh, buttered soft pretzel to satisfy your salt craving! Try this recipe and make your own.

Soft pretzels on baking tray.

Soft Pretzels

King Arthur Baking Company
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 8



  • 2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 7/8 to 1 cup warm water (use greater amount in winter, lesser amount in summer). Soft dough is the goal.


  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tbsp baking soda
  • coarse kosher or pretzel salt
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted


  • To make dough by hand or with a mixer: Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Place all of the dough ingredients into a bowl and beat until well-combined. Knead the dough, by hand or machine, for 5 to 8 minutes, until it's soft, smooth, and elastic, then proceed to step 4.
  • To make dough with a bread machine: Place all of the dough ingredients into the pan of your bread machine, program the machine for dough or manual, and press Start. Allow the dough to go through its kneading cycle, then proceed to step 4.
  • To make dough with a food processor: Place the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in the work bowl of a food processor equipped with the steel blade. Process for 5 seconds. Add the water and process for 7 to 10 seconds, until the dough starts to clear the sides of the bowl. Process a further 45 seconds, then proceed to step 4.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 30 minutes.
  • To make the topping: While the dough is rising, prepare the topping. Combine the boiling water and baking soda, stirring until the soda is totally (or almost totally) dissolved. Set the mixture aside to cool to lukewarm (or cooler).
  • Preheat your oven to 475°F. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it with vegetable oil spray, or lining it with parchment paper. 
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into eight equal pieces (about 70g each).
  • Allow the pieces to rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Pour the baking soda/water into a 9" square pan.
  • Roll each piece of dough into a long, thin rope (about 28" to 30" long), and twist each rope into a pretzel shape. Working with four pretzels at a time, place them in the pan with the baking soda/water, spooning the water over their tops; leave them in the water for 2 minutes before placing them on the baking sheet. This baking soda bath will give the pretzels lovely golden-brown color.
  • Transfer the pretzels to the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle them lightly with coarse, kosher, or pretzel salt. Allow them to rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  • Bake the pretzels for 8 to 9 minutes, or until they're golden brown.
  • Remove the pretzels from the oven, and brush them thoroughly with the melted butter. Keep brushing the butter on until you've used it all up; it may seem like a lot, but that's what gives these pretzels their ethereal taste. Eat the pretzels warm, or reheat them in an oven or microwave.
Keyword DIY soft pretzels, soft pretzel recipe
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5 stars
This is a fantastic recipe! Absolutely delicious! There is only one place where the instructions got very confusing…the part where you roll each pc (of the 8 equal pcs of dough) into a long, thin rope 28″-30″ long. I think the author left out the part on how long the length should be to cut the ropes down to a manageable size – leaving it that long makes a huge skinny pretzel. I assumed she meant to cut the skinny ropes into 4 equal smaller pcs….as she mentions working with 4 pretzels at a time. I did this, and I swear to you, my kids said I was a goddess, and devoured every last pretzel. Ty for sharing this…it has been copied into our heirloom family recipe book. ❤

Ps…There’s no specific amount of salt for the topping listed, so just go easy on it if you use the coarse salt. I found that a scant 1/8 tsp is a heavy dose of salt.

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