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Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels Recipe

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Easy Soft Homemade Pretzels

Homemade soft buttery Pretzels with an amazing Salsa Verde Cheese Dipping Sauce. They’re so easy to make you’ll wonder why you waited so long to make this delicious treat at home!

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Have you ever had a craving that you just can’t shake? I’ve been craving Hot Buttery Soft Pretzels, the kind like you get at the mall, for months! I’d wake up in the morning craving them, and go to bed at night sad that another day had passed… my cravings not met! Sniff, sniff!

I decided it was time to break down and make some! However, true confessions…I’d never made homemade pretzels, and to be honest, they intimidated me a bit. Years ago my daughter would make homemade pretzels from a boxed mix we’d purchase at the market. She took it upon herself to make them herself…I just enjoyed the benefits of her labors. So I was clueless! (Not the first or last time in my life! I assure you!)

Homemade soft pretzels with cheese sauce

I wanted a homemade pretzel that was chewy on the outside, but not so chewy they were tough! They also had to be fluffy and soft on the inside.  The perfect combo…for the perfect “pull” when you tug them apart for dipping.

Speaking of “dipping”…that requires an amazing cheese sauce to dunk those buttery sticks of delight into! Not your typical cheese sauce, but one with rich warm flavors! A Salsa Verde Cheese Sauce seemed like the perfect solution…and boy is it ever! The world of Pretzel dunking will never be the same!

I found an amazing Homemade Pretzel recipe from Alton Brown on the Food Network. It’s quick, easy, and in my ever so humble “carb expert” opinion, the BEST pretzel recipe out there!

I can’t believe how easy, and fun, these Home Soft Pretzels are to make! So let’s get baking! 

How To Make Homemade Chewy Soft Pretzels

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine hot water, sugar, and kosher salt.

TIP: Be sure the water temperature is 110 to 115 degrees. Water that is too hot can kill the yeast! You do not want to be a yeast killer! It makes rising to new heights difficult! (That was really bad! The puns are rolling off the finger tips today my friends!) 

Stand mixing bowl with hot water, sugar, salt,

Sprinkle the yeast on top and allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. You can lightly mix the yeast into the warm water. I find it helps to activate the yeast.

Yeast sprinkled on to of warm water

Add 2 cups of flour and 1/4 cup melted butter, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed. Add an additional 2 1/4 cup of flour. Continue mixing on low speed until all the ingredients are well combined. 

Adding flour and melted butter to the water and yeast mixture

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.

TIP: It’s important to increase the speed so that the dough will knead and cling to the dough hook. 

Dough pulling away from the sides of the bowl

Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl, or use a new clean bowl…I’m all about saving on washing dishes, oil the bowl well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl. Turn dough over so oil side is up.

dough placed in oil bowl

Cover dough with plastic wrap.

TIP: I love the reusable plastic covers that I purchase in the plastic wrap aisle. You can wash and dry them and reuse them. They’re super handy!

Covering the dough with dough.

Place the covered dough in a warm place for about 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.

Pretzel dough after it has risen

Preheat the oven to 450° degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Set the pans aside.

In a large pot, 8 quarts or larger, bring 10 cups of water and 2/3 cups of baking soda…YEP…2/3 cups baking soda, to a rolling boil.

How To Shape Pretzels

While the water is coming to a boil, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface. I used my counter top and sprayed it with non-stick cooking spray. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.

dough divided into 8 pieces

Roll out each piece of dough into an a 24-inch rope…just like making snakes with play dough! (I may or may not do that particular activity with the grandkids! It’s why I’m an expert!)

Rolling dough into 24 inch long ropes

Make a “U” shape with the rope…

U shape out of pretzel dough

Holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and twist…not your body…the dough. I know you were thinking about doing a little happy dancing!

Twist the dough into pretzels

Press the ends onto the bottom of the “U” in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place the formed pretzels onto the parchment-lined half sheet pans.

Pretzels on parchment paper

Now for some FUN! Seriously this part is fun…but you need to be careful because that’s BOILING HOT water! This step is what makes the outside of the pretzels chewy! 

TIP: I ALWAYS place the pot on the BACK burner to prevent it from tipping over and spilling! Please always use caution when working with boiling fluids. 

Carefully place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. I used a large flat spatula to place the pretzels into the boiling water and to gently splash water over the top of each pretzel. Slide the spatula under the pretzel and remove from the boiling water.

Note: They’ll rise slightly in the boiling water. 

Pretzel in boiling water

Return the pretzels to the half sheet pan. Brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture, or “egg wash” and sprinkle with pretzel salt. (This step adds the final “chewy” factor and allows the salt to stick!) 

Pretzels after placed in the boiling water and brushed with egg wash and salt.

Bake until golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving!

You can bake them longer, until they are darker than mine…but I felt this was perfect!

Pretzels on baking sheet after baking

If you’re going to eat them immediately…and I double dog dare ya not to…brush them with melted butter!

If you want to store the pretzels then I recommend waiting to brush them butter until ready to serve. Overnight the melted butter can dissolve the salt and make your pretzels look like they have a serious medical condition. They still taste amazing…they just don’t look at pretty!

Look how YUMMY!! Are ya drooling yet? Well hold on…we still need to make that EPIC Salsa Verde Cheese Sauce. I made mine while the pretzels were baking.

Soft Buttery Pretzels fresh out of the oven

In a small sauce pan melt 2 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat.

melted butter in sauce pan

Whisk in 2 Tablespoons Flour until smooth, whisk in 1 cup of milk and stir until slightly thickened. Add 1 Cup grated cheese, continuing to stir.

Making cheese sauce in small sauce pan

Add in one pouch of Velveeta Cheese Sauce. Stir until smooth and creamy over low heat.

Cheese sauce after Velveeta Cheese has been added

Now to “Kick up” this cheese sauce! Add in 1/3 cup Salsa Verde and salt to taste.  Cook over low heat, stirring ocassionally for 20 minutes. If the sauce thickens too much, add more milk until you reach the desired consistency. 

Cheese sauce with Chili Verde

This one simple addition makes the most incredible cheese sauce! It does not make it “spicy hot”…it just adds an incredible depth of flavor that pairs beautifully with these perfect chewy soft homemade pretzels!

Salsa Verde Cheese Sauce

It was love at first “dunk”…by my fourth dunk we were in an official relationship!

dunking the pretzels in the cheese sauce!

These big soft buttery pretzels are the PERFECT Game Day snack…or they’re a great “Save the Crazed Mom” with Carbs treat!! Either way it’s a WIN!!

I can’t lie…after the photo shoot of these delectable gluten laden delights…I just sat there…eating! I couldn’t stop myself. They’re AMAZING!!! If you can stop after one bite…you’re a better person than I am!

If you liked these delicious treats….you’ll love these other Game Day Recipes!

Thanks so much for stopping by and visiting today! I’d love to have you follow Norine’s Nest on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest where I share my favorite recipes every day!

I’m sharing my love of this recipe over on a few of my favorite “link parties”! Click the links to join the recipe sharing fun! Weekend PotLuck and Meal Plan Monday

Happy Nesting Friends!

Norine's Signature and photo

Yield: 8 pretzels

Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels Recipe

Soft Pretzels and Salsa Verde Cheese Sauce

Homemade soft buttery Pretzels with an amazing Salsa Verde Cheese Dipping Sauce. They're so easy to make you'll wonder why you waited so long to make this delicious treat at home!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast, or 2 1/4 teaspoons
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cups baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk with 1 Tablespoon water
  • Pretzel Salt
  • Non-stick cooking spray

Salsa Verde Cheese Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 - 4 oz packet velveeta cheese sauce
  • 1/3 cup Salsa Verde
  • Salt to Taste

Instructions

  1. Combine the water, sugar, and 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 melted butter 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, or use a new bowl, and then oil the bowl well with non-stick cooking spray. Return the dough to the bowl, turn dough over to oiled side up, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with vegetable oil. Set aside.
  3. Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan.
  4. 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, twist, 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.
  5. Place the pretzels, carefully, 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 beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving. Brush with melted butter if serving immediately.


How To Make Salsa Verde Cheese Sauce for Dipping

1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour to form a paste. Add in milk while whisking continually until mixture thickens creating a roux.

2. Add in grated cheese and the pouch of velveeta sauce. Mix until smooth and creamy. Add in 1/3 cup Salsa Verde and stir. Allow mixture to simmer on low heat for 20 minutes while stirring occasionally.

3. Serve Warm.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8 servings

Serving Size:

1 pretzel

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 504Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 6321mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 16g

 

 

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Cassie McKenzie

Saturday 6th of June 2020

I made these and they are wonderful. I also served them with cherry mustard. Yummerz!!

norine@norinesnest.com

Tuesday 9th of June 2020

Hi Cassie! I think I just saw your wonderful photo on Pinterest! That Cherry Mustard looked amazing! Thanks so much for sharing. I'd love to hear more about that Cherry Mustard! Thanks for stopping by. Hope you come back back soon. Happy Nesting! ~Norine

Christina

Monday 27th of April 2020

Hi, Ms. Norine! These soft pretzels look amazing! I've never made soft pretzels before. Honestly, I'm pretty inexperienced with yeasted doughs, but I'm getting there and working out the kinks. My question is, I know you said that you need at least an 8-quart pot when you boil the pretzels, but my biggest stock pot is a 7-quart. Would I be able to lower the amount of baking soda and make it work in my pot or is 2/3 cup the magic number? Haha. Thank you for your time!

norine@norinesnest.com

Tuesday 28th of April 2020

Hi Christina! You can use a 7 quart pot and just use the same amount of baking soda. I wouldn't change that amount. It should work great. I hope you enjoy these pretzels. We absolutely love them. Such a fun treat! Let me know if I can help in any other way. You'll do great. Thanks for visiting! ~Norine

heidi

Saturday 18th of April 2020

This recipe looks easy enough, going to try it tomorrow, but I have a question in the meantime. Since there are only 2 of us in the house right now due to quarantine, can these be frozen and baked at a later date? I was thinking after they come out of the water bath and have cooled, I could freeze. Thoughts?

norine@norinesnest.com

Saturday 18th of April 2020

Hi Heidi! It would seem like a doable thing?! I would make sure they dry pretty well after the water bath and then freeze them on a cookie sheet and then put them in the a freezer bag. I'll be honest I haven't tried it, but it would be worth trying. I know you could bake them and omit the salt and then freeze them and just heat them in the microwave and sprinkle with salt after. Hope you enjoy this recipe. We absolutely L.O.V.E. these pretzels. Stay safe and thanks for stopping by. Happy Nesting! Norine

Christin

Sunday 29th of March 2020

We make a lot of soft pretzels... Every Sunday evening! Is it possible to save the baking soda-water bath in the fridge? We are quarantined and I just used the last of the baking soda for this batch...

norine@norinesnest.com

Tuesday 31st of March 2020

Hi Christin! Okay first of all...I need you to adopt me! Pretzels every Sunday! I wanna come live at your house!! Here's the bad news...but I might have some good news...Once the baking soda has cooled off it's deactivated. You know...that big fizz you get when you first add it to your water. That's the chemical reaction you need. Once it's cooled off it's like an old soda sitting out. You won't have the same results unfortunately. I know...not the news you wanted. Here is what I hope is the good news. You can substitute baking powder for baking soda. You have to add 3 times the amount...so I'd do a smaller sauce pan with only half the normal amount of water you use and then substitute the baking powder...another option would be to use "Soda water" and add a bit of baking powder. I hope this helps you in some small way. I actually bought the "fresh fridge" baking soda this week because they were out of regular boxes of baking soda. I gotta have my pretzels! Thanks so much for stopping by and stay safe! ~Norine

Melissa Cox

Sunday 2nd of February 2020

Made these tonight for the super bowl and boy were they yummy! We loved them and the cheese sauce!

norine@norinesnest.com

Tuesday 4th of February 2020

Hi Melissa! Thanks for taking the time to share! I'm so glad your crew enjoyed these Pretzels! I made them too and Alan couldn't stop eating them. I might have joined him in the eating!! Have a Great Week and Thanks again! Norine