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homemade soft pretzels

Homemade Soft Pretzels, Three Ways

  • Author: Girl Versus Dough
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 35 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 mins
  • Yield: 8 pretzels 1x



For the dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups flour, divided
  • 2 teaspooons salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda

For the toppings:

  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Cinnamon Sugar: 1/4 cup granulated sugar + 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • Garlic Parmesan: 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese + 3 teaspoons garlic powder + 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Za’atar Sesame: 4 tablespoons za’atar spice + 1 tablespoon sesame seeds


  1. In large bowl or bowl of stand mixer, combine water, sugar and yeast. Let rest 5 minutes until slightly foamy. Using wooden spoon or dough hook attachment on low speed, stir in 4 cups flour, salt and melted butter until dough forms.
  2. Transfer dough to well-floured surface and knead by hand 10 to 15 minutes, adding just enough remaining 1/2 cup flour until dough is smooth, soft, elastic and slightly firm; OR, using dough hook attachment on medium speed, knead dough in stand mixer 5 to 7 minutes, adding just enough remaining 1/2 cup flour until dough is smooth, soft, elastic and slightly firm. Shape dough into ball and place in lightly greased large bowl. Cover with tea towel and let rise 1 hour until doubled.
  3. Heat oven to 450 degrees F; line 2 baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper lightly sprayed with cooking spray. In large pot, bring water and baking soda to boil. Punch down risen dough and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into 2-foot-long rope; twist into pretzel shape (see photos in post for visual direction).
  4. Using slotted spoon, carefully dip 2 to 3 pretzels at a time into boiling water; boil 30 seconds. Remove pretzels with slotted spoon and transfer to lined baking sheets spaced 2 inches apart. When all pretzels are boiled, bake 12 to 14 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking, until pretzels are deep golden brown.
  5. While pretzels bake, mix desired toppings. Brush warm pretzels with butter, then sprinkle toppings on top (NOTE: amounts of toppings listed above are each for 8 pretzels; reduce amounts if you want to make all 3 varieties with 1 batch of pretzels). Serve warm.