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Homemade soft pretzels with the same pretzel-shop like aroma, soft texture and flavor.. and only a few simple pantry ingredients.

Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels

I munching on an extra soft homemade pretzel and sipping Chia tea while typing this post... and  kitchen is filled with pretzel-shop aroma... Aroma like I stepped into a fair and already knew - there is a soft pretzel shop close-by.. baking a fresh batch of pretzels! yumm!

Sharing today a soft pretzel recipe which will bring you taste of the fair at home! Extra soft texture with crusty salty crust yet negligible sugar (my fav). This pretzel recipe uses easy-to-find pantry ingredients and still yields pretzels which are much more lighter than you buy from pretzel shop. 

So, serve these for next family-get-together, or to watch Sunday games or just because you are pretzel-fans like myself. :) Whatever the reason may be, bake a double batch since these disappear faster than you expect.

Soft Homemade German Pretzels for Game Day Party | chefdehome.com

I'm a sucker for good soft pretzel! That crusty crust, soft texture, and perfect amount of salt in every bite.... A good baked soft pretzel is "the treat" for savory snack-freak like myself. For the record, I have to eat a soft pretzel whenever we are in a fair or just happen to visit mall. Since it is not possible to be in mall/fair every now and then..... I figured a best way to satisfy my pretzel-cravings,.... baking soome pretzels at home! :)

I also call my homemade pretzels - humble poor man's pretzels. I mean seriously, there are just 6 basic pantry ingredients in baking this bread snack, favorite of everyone. I'm not sure what ingredients classic German people use to bake pretzels... but this recipe is homemade and it has to be simple and delicious..... that's what makes/encourages me to bake some at home. Just mix simple ingredients, rise dough for 1-2 hour, and then bake for only 10 minutes for a yummy snack to serve for any occasion!

Be it a Irish-theme party, football game day appetizer, Friday movie night or just family-munching time on the weekend.... Honestly, I didn't even need a reason to enjoy few pretzels. ;)

Fresh baked out of oven batch of Soft Pretzels | chefdehome.com

When I baked this batch last weekend.... the first positive reaction came from Vishal when he returned home after running an errand... just opened door and he was like "pretzels!!" His reaction reminds me of an old Indian advertisement where a little boy decides to leave home over a fight and then happen to hear some sweets are being prepared at home... and he is ecstatic at name of his favorite sweet called Jaleebi... screaming "Jalebee!!!" lol

Soft Pretzels served with Beer Cheese Sauce | chefdehome.com

I have been making pretzels from past few years now.... Last time I had chance to click pictures, they did not look so good. Those days I had major camera-angel issues! Sometimes I wonder, how on this earth I saw a 75 degree angle picture fit to share on blog! :) I have a plenty of those... look at my old recipes.

But by the time, that pretzel picture got chance to make to blog, I seriously started thinking about my picture quality. I discarded the old batch of pretzel photos. 

No Special Ingredients like Caustic Soda (what!?!?) Needed:

It's homemade pretzel and does not need out-of-ordinary stuff to make it look pretty (at least). For this reason, I name my homemade pretzels - humble poor man's pretzels, pantry-friendly, safe for kids and safe for everyone. Just so you know, most pretzel recipes call for Caustic Soda to get deep brown crust and Pretzel salt for extra-kick briney salty bite.

I'm not at all sold for caustic soda. I don't buy anything that will not bring value to my kitchen and is not so safe. The simplest replacement of caustic soda is "plain baking soda". It does not create as super-dark brown crust like hard pretzels but it still does a pretty good job (i hope pictures speak for themselves).

For salt, I simply use flaky kosher salt. I live an apartment and don't have huge kitchen cabinet to hold on to a box of salt just for pretzels. Kosher salt works fine for me.

PS: you can also use egg wash for extra glossy crust yet I wanted to keep these pretzels egg-less.

Easy and extra Soft Pretzels favorite of kids and party friendly | chefdehome.com

I'm sharing a plain pretzel version here but you can also add some toppings  like Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese is my all time favorite. Oh, other one is pretzel pizza! :) (will share recipe sometime)

PS: I missed you all yesterday. Happy to be back. I hope you enjoying beginning of a new week. Wish you a great day ahead.  :)

Enjoy! -Savita

Few more crowd-pleasing baked appetizers from Chef De Home recipe archive:

Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels

Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels
Total Time Prep Time Cook Time Cuisine European Category Difficulty Easy Yields 8 Soft Pretzels (Serves: 6) Notes Dough Rise Time : 1 to 1.5 hours, depending upon temperature. (warmer weather dough rise quickly)
Smart Swap Replace part of AP flour with wheat flour for some nutty texture and flavor.

Ingredients

    Pretzel Dough
  • 2 & 1/4 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Active Dry Yeast (packages, 2.25 tsp)
  • 3 tbsp Unsalted Butter (melted, more for brushing on top)
  • 1/2 Cup Water (lukewarm)
  • 1/2 Cup Milk (lukewarm)
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • Canola Oil (or butter, for oiling the bowl before proofing dough)
  • Pretzel Bath and Baking
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt (or pretzel salt, for dusting on pretzel)
  • 3 tsp Baking Soda
  • 4 Cup Water (boiling hot)

Directions

Hide Step Photos
  • 1. Preheat oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Step for Recipe - Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels
    2. Lukewarm milk and water for dough and pour in a wide mixing bowl. Mix in sugar. Mix in yeast and let sit undisturbed for 10-15 minutes until yeast has bloomed.
  • Step for Recipe - Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels
    3. Add two cups of flour, salt, and melted (room temperature, not hot) butter and mix with spatula to bring dough together.
    Step for Recipe - Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels
    4. With dough hook attached, knead dough for 5 minutes, adding 1 tbsp of flour of remaining dough at a time. (dough should not be very dry). Remove dough in a clean oiled bowl, cover with clean kitchen towel and set aside at warm place for 1-2 hour.
  • Step for Recipe - Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels
    5. Place in warm place for 1-2 hour or until dough more than double in size.
    Step for Recipe - Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels
    6. Punch down the dough.
  • Step for Recipe - Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels
    7. Remove to a work board and divide into 8 equal portions. (oil your hands as needed so as to easily handle soft dough)
    Step for Recipe - Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels
    8. While start working on dough, set oven to preheat and also heat a deep-wide pan with 4-5 cups of water until water starts boiling.Take one portion of dough at a time and make a long rope. Place rope on board in U shape, then twist the ends inward, cutting each other and place opposite bottom edges of the U. Wet your hands and attach ends onto edges to seal. (Make sure to leave some loose end hanging or pretzel loop will open during the cooking.)
  • Step for Recipe - Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels
    9. Add baking soda in boiling water and mix well. Add one pretzel at a time and let it dip in soda-bath for 20 secs (make sure to coat both sides in water or pretzel will not color properly.). Remove on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat steps 8-9 with all of the remaining dough.
    Step for Recipe - Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels
    10. Then, bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until tops are dark golden brown.
  • Step for Recipe - Easy Homemade Soft Pretzels
    11. Remove from oven and brush the melted butter on pretzels. Dust with flaky sea salt. Transfer to cooling rack to cool slightly. Serve while still warm with cheese dipping sauce. Enjoy!
Savita's Notes:

Recipe yields 8 medium-size pretzels. No. of servings depends on serving size.

© Chef De Home. All contents and images are copyright protected. DO NOT copy or re-use content/images/videos. For all content/post mentions with link back, contact ChefDeHome for permission.


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34 comment(s)

  1. ps. I used plant butter and almond milk
  2. I made these today using plant butter and almond milk. They came out pretty good, the only problem I had was removing them from the parchment paper after baking them in the oven. Maybe I'll use aluminum foil next time or maybe it was because they were so wet when I placed them on the parchment paper.

    Hi Susan, I recommend take pretzels out of the water bath using slotted spoon or spatula. Also, make sure to shake it once or twice to get rid of extra dripping water before placing on the parchment paper. (Wet is okay, dripping water is not good.) Also, you can bake'em directly on the baking sheet. Only spray the pan with light coat of cooking oil spray before placing pretzels on it. I hope it will help when you try next time. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.
  3. Someone asked about plant based milk and if it works. I used plain almond milk because I didn’t have dairy at the time and they turned out great! Made these for my pregnant wife and her family and they loved them! I don’t consider myself to be a top chef or anything, but these were the best pretzels I’ve ever had. You just can’t beat home made with a high quality recipe!

    Thanks, Ben! Agree 100% that nothing beats homemade! You can adjust it as you prefer. 🙌 for tips on using non-dairy milk.
  4. the baking soda and water made my pretzels shapeless so i did not come out with pretzels.

    Baking soda and water bath is important step in making pretzels. Specially for color and chewy texture. Please practice a little as I stand by my recipe and have never seen pretzels going out of shape. One suggestion, make sure pretzel dough is not very soft. Use little less water while making dough so that pretzel hold shape while hot water bath. I hope it helps.
  5. I am NOT a baker; however, I have made these for my family 4 times, and the pretzels are a hit! They have even asked me to make them again and again. Easy and delicious! Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    Thanks for letting me know, Tracy. I'm glad you enjoying baking pretzels. 🙌 Nothing like homemade, especially when family loves it.
  6. Awesome recipe... easy to make and yummy!

    Thanks for sweet words. I'm glad you enjoyed cooking this recipe.
  7. Can you use a plant-based milk instead?

    Hi Lynn, I have not tied these with Plant Based milk. Most plant based milks have gum (or in simple words a thickening agent.) I'm not sure how will it go with texture of pretzels. If you absolutely have to, I recommend using half the quantity plant based milk and replace rest with water. I hope it helps.
  8. Just made these. Easy to follow recipe. They turned out perfectly

    Thanks for letting me know. I'm glad you like the recipe.
  9. Instead of baking in the oven- can I use a air fryer?
  10. Great recipe! I love the step by step pictures! I love pretzels and I really want to try making my own. This recipe looks like a great guide and I cant wait to try them.

    Thanks. Colleen. These homemade pretzels are very delicious, and so easy to make. I hope you try these soon. Happy cooking!
  11. Made these today & they turned out great!

    Kristen, thanks for feedback. I'm glad you enjoyed pretzels. Have a great day.
  12. Very tasty and easy to prepare. Family and friends loved them!

    I'm glad you enjoyed, Tammy. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.
  13. Can these be frozen prior to baking so they can be baked on demand?

    I have never tried freezing unbaked pretzels. But the process, in my understanding, should be same as frozen pizza dough or dinner rolls. Take out of freezer, thaw and bake.
  14. I was wondering, when they come out of the oven do they stick to the paper?

    Hi Blake, these come out fine. If this concerns you, you can also use wax paper or bake direct of non-stick sheet. I hope it helps.
  15. There is sugar listed in the ingredients but not mentioned in the recipe steps. When do you add the sugar? In the beginning with the flour, salt and butter? Thanks for the recipe, hoping it turns out well :)

    Hi Saint, sugar is added in step 2 with milk and water. I hope you enjoy pretzels.
  16. Hi Savita, these look delicious and simple! I was wondering how far in advance they can be made ? Thanks

    Hi Gabriela, thanks! I often make them upto 8-10 hours ahead but nothing beats the texture of warm just-out-of-oven pretzels. That being said, you can make them at night too and reheat in damp paper towel retain moisture. These can also be frozen. I hope it helps.
  17. Very good and so easy!

    thanks, Carla! It is so easy, isn't it? I'm glad you too enjoyed homemade pretzels! thanks for stopping by!
  18. Looks so inviting & tempting..gorgeous clicks..thanks for sharing this wonderful homemade pretzels recipe Savita :)

    thanks, Jolly! :) Glad you like it my friend! Homemade is the best :)