Soft and Chewy Pretzels

"These soft pretzels are the perfect blend of chewy dough and soft tender crumb. A quick dip in a baking soda wash gives them that signature golden brown finish, and a swipe of melted butter at the end keeps you coming back for more! These soft pretzels can be completely made and shaped by hand - but if you have a mixer, use your dough hook to mix this dough. Bread flour will give you an extra chewy pretzel, but this recipe also works well with just All Purpose flour."
-- @100daysofpasta
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  • Recipe Card
Prep time 2hrs
Cook time 8mins
Serves or Makes: 8 Medium Sized Pretzels

Recipe Card

For the Soft Pretzel Dough


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk, warmed to 95°
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon instant or active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup light beer or water, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • flakey or Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

For the Baking Soda Wash


  • 2 cups boiling Water
  • 3 tablespoons baking soda


  • Step 1

    Combine yeast and sugar in warm milk, stir to dissolve yeast and let sit for 5-10 minutes until yeast is foamy.

  • Step 2

    In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Make a small well in the center of the flour mixture, add active yeast mixture and light beer or water. Stir until a shaggy dough forms, then pour onto a lightly floured workspace and knead for 5 minutes until a smooth dough forms. Add softened butter, and and knead for an additional 5 minutes, or until the butter is completely incorporated. The dough should be kneaded for a total of 10 minutes, but up to 15, until a smooth dough has formed. Lightly grease your bowl and put the kneaded dough inside. Cover, and let rise until doubled in size, 45-60 minutes.

  • Step 3

    While the dough is rising make the baking soda solution. In a tall sauce pot bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Turn off the heat and pour in 3 tablespoons of baking soda, the water will bubble and boil violently when baking soda is added, so ensure the pot is tall. Set solution aside to cool. Prepare two baking sheets with the covering of your choice, parchment paper, foil or a silicon mat.

  • Step 4

    Punch down dough and divide into 8 equal pieces, use a food scale if you have one, 80-85 grams each. On a clean table, roll out each piece into a rope anywhere from 24-30” long, the thicker your rope the thicker your pretzel will be. For a more German style pretzel, taper the ends and leave the middle thicker. If your ropes resist being rolled out, cover, and let your dough pieces rest for 5-10 minutes. For pretzel sticks, roll ropes into 14” lengths then cut into two 7” pieces.

  • Step 5

    To shape pretzels, form a U with the rope. Cross the two spokes of the U and bring them down, placing one on either side of the curved bottom. Use a drop of water to help secure the ends to the pretzel. Extra twists an be added a more decorative look.

  • Step 6

    Let pretzels rise at room temperature for 15 minutes. Pretzels should remain uncovered during this rise, as this helps them develop a skin before the baking soda bath. After 15 minutes, transfer uncovered pretzels to the fridge for an additional 15-30 minutes. Preheat oven to 475°F. Line a sheet tray with parchment.

  • Step 7

    Remove pretzels from the refrigerator, they should be firmer and easier to handle now, and soak each side of the pretzel in the baking soda bath for 30 seconds. If you’d like to make cuts in your pretzels or sticks use scissors or a sharp knife after soaking. Add the pretzels to the sheet tray and sprinkle salt on top of finished pretzels.

  • Step 8

    Bake pretzels for 7-9 minutes, turning them halfway through, until they’re a dark golden brown. Brush melted butter on pretzels immediately after they’re removed from the oven.

  • Step 9

    After brushing with butter pretzels are ready to be enjoyed. Pretzels can be reheated, but are best consumed the day they’re made.

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