Homemade Baked Soft Pretzels Recipe

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There are few things better than homemade baked goods, and these soft pretzels are no exception. What's more, baking soft pretzels at home is a surprisingly easy feat. It's an excellent way to get your pretzel fix while customizing the size and shape. Make traditional knotted pretzels or turn them into buns, twists or rings.

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Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Things You'll Need

  • 2 cups warm water

  • 1 packet active dry yeast (1/4 ounce)

  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 cup baking soda

  • 1 large egg

  • Coarse salt, spices or melted butter (for topping)

  • Mustard or melted cheese (for dipping)

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 1

Add 2 cups of warm water to a large bowl. Sprinkle in the yeast and let it sit for 3 minutes or until it looks puffy.

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Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

Make sure the water is warm, not hot. Hot water will kill the yeast, and the dough won't rise.

Step 2

Add 2 cups of flour and the oil, sugar and salt. Mix well with a large spoon and then add the remaining 2 cups of flour. Continue mixing.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 3

Eventually, the dough will become thick, and you will need to use your hands. You can transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface to knead it. If the dough is too sticky, slowly add more flour. Continue kneading the dough until it feels smooth yet tacky.

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Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 4

Lightly grease a large bowl. Add the dough and cover the bowl with a damp dish cloth. Let the dough sit in a warm spot for about 1 hour; it should double in size. Gently punch the dough to deflate it.

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Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 5

Form the dough into 10 to 12 equal-sized balls, each about 3 inches wide. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 18-inch rope. You'll likely need to alternate between rolling and pulling.

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Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

These instructions are for small pretzels with a traditional knot shape. Feel free to make your pretzels larger or smaller. You can also mold them into braids, twists, buns, rings or even hearts.

Step 6

Form the rope into a U shape. Place one end on top of the other, forming a crisscross.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 7

Cross the ends once more to create a twist.

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Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 8

Bring the ends to the bottom of the U, essentially folding down the top half. Press down lightly to secure the shape.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 9

Line a metal baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or lightly greased parchment paper. Place the pretzel on the sheet and then form the remaining pretzels.

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Let the pretzels sit until they puff up slightly, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Tip

Depending on the size of your baking sheets and pretzels, you may need more than one sheet. You can also bake the pretzels in batches.

Step 10

Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a large stainless steel pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Add 1/4 cup baking soda. Mix to dissolve and then reduce to a simmer.

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Carefully drop a pretzel into the baking soda bath for 20 seconds. You can also use a slotted spatula to submerge each pretzel. After 20 seconds, remove the pretzel with a slotted spatula and let excess water drip off. Place it on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining pretzels.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 11

If you haven't already, whisk the egg. Liberally brush the egg onto each pretzel. Add coarse salt or any other spices you'd like.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

Step 12

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the pretzels are golden brown. You may need to rotate your baking sheet once halfway to ensure even baking.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

If you'd like, brush your pretzels with melted butter and sprinkle on additional toppings. Serve warm with mustard, melted cheese or your favorite dip.

Image Credit: Kirsten Nunez

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