Andersonville Chicago, IL
Believe Cakes Recipes Recipe: Soft Pretzels

Recipe: Soft Pretzels

The Three P’s

My son & I joke all the time that he has 3 all-time favorite foods AKA the Three P’s: Pretzels, Pancakes & Popcorn. This is the snack trio that he can eat in massive quantities in a short period of time. In the pretzel category, he can consume at least a couple cups of the pretzel snacks every day but he especially loves soft pretzels as well. I am also a big fan of soft pretzels so this is one of those recipes that I can make over & over.

I have tried a few different recipe variations but this is my go-to. I love this one because it is so versatile: you can do the classic sweet version by sprinkling with cinnamon sugar or plain butter + salt or making the perfect burger pretzel bun.

My Favorite Soft Pretzel Recipe


  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons active yeast
  • 2-6 tablespoons brown sugar (depends on whether sweet or savory)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (room temperature)
  • 4.5-5 cups all purpose flour (divided)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • Topping options: 2 tablespoons melted butter, cinnamon sugar, sea salt, Parmesan + garlic, anything you want

Yields: 12 pretzels


  1. Heat milk to ~110° F. If using Stand Mixer (SM), pour milk into SM bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top of milk & whisk together. Let rest 5-10 minutes until yeast has bloomed/activated.
  2. Add brown sugar, butter, 1 cup of flour & salt to milk mixture & stir until well blended. If using SM, use the hook attachment & mix in remaining 3.5 cups of flour. Knead mixture until a ball forms. Mix in up to an additional 1/2 cup of flour as needed (dough should be soft but not sticky).
  3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap & allow dough to rise in warm place until doubled in size (about an hour).*
  4. Preheat oven to 450° F (425° F for pretzel buns).
  5. Punch dough down. Divide into 12 equal pieces. Cover dough with towel while not in use. Roll each piece into long rope (~33″ long) & twist into pretzel shape or buns.
  6. Bring to boil water & baking soda & turn off heat. Fully immerse pretzels into water mixture.
    1. If making buns, boil shaped dough for 2 minutes (turn after 1 minute for each side).
    2. Score a cross on the top of each bun
    3. Brush with egg wash (1 beaten egg + 1 tsp water or milk)
  7. Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet
  8. Sprinkle sea salt (if savory).
  9. Bake for 7-11 minutes until golden brown
    1. Bake for 15 minutes at 425° for pretzel buns.
  10. Remove from oven.
  11. Brush with melted butter & cinnamon sugar (optional).

* How to shorten proof timing in half using a microwave: If you’re short on time, I found a hack that will help the dough rise sooner (also helpful in colder temps): Add a cup of water into a microwaveable glass or measuring cup. Set & run microwave for 1 minute. Transfer pretzel dough to a microwave-safe bowl & cover with plastic wrap. Once the cup of water has heated up for a minute, add bowl of dough into microwave. Turn on microwave for another 15 seconds & leave inside for 30 minutes without opening the door so the heat stays inside.

Some Inspiration:

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