Quick and easy salted soft pretzels are buttery, salty, and so delicious. They are golden brown and chewy on the outside, yet warm and soft inside. They are so easy to prepare with just 20 minute of actual prep work, and taste so much better than any pretzel you can find at the mall or ball park.
Weekends are for baking bread and we love a good easy bread over here. Especially one with minimal prep and a short rise time, like quick and easy pita bread or small batch garlic naan bread. But I have to admit that salted soft pretzels might just be my favourite. They are the perfect tasty snack with delicate flaked salt.
- active dry yeast + water
- brown sugar
- all-purpose white flour
- water bath - made with water, baking soda, and brown sugar. This water bath is what gives the pretzels its flavour and signature golden brown colour. This process is very similar to making homemade bagels.
- egg - for egg wash.
- salt flakes - to sprinkle on top.
How to Make the Best Salted Soft Pretzels (with Step-by-Step Pictures)
First, prepare the dough. Combine yeast, water, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl and stir to dissolve. Let the yeast mixture rest 5 minutes until it turns foamy.
Add in flour and melted butter. Stir well with a silicone spatula to combine until it forms a shaggy dough and no dry flour is visible in the bowl. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with the spatula.
Knead the dough on a clean surface for 5 to 7 minutes until the surface of dough is smooth. Transfer the dough back into the bowl and cover with cling wrap. Let it rest up to 1 hour at room temperature until the dough doubles in size. PRO TIP: Lightly brush some oil over the dough ball to prevent it from losing moisture.
Soft pretzels are considered medium hydrated doughs, which means they require some kneading to get all the flour incorporated and gluten developed. Because of the added butter in the recipe, the dough becomes softer and is not sticky at all during kneading.
How to Shape Pretzels
- Divide the dough into approximately 12 equal pieces, using a bench scraper. Shape each piece into a ball, and then roll each dough ball into a long rope approximately 20-inches long.
- Bring the two ends of each rope together to form a circle, with the ends on the bottom. Then, twist the ends a couple of times and pull them up and press them down into a pretzel shape.
- Cover the shaped pretzels with cling wrap, as you prepare the water bath.
How to Cook Soft Pretzels
First, dip the pretzels into a hot water bath. Add water, baking soda and brown sugar in a large pot and bring it a boil. Drop pretzels in, 3 or 4 at a time. Make sure they have enough room to float around. Boil the pretzels for 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side. The longer you boil the pretzels, the chewier and browner the pretzels get after baking.
The main purpose of incorporating the water bath when making pretzels is to promote browning and develop chewy texture and golden crust.
Transfer the pretzels onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and let them dry for 5 minutes. You may have to use two baking sheets or do this in two batches. I fit 6 pretzels per baking sheet.
Brush the egg wash over the pretzels and generously sprinkle salt flakes on top. Egg wash makes the pretzels brown during baking and also helps the salt flakes stick to the pretzels.
Now, bake the pretzels. Transfer the pan into a 400F preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Transfer the pretzels to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.
Tips for Storing Pretzels
- How to store fresh pretzels: Homemade pretzels are best served fresh. To store pretzels in the short-term, keep them in an airtight container or ziploc bag for up to 3 days at room temperature.
- How to freeze pretzels: You can freeze pretzels in an airtight container or ziploc bag for up to 3 months in the freezer.
- How to reheat pretzels: To reheat from frozen, you can simple place the pretzels inside the toaster or toaster oven and toast on the freezer setting. You can also quickly reheat in the air fryer at 300F for 10 minutes. Otherwise, allow the pretzels to thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Reheat thawed pretzels in the toaster, air fryer or oven at 300F for 5-10 minutes.
How to Serve Salted Soft Pretzels
These easy salted soft pretzels are delicious on their own as a snack. Everyone loves them, even the kids and it makes a great back-to-school or work snack. They are also really tasty dipped in some gooey cheese sauce, warm baked spinach dip, or smooth and creamy hummus.
More Quick and Easy Bread Recipes
- Quick and Easy Pita Bread
- Easy Homemade Everything Bagels
- Easy Small Batch Naan Bread
- Quick Green Onion Dinner Rolls
- Easy Small Batch Ciabatta Bread
- Homemade No Knead French Baguettes
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.