Homemade Soft Pretzels

Spring training for Major League Baseball starts this week. To say the least, Dan is a little excited. He is a HUGE Milwaukee Brewer’s fan, and they have a great line-up this year! Well, according to him they do. I tend to take his word for it on all baseball-related matters.

It’s okay though. He takes my word for it on all food-related matters, so we’re about even.

So while he’s thinking about the team and whether or not there is a game we can go to now that we live in New York, I’m thinking about the ultimate stadium snack: soft pretzels.


And dare I say, these are even better than the typical stadium soft pretzel?

Crispy little shell on the outside, soft and doughy on the inside. Is there anything better? I think not.

Well, except for maybe these brownies.


Homemade Soft Pretzels



  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast (just over 1 packet)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing and the pan
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • Coarse sea salt


  1. Combine the 1 1/2 cups of water, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Once the yeast is foamy (approximately 3-5 minutes), add the flour, 2 teaspoons of salt and olive oil. Using the dough hook attachment, knead 5-6 minutes, or until the dough forms a smooth ball that pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  2. Savvy Tip: If you don't have a stand mixer, you can knead the dough by hand on a floured surface!
  3. Transfer the dough to a well-greased bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat the oven to 450F. Grease a cookie sheet and set aside.
  5. In a large stockpot, bring the rest of the water and baking soda to a boil.
  6. Meanwhile, divide the dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a 3/4"-thick long rope, curve into a U-shape, then cross the ends over to create the traditional pretzel shape.
  7. Boil each pretzel in the water and baking soda for 30 seconds. Use a slotted spatula to transfer the pretzel to the greased cookie sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining pretzels.
  8. Bake at 450F for 13-16 minutes, or until the surface is browned and starts to crackle. Immediately transfer to a cooling rack, and allow to cool at least partially before serving.

Make Ahead and Storage



I’ll confess, I’ve been making soft pretzels for awhile now, but the recipe was never quite right. I FINALLY found one that I love. And now? I’m more than a little obsessed.

I love them so much, in fact, that I’ve decided to do a Soft Pretzels Week on Savvy Eats. Either next week or the week after; I haven’t decided yet.

What’s your favorite stadium food? Are you excited about spring training and baseball season like Dan?


  1. says

    I think my favorite stadium food is hot pretzels (with yellow mustard!),,, so I am super excited about trying this recipe. …Generally, I’m with you, and don’t know too much about baseball, but I do enjoy going to games every once in a while πŸ™‚ I actually haven’t been in a few years, so I’ll have to make it a priority this season… I think that would make a fun “girls’ night” or “date night”!

  2. says

    Julie, you have had SO many great recipes lately! I definitely want to try these pretzels – they are my favorite treat at football/baseball games. Love the picture with the baseball, what a great idea!

  3. says

    Those really do look perfect. I love soft pretzels – probably my favorite sports food besides whole roasted peanuts!

  4. says

    i made pretzels the other day, after wanting to make them and thinking about making them for aaaaaaages. i boiled them, but the recipe i used did not say to put baking soda in the boil water. do you know what this achieves?

    they were such a hit, i think i need to make them again! maybe this time i’ll try with BS.

  5. Alison says

    Are you/Dan originally from Wisconsin? I live in Milwaukee so I am a huge Brewers fan too πŸ™‚ My boyfriend is going to Spring training a couple weeks to watch them.

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      Dan grew up in West Allis and both of us just graduated from UW-Madison (December ’09 for him, May ’10 for me). He’s going to be jealous of your boyfriend!

    • says

      have you lived in Milwaukee for always!? I used to live in Lodi, just north of Madison – and then moved to Madison for a few years as well. I LOVE WISCONSIN!

      • Alison says

        Do you live in Madison now? I am originally from Janesville –just south of Madison, but moved to Milwaukee when I started going to college at UWM in 2005, and am now a graduate student there! I love Wisconsin too πŸ™‚ Although I am getting pretty sick of the winter here, spring… please come soon!!

  6. Karol says

    Does anyone have the nutritional fact for these pretzels? They sure sound good! Love the ones at the mall too!

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      I don’t have the nutritional facts, unfortunately. But I’m guessing they’re a lot healthier than the ones at the mall!

  7. says

    WOW!! Those look amazing and I am such a sucker for a soft pretzel! But those sound like they take a ton of work! #lazy!

  8. says

    I saw these linked on Oh She Glows and made them this afternoon. They were awesome. Seriously, seriously amazing. Loved them. I think they are one of the best things I’ve ever baked, thanks for the recipe!

    • Julie @savvyeats says

      I honestly have no idea– I’ve never used a bread maker! Let me know how it goes if you try!

  9. says

    Hello….I just saw your recipe featured on another blog, but came here for the original. I am gonna blog roll you so I can come back and try tackling this YUM!!! THANKS so much for sharing. Great blog <3

  10. says

    i did it!! i just made my own soft pretzels! πŸ™‚ i wasn’t even planning on doing it today. i was just browsing blogs, came upon yours, and said, “i want to make soft pretzels now”. πŸ™‚

    thank you for the great step-by-step directions. i was pretty nervous (first time ever baking anything w/ yeast) but i was able to do it totally fine!

  11. Suzanne says

    Thanks for this, it sounds great and I can’t wait to make them. I’ve been going through a box of frozen pretzels every other week b/c it’s my favorite snack (topped with cheese πŸ™‚ ) But I knew there had to be a healthier and probably cheaper way to make them myself. Can’t wait to try this!

    But I have one question, any reason for the 10 cups of water? Just wondering if I could cut that to 5 and cut the baking soda in half to save some baking soda.

    • Julie says

      You really just need a lot of water (and that proportion of water:baking soda) so that the pretzels have plenty of water to boil in. It boils off fast, so don’t cut back too much or you’ll run out of water!

  12. Alexa says

    I’m so excited to try this recipie! I’m thinking about bringing them to a christmas party at a friend’s house. Do you think that I could make them at home and boil them, and then take the boiled pretzels to the party and bake them in her oven? I want to serve them fresh and warm!

  13. Rebecca says

    Loved these! I only made half a batch and substituted 1 cup white whole wheat flower in and they were delicious and a little hearty. Perfect for a coarse grain mustard!

  14. Martha says

    Hi Julie! My family and I have been making soft pretzels for a while now and I’m wondering if there’s a trick to keeping the bubbles in the pot of boiling water and baking soda from getting out of control? Have you had this problem? Is it because I use store bought pizza dough instead of homemade?