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soft salted pretzels


I never pull pranks anymore on April 1st. I now sit on the sofa with the TV remote superglued to my hand, dutifully rising for the National Anthem and cheering loudly for the ceremonial first pitch.  


That’s right, it’s baseball season folks! Time for grilling, tailgating, and stadium food.


Even though it breaks an American tradition, I just can’t bring myself to order hot dogs at the ballpark. Dad and I used to down them like nobody’s business, but after glancing once at the nutrition facts for those puppies, I moved on to other not-so-greasy fare.


I then started my own tradition of ordering soft-serve ice cream in a souvenir helmet cup, and the miniature headgear for 11 different teams currently stands on my MLB shelf. But for those select few stadiums that refuse to sell ice cream helmets, I resort to another fail-proof favorite: soft salty pretzels!


soft salted pretzels


Soft Salted Pretzels

Yield: 10 pretzels

Serving Size: 1 pretzel

Soft Salted Pretzels

modified from this recipe

These pretzels are slightly sweeter than the ballpark variety, but the coarse salt balances it out. They’re really addicting, so I highly suggest making a double batch!

pretzel dough
2 tsp yeast
½ tsp granulated sugar
½ c + 2 tbsp warm water (about 100-110°)
1½ - 2½ c all-purpose flour
¾ tsp fine salt
¼ c granulated sugar
1 tsp vegetable oil

pretzel topping
3 c water
4 tbsp baking soda
2-3 tbsp coarse sea salt

  1. To prepare the pretzel dough, stir together the yeast, ½ teaspoon of sugar, and warm water in a small bowl, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes until frothy. In a large bowl, whisk together 1½ cups of flour, salt, and remaining sugar. Make a well in the center, and pour in the yeast mixture and oil. Stir until a dough forms.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and knead for 4-6 minutes or until the dough springs back when a finger is pressed into it. Shape the dough into a ball.
  3. Coat a clean, dry bowl with nonstick cooking spray, and roll the dough ball around until coated with the cooking spray. Lay a towel over the top, and place the bowl in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°, and generously coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 10 balls. Roll out each dough ball on the countertop with your hands until it’s about 1½ - 2 feet in length. Twist into a pretzel shape.
  6. To prepare the pretzel topping, microwave the water for 3 minutes on HIGH. Add the baking soda to a shallow bowl, and pour the hot water on top. Dip each pretzel in the water bath, and place on the prepared sheet. Sprinkle with the coarse sea salt. Bake at 400° for 9-11 minutes or until light brown. Cool on the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. (Or eat them while they’re still warm!)

View Nutrition Facts


soft salted pretzels


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  1. Amanda says on March 26, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    These look amazing!! I am definitely going to try to make these!

    • foods for the soul says on March 26, 2013 at 7:49 pm

      Thank you! They’re really easy, although I would recommend watching a YouTube video or two on how to twist pretzels… It was like a tongue twister for my hands the first time I tried!

  2. Andrea @ Mrs Webb in the Kitchen says on March 27, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Wowza!! These are gorgeous!! Better than at the ballpark! I like your easy dipping approach… there was a while where I was into making pretzel buns, and I sat them into a boiling pot of water on the stove for a couple minutes… your method is much simpler!

    • foods for the soul says on March 27, 2013 at 12:17 pm

      That’s the whole reason I picked this recipe. Every other one dealt with boiling water, and I’m too big of an accident-prone klutz for that!

  3. Valerie says on April 1, 2013 at 6:36 am

    Okay, that’s it – I’m coming over so I can steal them all!! (I’m afraid to use yeast..Idk why!)

    • foods for the soul says on April 1, 2013 at 11:38 am

      Good thing I was planning on making another batch this week! Yeast really isn’t scary at all. If you’d like a super easy recipe to start with, I’d suggest this no-knead artisan bread. You just mix the ingredients together, let it sit on the countertop for 2 hours, then bake or store in the fridge to bake later!

  4. Anjo Angela Lim says on April 2, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    MMMMmmm, I love a good pretzel, esp dipped in a thick cheddar sauce! Yours look particularly chewy, hearty and savoury. Ohhh man <3

    • foods for the soul says on April 2, 2013 at 10:17 pm

      I’m a mustard fan myself, but I could see how cheddar sauce would be delicious too!

  5. Alexis says on April 3, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    I just made these a minute ago. They turned out great. I made half with an egg wash just to see if there was a difference; both batches look awesome. Enjoying them with beer, pepperettes, and yellow mustard on everything.

    • foods for the soul says on April 3, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      I’m so glad to hear it! I wondered about the egg wash too, but the salt seemed to stick okay with just the water from the baking soda bath. Sounds like there’s some great food and drink at your house!

  6. ELizabeth Mars says on April 3, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    These look great – I’ve been turned off making home made pretzels because they are traditionally made by dipping in caustic soda, requiring gloves and safety glasses, something that has always freaked me out. But I will have to give these a try.

    • foods for the soul says on April 3, 2013 at 10:07 pm

      Most of the recipes I saw required dipping the pretzels in a boiling baking soda bath, and I wasn’t willing to do that either. I can’t imagine using lye and needed safety glasses! I really liked the simplicity of this recipe, and I hope you do too if you decide to try it.

  7. Vinny says on April 4, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    They look great, but I don’t think I’ve ever learned how to twist a pretzel…

    • foods for the soul says on April 4, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      I had to watch a 6-minute YouTube tutorial made by an Auntie Annie’s worker! In a nutshell, you roll the dough out into a long snake. Bring the two ends together, and twist them around each other once about 1/4 of the way in from each end. (So if your dough snake was 24 inches long, about 6 inches from either end.) Bring the now-twisted ends down and press each slightly to the side of the center of the snake.

      I know it’s hard to interpret through words instead of a video, but I hope that helps!

  8. Ivelina says on April 22, 2013 at 4:20 am

    I would love to make these. They look amazing. Thank you.

    • foods for the soul says on April 22, 2013 at 8:25 am

      My pleasure! I hope you enjoy them — we ate them faster than I could twist the dough!

  9. Heidi Crawford says on May 9, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Can you freeze these?

    • foods for the soul says on May 9, 2013 at 11:59 am

      I haven’t tried, but I think so!

  10. Princess says on October 14, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Soft pretzels is one of my favorite snacks, but never attempted to make. Your recipe looks easy, gonna have to try. Is the baking soda and water is used so the salt will stick to the pretzel? Mustard is my choice of dip also. Sounds weird but I even dip regular pretzel sticks/ twists in it.

    • Amy says on October 14, 2013 at 11:31 am

      I hope you enjoy these! The baking soda and water is what gives the outside of the pretzel that deep golden brown crust and helps make it crispier. It’s what makes a pretzel a pretzel! Most recipes call for dipping the pretzels in a boiling solution of baking soda and water, but I like that this one just needs really hot water. And you’re not weird at all — I even dip my carrots in mustard!

  11. Caroline says on December 8, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    These were delicious and easy! I’ve made this recipe 3 times already. Yum!

    • Amy says on December 8, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      Thank you Caroline; I’m so glad you enjoyed them! I’m sure your loved ones really appreciate how often you’ve baked them. :)

      • Caroline says on January 9, 2014 at 6:59 pm

        I made these into pretzel rolls and it worked great! I always double the recipe. What I like most about the recipe is that is is egg and dairy free! Thank you so much. Yum

        • Amy says on January 10, 2014 at 3:01 pm

          My pleasure Caroline! I’m so happy you enjoyed them. Pretzel rolls sound amazing — I’ll have to try that with my next batch!

  12. Don K says on December 22, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Amy, these pretzels are great. I am making some for my vegan daughter-in-law and need to store them a few days. What would you recommend for storing them? Thx for your great site.

    • Amy says on December 22, 2013 at 9:26 pm

      I’m so glad you like the pretzels Don, and that’s really sweet of you to make them for your daughter-in-law! If you’re only storing them for a few days, putting them in airtight containers should be fine. If you won’t serve them for over a week, it’s probably better to freeze them instead.

  13. SSK says on December 23, 2014 at 3:38 am

    I made these a few days ago and I am quite impressed! I have never actually tried soft pretzels before(shocking, I know!), and I quite enjoyed my first tried. I sprinkled mine in sesame seeds and some salt. It was a perfect balance between sweet and salty, and it was absolutely delicious with some mustard on the side. I am definitely going to be making soft pretzels again!

    • Amy says on December 23, 2014 at 11:41 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the pretzels! The sesame seeds sound like a fun addition. I always love mustard with pretzels too! :)

  14. Christy says on February 22, 2015 at 11:59 am

    I just made these and they have a better taste than Auntie Annes!!! I am no baker, not by any means, but these were easy, even for me!!

    • Amy says on February 22, 2015 at 12:03 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them Christy, and that’s a huge compliment that you think they’re better than Auntie Anne’s! Thank you!

  15. Kaitlin says on February 25, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Man, I wish I would have seen your note about doubling the recipe before you made them! These are SO good!! Amazing. They are so addicting, I couldn’t stop eating them. My husband and I devoured the first batch in a matter of hours, so then I made a triple batch. I wish I would have quadrupled it.
    I think I’m going to have to start making these a few times a week, it’s such a simple recipe and one of the best things I have EVER made!

    • Amy says on February 26, 2015 at 11:16 am

      I’m so glad you and your husband enjoyed the pretzels Kaitlin! They’re kind of dangerous to have around the house… I practically forget there’s any other food in the kitchen too! 😉

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