Super fluffy, buttery, salty and insanely delicious. Say goodbye to the baking soda bath and all that extra work, we won’t be using that method for these soft pretzels without baking soda!
Homemade baked soft pretzels are on the agenda today and I've got a recipe for you that won't disappoint.
This recipe was first published on 09/06/2018.
This recipe for soft pretzels without the baking soda is my absolute favorite way to make pretzels! Truth be told, you don't 'need' to dip them in a baking soda bath, see all that gorgeous golden sheen in my photos?
100% made by a quick trip under the broiler and a brushing of melted butter.
I've been making soft pretzels since I was kid, so you could say I'm sort of an old pro by now.
Every time I make soft pretzels I get my kids involved and let them roll and shape the pretzels. But the most important job of all, the official pretzel taste tester, they do that job quite well.
They key to a great soft pretzel is extra butter. Butter makes everything better. Plus there's always all the yummy pretzels dippings.
My son loves to dip his soft pretzels in cream cheese, so delicious.
It's actually a whole family thing, we all do it, we're all guilty of being cream cheese pretzel dippers.
What Reviewers Are Saying
"An absolute hit here. Thanks I was so happy to find this great recipe."
"Oh my gosh these are amazing! I was trying the recipe out to make for a bunch of teenage boys tonight and my husband and I ate 6 of them! They will be a huge hit with the boys tonight. Thank you so much!"
"We skipped the salt on top and added cinnamon sugar on top instead and rolled chocolate chips rolled into the dough for some which turned out fabulous. This recipe is great!"
"This recipe is super easy to make and my pretzels turned out wonderfully delicious!!?"
"They turned out AWESOME! Yum! Thanks for sharing your recipe!"
"Such an easy and yummy recipe! I made pigs in a blanket with the dough and they turned out perfect. 4 happy boys devoured all of them."
How To Form A Soft Pretzel
Here's a little step by step on how to form a soft pretzel.
(1) Start with a small piece of dough cut off from your large piece (I cut mine in to 8 even pieces from the original dough ball).
(2) Use the palms of your hands to roll the dough in to a long rope. The longer the rope, the larger but thinner pretzel. The shorter the rope, the smaller but fatter pretzel.
(3) Take the two end pieces and bring them together, away from you. Twist the two pieces together, like in the picture.
(4) Take the twisted ends and bring them toward you, so the ends slightly overlap the bottom.
Note. Don't dust flour on your counter while rolling out the dough into ropes unless your dough is super sticky, if your dough is a little on the dry side you can wet the palms of your hands to gain traction.
How long do the soft pretzels take to make?
They take about an hour from start to finish.
Which is all I can muster to wait when that buttery, salty, soft pretzel craving strikes!
Soft pretzels don't have to take all day.
These are a quick prep and a quick bake, since we're leaving out the baking soda bath it knocks off a lot of the normal pretzel making time. Because when you did the pretzels into the baking soda it adds quite a bit of time to the process.
Resting Soft Pretzel Dough
There isn't a ton of 'resting' time for this recipe. The initial bit of rest time after the dough comes together and then you move right along in to making them.
You'll skip the traditional pretzel resting time after you form them in to pretzels. Go straight in to brushing with the egg wash and baking.
All the resting time that we are skipping saves so much time.
Now it doesn't mean that you can't rest them. You totally can. But know you don't have to. If you watch in my video, after my dough has puffed up I don't have any more resting time allotted.
Why no baking soda bath?
Opting out of a baking soda bath cuts down the time it takes to make these by like half.
A baking soda bath is actually a cheat for at home pretzel makers, it's used instead of lye, which can be a bit dangerous to handle if you aren't a professional in that area.
This is what gives pretzels that dark, shimmering outer crust.
I don't know about you, but for me the whole pretzel experience is how soft and fluffy they are.
You won't get the extra crisp crust with this recipe but you will get super yummy fluffy pretzels. To create a bit of color I end the cooking process with a quick broil.
Your family will adore these soft pretzels without baking soda, they are such a short bake you can make them over and over again!
More Yummy Baked Goods
- Soft Pretzel Balls and Beer Cheese Fondue - a more traditional soft pretzel, with that dark golden sheen and served with the most delicious beer cheese
- Perfect English Scones - super soft and tender
- Three Cheese Stuffed Soft Pretzels - cheddar, parmesan and cream cheese rolled inside a soft pretzel
- Blueberry Crumb Muffins + Video - these are the most amazing blueberry muffins, the secret ingredient really makes them special
- Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Scones - everyone says these are better than Starbucks brand pumpkin scones
- Great Grandma's Cinnamon Apple Dutch Baby - a recipe passed down from generations with a slight modern twist, it has big puffy edges and is so delicious
Watch How To Make Soft Pretzels
Buttery Soft Pretzels Without Baking Soda Bath
Super fluffy, buttery, salty and insanely delicious. Homemade baked soft pretzels are on the agenda today and I've got a recipe for you that won't disappoint. Say goodbye to the baking soda bath and all that extra work, we won’t be using that method for these!
- 1 ½ c water
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp sugar + ½ tsp, sepparated
- 4 c flour
- 2 ½ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp butter, melted
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp water
- kosher salt
- melted butter, for spreading over cooked pretzels (however much you want)
- Heat 1 ½ cups of water in the microwave for 45 seconds so the water is warm
- Add the yeast and sprinkle ½ tsp sugar on the top, stir and let sit 5 minutes
- Mix together 4 cups of flour, salt and 1 tbsp sugar in a stand mixer
- Pour in the yeast mixture and melted butter
- Mix on a low speed with a dough hook until combined and smooth looking, about 5 minutes
- Roll in to a ball, return to the bowl, cover and rise for 30 minutes
- Preheat oven to 400
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
- Cut 8-10 pieces and roll them out into ropes, and a pretzel shape or any shape! (see video on rolling pretzels)
- Brush the pretzels with egg wash and sprinkle with salt
- Bake for 12 min
- Turn oven to broil and broil for 1 minute
- Remove from the oven
- Brush the pretzels with melted butter
- Make sure your water is the correct temperature for the yeast, if it's too hot it kills the yeast and too cold it won't activate
- Don't broil longer than 1 minute - it can easily go from a golden color to black if you forget
- If you are hand kneading the dough it will take longer than 5 minutes, more like 10, to get it smooth
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 307Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 902mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 8g
This information comes from online calculators. Although moderncrumb.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
Hello hello, excited to try this! It says 400F for the oven which I can convert to Celsius here in Australia but it doesn’t say whether that’s fan forced or not? Hoping it’s not because that’s how I’m making them haha thanks in advance for your reply x
Hi Rose! Your oven should be perfectly fine 🙂
I've tried a couple different recipes for soft pretzels, that I wasn't totally happy with.
I made pretzels today...they turned out great!!!
Soft inside, crisp outside. I may add just a twitch more salt to the dough next time, but they turned out just the way we like them. Thanks so much for this yummy recipe! I'll make them again for sure 😊
I'm so happy to hear that Mary, thank you!
Hi, can’t wait to try these, but I’ve read that if you use milk instead of water they will come out softer. I’m hoping for soft & buttery pretzels like byte “mall pretzels” 🙄🤣🤣 and I know you may not have ever tried milk, but as a baker, do you think that’s true?
Hi Ann, you are right I haven't tried it that way. If I were you I would probably just try it if I were that curious! Good luck!
We skipped the salt on top and added cinnamon sugar on top instead and rolled chocolate chips rolled into the dough for some which turned out fabulous. This recipe is great!
Oh that sounds fabulous! Thanks Laura! -Tara
Do you know if you could make the dough and put in the fridge overnight to save prep time?
Hi Heather, you definitely can but it may change the consistency slightly and you would need to let it reach room temperature again 🙂 Hope that helps please let me know if you have any more questions! -Tara
Oh my gosh these are amazing! I was trying the recipe out to make for a bunch of teenage boys tonight and my husband and I ate 6 of them! They will be a huge hit with the boys tonight. Thank you so much!
Thanks Sarah!! I am with you on that, I could just eat the whole tray of them! A friend of mine actually used the dough to make pigs in a blanket for her teenage boys - maybe try that next time! 🙂 -Tara
My dough didn’t come together well, crumbly and took a good amount of kneading to make it combine.. now it’s been sitting for over and hour and still rock hard. I measured everything to a T, any suggestions what I could have done wrong?
Hi Sheena, sorry to hear you are having trouble, it does sound like something went wrong. The only thing I can think is accidentally measuring something wrong, like too much flour or too little water. If you are hand kneading instead of using a stand mixer, it does take longer to knead the dough to get it smooth.
I just had to come back to say I remade these a second time and they came out beautifully!!! I must have made a mistake in measuring as you said! Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe!
Sheena, I am SO glad you let me know it was a success the second time! If I can ever troubleshoot I am more than happy to help 🙂 -Tara
An absolute hit here. Thanks I was so happy to find this great recipe.
Thank you so much Patricia! I hope you'll get the chance to try out a few other recipes too 🙂
What do I do if my dough is sticky?
Hi Kayleah, I would add some more flour. Just be careful not to add too much or your pretzels could be dry. Let me know if you have any other questions! -Tara
I bought Fleischmann’s RapidRise Instant Yeast, Fast-Acting. It says “Simply add to dry ingredients, then follow your recipe - no need to hydrate in water.”
I’m planning to follow your recipe when I make these tomorrow morning - (soaking the yeast for 30 minutes) - I hope it turns out okay! I’m super excited to make these pretzels! First time for me!
I meant to say 5 minutes, not 30!
That is so exciting Laura! Rapid rise yeast acts a bit different than traditional, I haven't tested this recipe out with rapid rise yeast, I'd love to know how it turns out 🙂
They turned out AWESOME! Yum! Thanks for sharing your recipe! My daughter passed it to me and she will be home any minute to try them fresh out of the oven!
Yay!! I'm so glad the rapid rise wound up working out. I actually made a batch yesterday 🙂
I’m planning on making this recipe with instant dry yeast as well. The instructions advice to simply mix with the dry ingredients. Or should I soak it in water for 5 min?
Hi, in step 2 it instructs to mix the yeast with the warm water so it can proof for 5 min 🙂
I’m making these but the dough is super sticky. I added more flour but that didn’t help. But it’s only sticky when you try to shape it. I spilt some of the yeast mixture so that might have affected it. Please help I’ll update when they’re made
Love the mouth-watering pictures! These truly are the best pretzels in the world 🙂
This recipe is super easy to make and my pretzels turned out wonderfully delicious!!?
How many calories?
Hi Emily, I'm not a registered dietician so I'm not comfortable providing that type of information for my recipes.
Hi! How much of butter do you use with yeast?
Hi Lorena, all 3 tbsp goes in. Then after they bake you can melt as much or as little butter you want for brushing over top, I like a good amount so they are extra buttery 🙂
Hey! What kind of yeast do you use? Do you think the flavor is better without baking soda? I would think so but I've never tried it without baking soda. I rarely make bread. Also I can't get your video to play it just keeps spinning, refreshing on my phone.
Thanks, Janet P.
Hi Janet, I use active dry yeast. Skipping the baking soda bath is just a preference, I make them both ways but when I make them with my kids I always choose this recipe, it's faster and less messy 🙂
These were great, the whole family loved them!!
Such an easy and yummy recipe! I made pigs in a blanket with the dough and they turned out perfect. 4 happy boys devoured all of them. ??
I can't wait to make pigs in a blanket now! So brilliant.