Ready for an easy soft pretzel recipe that comes out delicious and even smells like the ones from a pretzel shop? Try this easy recipe! You can make it Gluten-Free if you’d like, or even use healthy oat flour!
One of the questions I get most often is “What do you guys eat for snacks?”
Unfortunately, my answer is quite plain and not very exciting: fruit.
Yes, when the family snacks, 8 times out of 10, it’s fruit. The ninth and tenth times might be carrot sticks, homemade pickles, a homemade granola bar, or even dried fruit, but I admit – those aren’t very exciting either.
That’s because since embarking on our real food journey a few years ago, snacking has pretty much lost its luster.
I do love tortilla chips. So, I make my own, which are much tastier than their store-bought counterparts.
Like me with tortilla chips, Mr. Crumbs has a secret crush on pretzels. Just a couple of months ago, he asked me to make him some.
“Babe, do you think you can make me pretzels some time?”
I can’t tell the man “no” when he makes a simple request for pretzels. So instead of the store-bought option, my counter-attack is simple: learn to make them myself.
What makes pretzel dough different?
When it comes to pretzels, there’s a different style for everyone:
- Hard or soft
- Sourdough or yeast
- Plain or salted
- Flavored dough or rolled in a topping
- Philadelphia-style, bites or rods
This particular homemade pretzel is soft and chewy, moderately salty (which can easily be modified to your own liking), and smells deliciously like the pretzels from gourmet shops.
I’m seriously not exaggerating on the smell or the delicious part either. This entire batch of pretzels was devoured in mere minutes. I consider myself lucky to have snagged one for myself and taken a few photos before they disappeared.
Gluten-free folks will be pleasantly surprised to know that I have tested this recipe with Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour. It’s perfect for substituting in recipes that traditionally call for wheat flour and you won’t notice the difference. The five taste testers of this pretzel sure didn’t.
Regardless if you’re dealing with gluten sensitivities or you can eat whatever you want, this recipe makes it official – snack time is back on, and it’s fun!
Soft Pretzel Recipe
Soft pretzels are a classic snack that might seem hard to make! Trust me, they’re not hard at all! This recipe is amazing because:
- It’s so easy! With simple real food ingredients, this recipe is fun to make, and it comes together quickly.
- Healthier. You’re using real food, so you’re not consuming the unhealthy sweeteners and preservatives found in store-bought pretzels.
- Delicious! This soft pretzel recipe has the traditional pretzel smell and taste with soft and chewy texture!
- Versatile! For people with gluten sensitivities, these pretzels are the perfect way to enjoy a classic snack. This recipe is also very versatile, so you can make them with any other all-purpose flour.
Ingredients for this Soft Pretzel Recipe
- Warm water
- Active dry yeast
- Oat flour (make your own here)
- All-purpose flour (any, even gluten-free. I have used Bob’s Red Mill All-purpose gluten-free flour with great success!)
- Baking soda
- Egg yolk
- Kosher salt, for sprinkling
- Olive oil, for brushing
Psst! I highly recommend Ava Jane’s Kitchen for your salt! You may think all salt is created equal, but unfortunately, 90% of salt produced around the world contains microplastics (gross, right?). Ava Jane’s Kitchen is an exception. Their salt is 100% microplastic free, and it’s SO GOOD! Save your pretzels from plastics! Plus, you can get a bag for just 1¢!! (Get your penny bag of salt on this page!)
How do you make soft pretzels from scratch?
- Combine water, honey, salt, and yeast in a medium mixing bowl. Allow yeast to bloom.
- Add the oat flour, all-purpose flour, and butter. Mix. Begin kneading by hand.
- Cover the dough with a towel and place in a warm spot. Allow to rise for 1 hour.
- Line a large baking sheet, or two smaller baking sheets, with parchment paper. Brush lightly with olive oil.
- Combine the 5 cups of water and baking soda in a large, wide pot. Boil water.
- Meanwhile, divide into 16 equal pieces. Knead each piece of dough in your hands.
- Roll each piece of dough into a rope 10″-12″ in length. Make a pretzel shape. Place onto the parchment-lined sheet.
- Boil the pretzels in the baking soda bath for 30 seconds.
- Return the boiled pretzels back to the baking sheet and brush the tops with the egg wash. Sprinkle with salt.
- Bake until golden brown, 13-16 mins.
Additional Soft Pretzel Recipe Tips
- Do not substitute granulated sugar for the honey. This dough needs the extra moisture from the honey, otherwise they will crumble as you roll your ropes.
- Do not skip the parchment paper brushed with oil. After three batches of pretzels that stuck like mad to a very well seasoned cookie sheet, this was the only method that worked for no-stick pretzels.
- This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.
- These recipes are best right out of the oven, but for future enjoyment, consider freezing individually and reheating in an oven or toaster oven.
What Goes Good on Soft Pretzels?
Of course, salt is traditionally used on soft pretzels. Some people like to dip them in mustard or even hot cheese. But guess what? You can also make them as a sweet & yummy snack!
- For a cinnamon sugar topping, mix 1/2 tsp of cinnamon with 1/4 cup granulated sugar and melt 1 Tbsp of butter in a small bowl. Brush the freshly baked pretzels with melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar. Try not to eat them at all, unless no one is looking.
- For an almond topping, use Honey Roasted Almonds. Chop roasted almonds into small bits, brush freshly baked pretzels with melted butter, then roll or sprinkle in almonds.
More Easy Snack Recipes
- 25+ Real Food Snacks
- Healthy Homemade Lunchables
- No-Bake Soft and Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
- Homemade Fruit Leather and Fruit Roll-Ups
- Healthy Homemade Hot Pockets
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Easy Soft Homemade Pretzels (gluten-free)
Ready for an easy soft pretzel recipe that comes out delicious and even smells like the ones from a pretzel shop? Gluten-Free option too!
- Prep Time: 1 hour 35 min
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 50 min
- Yield: 16 1x
- Category: Snacks
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
- 3/4 cup warm water (105-110F)
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/8 tsp active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup oat flour (make your own here)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour*
- 2 Tbsp butter, room temperature
- 5 cups water
- 1/3 cup baking soda
- 1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp water, whisked together for an egg wash
- coarse Kosher salt, for sprinkling
- olive oil, for brushing
- Combine water, honey, salt and yeast in either a medium mixing bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow this to sit for at least 5 minutes, or until the yeast has bloomed and looks like beer foam.
- Add the oat flour, gluten-free all-purpose flour blend and butter. Mix by hand using a wooden spoon, or use the dough hook attachment on low to mix until the ingredients are well combined. Begin kneading by hand, or increase the speed of a mixer to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and the bowl is clean, about 5 minutes.
- Cover the dough with a towel and place in a warm spot. Allow to rise for 1 hour. (Note: You will not see a noticeable rise.)
- Preheat oven to 450F. Line a large baking sheet, or two smaller baking sheets, with parchment paper. Brush lightly with olive oil. Set aside.
- Combine the 5 cups of water and baking soda in a large, wide pot. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil.
- Meanwhile, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 16 equal pieces. Knead each piece of dough in your hands for at least 30 seconds, until the dough has a texture similar to play-doh. Add a drop or two of additional oil if needed and continue to knead until the dough is soft and pliable.
- Gently roll each piece of dough into a rope 10″-12″ in length. (Note: Because the dough has no gluten, there is no natural elasticity. If the dough breaks while you’re shaping, simply squish back into a ball, knead for 5-10 seconds and try again.)
- Make a U-shape with the dough and cross the ends over each other twice. Fold the ends downward and press gently into the bottom of the U-shape. Place onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. (Note: Using just the last 1-2″ of each end of rope yields the best shaped pretzel.)
- Working with 1-2 pretzels at a time (however many will comfortably fit in your pot without crowding them), boil the pretzels in the baking soda for 30 seconds. Turn the pretzel over after 20 seconds if it is not fully submerged.
- Return the boiled pretzels back to the baking sheet and brush the tops with the egg wash. Sprinkle liberally (or to taste) with coarse Kosher salt.
- Bake until medium dark brown, 13-16 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.
* If you don’t have this flour, you may substitute any type of flour you have on hand.
Recipe inspired by Brown Eyed Baker.