Making homemade soft pretzels couldn’t be easier! Topped with sesame seeds, cinnamon and sugar, or salt, soft pretzels are great as an after-school snack or as a weekend treat for your family. Once you see how fun and simple it is to make fresh pretzels at home, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!
The kids and I love making our own soft pretzels because they’re so yummy, and the recipe we use is ridiculously easy.
All you do is mix a handful of ingredients together, and after a period of rising, your kids can roll, stretch and shape their pretzel dough into twisty shapes.
They can form traditional pretzels with the dough, or they can make pretzel letters, pretzel numbers or geometric pretzel shapes.
No matter what shapes they chose, one thing is certain: their pretzels will taste amazing! Crunchy on the outside, and wonderfully soft ‘n chewy on the inside.
These homemade pretzels taste delicious on their own, but if you prefer to dip and dunk your pretzels, bust out the mustard, honey, ranch or whatever pretzel sauce your prefer, and go for it!
Ok! Let’s make ’em, shall we?
To make our homemade soft pretzels, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- 1/3 cup warm water
- pinch of sugar
- 1 tsp active dry or instant yeast
- 1 and 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
- Hot Water Bath: 1 cup hot water + 2 tbsp baking soda
- toppings of your choice (seeds, sugar/cinnamon/salt etc)
To make your homemade pretzels:
Combine yeast, sugar and warm water in a small bowl, and let it sit for several minutes.
While the yeast is dissolving, stir your dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.
Have your children observe the yeast as it dissolves. They’ll love the tiny bubbles and explosions that are released as the yeast becomes creamy and frothy.
Your yeast will be ready to use when it looks something like this:
Add the dissolved yeast to the dry ingredients, and stir until a ball of dough begins to form.
Transfer the dough to the countertop and knead for up to 5 minutes.
Place your dough in a greased bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and set in a warm spot to rise for about an hour, until the pretzel dough has doubled in size.
Suggested “warm spots” for rising dough:
- a sunny table-top
- a warm kitchen
- on top of an appliance that generates some heat (television, oven, refrigerator, clothes dryer)
- on a table near a fire-place
- on top of a heating pad set to “low”
Once your dough has risen, divide it into 6 pieces.
Roll each piece into a long strand (at least 12 inches), gently stretching it as you roll.
Tip: If your dough keeps shrinking back while you’re stretching it, let that strand rest for a few minutes while you roll some others.
Shape your pretzels, and place them on your baking sheet or stone to rest for a few minutes while you prepare the hot water bath.
Hot Water Bath:
- Dissolve 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a bowl of very hot water (I boil my kettle for this)
- Dip your pretzels in, and let them soak for about 30 seconds. Then place the pretzel back on the baking sheet/stone, and sprinkle with (or dip them into) the toppings you’ve chosen.
We used 3 different toppings for this batch of pretzels: sea salt, sesame seeds, and a mix of cinnamon and sugar.
Get creative with your toppings. Use what you love: caraway seeds, poppy seeds, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion flakes etc.
When all of your pretzels have been dipped and topped, pop them into a 425ºF oven, and bake for 8 minutes or until golden brown.
Now, rip into your toasty warm, homemade soft pretzels as they are, or dunk them in one of these amazing pretzel dips.
- 1 tsp dry active or instant yeast
- pinch sugar
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1 and 1/4 cups flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbs canola
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 tbsp baking soda
- toppings of your choice sesame seeds, cinnamon/sugar, salt, poppy seeds etc
- Dissolve yeast and a pinch of sugar in 1/3 cup warm water, and let sit 10 until creamy and frothy.
- Stir dry ingredients together and add dissolved yeast mixture, stirring until ball of dough forms.
- Turn out onto counter and knead for up to 5 minutes.
- Place in oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and set in warm spot to rise for an hour.
- When dough has doubled in size, divide into 6 pieces.
- Roll each piece into a long strand, and shape into pretzel or desired shape.
- Make hot water bath by dissolving baking soda in 1 cup very hot water.
- Dip pretzels into the bath, and let soak for 30 seconds.
- Transfer to baking sheet or stone, and sprinkle with desired toppings
- Bake at 425ºF for 8 minutes or until golden brown.
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.