If you’re anything like me, every time you walk through the mall, trying not to get lured in by the sales and colorful clothing displays, another culprit gets to you instead. Walking by a soft pretzel stand. I’m convinced they add some sort of artificial scent at their stands to lure you in. Turns out, baking soft pretzels isn’t nearly as tough as they may seem. What gives them that signature brown pretzel crust is a quick baking soda bath right before you pop them into the oven.


Prep Time: 20 minutes
Dough rise time: 90 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

Servings: 8

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup + pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon oil
2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup baking soda


1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. In a bowl, add warm water and then sprinkle in yeast and a big pinch of sugar. Let it sit for 5 minutes while you prepare the dry ingredients.

Soft Pretzels 1

Photo by Jenny Shen

3. In a separate bowl, add flour, salt and sugar and mix together.

Soft Pretzels 2

Photo by Jenny Shen

4. Add oil to yeast and water mixture, then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine to form a dough.
5. Cover and let rise for 90 minutes.
6. Boil water and baking soda in a saucepan.

Soft Pretzels 3

Photo by Jenny Shen

7. Sprinkle some flour on a hard, flat surface (cutting board if you have one) and roll your dough into a log. Cut log into 8 pieces.

Soft Pretzels 4

Photo by Jenny Shen

8. Roll out each piece into a long, thin rope (see picture) and form the pretzel shape (see picture).

Soft Pretzels 5

Photo by Jenny Shen

9. Place each formed pretzel, one at a time, into the baking soda water for 10 seconds and take out, placing it on a greased baking tray. Sprinkle each pretzel with a pinch of salt.

Soft Pretzels 6

Photo by Jenny Shen

Soft Pretzels 7

Photo by Jenny Shen

10. Bake for about 10 minutes or until a golden-brown color. Let cool before serving.

Soft Pretzels 8

Photo by Jenny Shen

Soft Pretzels 9

Photo by Jenny Shen