Chewy homemade Soft Pretzels are easy to make and hard to resist! Dip them into a creamy, mustard-spiked cheese sauce for the perfect afternoon snack.
Homemade soft pretzels are such a great snack! Everyone in my family loves them, and they’re not complicated to make.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe for Soft Pretzels
- Easy Method: You need 20 minutes of prep time to make the dough for the pretzels, and you’ll use simple ingredients like flour, yeast, milk, and olive oil.
- Authentic Flavor: The baking soda bath in which you’ll boil the pretzels before baking them gives them a wonderful chewy bite, and that pretzel taste you know and love.
- Flavorful Homemade Dip: The cheesy dip is the real star of this recipe! Cheddar and Gouda cheese are swirled with a little cayenne pepper and Dijon mustard to make an irresistible sauce for the pretzels.
What You’ll Need
Ingredients For Soft Pretzels
- All-Purpose Flour
- Active Dry Yeast – Note that we are not using instant yeast.
- Milk – You can use whole or 2% milk.
- Olive Oil – I use extra virgin olive oil.
- Baking Soda Bath – Water and baking soda
- Topping – Coarse kosher or sea salt.
Ingredients For The Pretzel Dip
- Butter – Use unsalted butter.
- All-Purpose Flour
- Milk – Use whole milk for richness.
- Cheddar Cheese – I like sharp cheddar in the sauce.
- Gouda Cheese
- Dried Garlic and Onion Powders
- Dijon Mustard
- Hot Sauce – Omit if you don’t like things very spicy.
How to Make Soft Pretzels with Pretzel Dip
Follow along with my easy method for making soft pretzels with pretzel dip.
- Proof. Warm the milk over low heat to activate the yeast.
- Make dough. Mix the yeast, sugar, and flour then add the milk and olive oil.
- Knead. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it becomes smooth and elastic.
- Proof. Let the dough rise for 1 hour or until it has doubled.
- Shape. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions shape into a pretzel.
- Cook. Carefully dip each pretzel into a pot of boiling water and baking soda.
- Bake. Sprinkle on top of each pretzel and bake until golden brown.
- Make the dip. Cook the flour and butter, then whisk in the milk.
- Add cheese. Stir in the cheeses until the sauce is smooth and add the garlic powder and onion powder.
- Finish. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the Dijon mustard and hot sauce.
How to Shape Pretzels
To make the classic soft pretzels shape, roll each piece of dough – you’ll have 12 pieces – into a rope. Then form it into a “u” or horseshoe shape, twist the ends together, then press them into the bottom of the u.
Recipe Tips And Variations
- Rise the dough properly. The dough should be roughly double the size of when you start. If you need to find a warm place in your house, you can preheat your oven to 110°F, turn it off, and place the bowl of dough inside the oven to proof.
- Make ahead. Make the dough ahead of time and place it in an airtight container in the fridge up to 24 hours in advance. You can shape the soft pretzels using dough straight from the fridge. Then, let the dough sit at room temperature for about 1 hour to warm up before cooking it in the water bath.
- Go sweet. If you wish, you can make these soft pretzels sweet rather than salty. You can combine cinnamon and sugar as a topping or drizzle a little honey over the tops of the pretzels before you bake them.
- Skip the water bath. I highly recommend using the baking soda bath method to achieve that perfect chewy pretzel texture. However, if you’re short on time, you can skip this step and simply bake the pretzels. If you do decide to bake them, brush the tops of the pretzels with a little beaten egg before you place them in the oven.
What to Serve with Homemade Soft Pretzels
I think these homemade soft pretzels need nothing more than the homemade cheese dip, but they are pretty great with Loaded Baked Potato Soup, French Onion Soup, or Roasted Tomato Soup. Try them with my Asian Cabbage Slaw, or make a heartier Big Mac Salad. Add pretzels alongside these Grilled Chicken Shawarma Skewers or Chili Con Carne. Or other little bites like Mac and Cheese Bites and Parmesan Crusted Potatoes.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
- Counter: Place pretzels in an airtight container and keep them on the counter for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat: Put a pretzel in the microwave and heat it for a few seconds until warm. You can also bake them on a baking sheet in the oven at 350°F for 5 minutes.
- To Freeze: Place the baked, cooled pretzels in a sealable bag with a piece of parchment paper in between each one to prevent sticking, and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can reheat them from frozen by placing the frozen pretzels on a baking sheet and bake them at 350°F for about 20 minutes. You can also microwave frozen pretzels at 30-second intervals until warm.
More Easy Snacks
Soft Pretzels with Pretzel Dip
For the Soft Pretzels
- 4½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1½ cups milk
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the Baking Soda Bath
- 1 gallon water
- ½ cup baking soda
For the Topping
- coarse kosher or sea salt for topping
For the Pretzel Dip
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup gouda Cheese, shredded
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- In a small saucepan, warm the milk and water over low heat until it reaches around 110°F. Make sure it's not too hot, as it can kill the yeast. Remove from heat.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the active dry yeast and granulated sugar with all-purpose flour. Pour the warm milk and water mixture over it, add olive oil and stir until a dough forms.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise for about 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
- Preheat your oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large pot, bring the gallon of water to a boil, then add the baking soda.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and roll each portion into a long rope. Shape each rope into a pretzel.
- Carefully dip each pretzel into the boiling water for about 30 seconds, then place them on the prepared baking sheet. Work in several batches.
- Sprinkle coarse kosher or sea salt on top of each pretzel.
- Bake the pretzels in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until they are golden brown.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes to make a roux.
- Gradually whisk in the milk. Continue to cook and whisk until the mixture thickens, about 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in the Cheddar and Gouda cheeses until they are fully melted and the sauce is smooth. Add garlic powder and onion powder.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the Dijon mustard and hot sauce.
- Serve the pretzel dip warm with the freshly baked soft pretzels.
- To shape the pretzels, roll each piece of dough into a rope. Then, form it into a “u” or horseshoe shape, twist the ends together, and press them into the bottom of the “u”.
- Rise the dough – it should be double the size of when you started. If you need to find a warm spot for it, preheat your oven to 110°F, turn it off, and place the bowl of dough inside the oven to proof.
- Make the dough ahead of time and place it in an airtight container in the fridge up to 24 hours in advance. You can shape the soft pretzels using dough straight from the fridge. Then, let the dough sit at room temperature for about 1 hour to warm up before cooking it in the water bath.
- You can make these soft pretzels sweet rather than salty. Combine cinnamon and sugar as a topping, or drizzle honey over the tops of the pretzels before you bake them.
- If you’re short on time, you can skip the baking soda step and simply bake the pretzels. If you decide only to bake them, brush the tops of the pretzels with a little beaten egg before you place them in the oven.
- Store the pretzels in an airtight container and keep them on the counter for up to 3 days. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months.