Soft Buttery One Hour Pretzels

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These are like the soft, fluffy, buttery vegan pretzels you can buy at the mall that you can smell a mile away and they only take one hour to make!.

Soft Buttery One Hour Pretzels (vegan) - Make these in an hour & save yourself a trip to the food court & save money, too! So good & so easy!

You know those pretzels at the mall that are hot, soft, and buttery and their scent wafts through the entire mall.

As you’re in a dressing room trying to squeeze into some jeans that are a size too small, the luscious scent of the pretzels hits you and your New Year’s resolutions are out the window. Yes, these are those.

They’re one of the bucket list recipes I’ve had on my mental to-make list for ages. One reason it took me so long to finally make them is because there are so many recipes, methods, and choice for homemade pretzels that I was swimming in choices overload. One important consideration is that I wanted a recipe that’s do-able for anyone, with very little time investment.

You can make these from start to finish in one hour. If you’re using a stand mixer, it’s five effortless minutes as the machine kneads the dough before it rises for a half hour. Then it’s shaped and baked. And if you’re hand-kneading, think of it as calories burned in advance of all that glorious buttery white dough you’ll feast on.

Soft Buttery One Hour Pretzels (vegan) - Make these in an hour & save yourself a trip to the food court & save money, too! So good & so easy!

One recipe I looked at but passed on was Alton Brown’s pretzel recipe. I have immense respect for him and many bloggers make and adore that recipe, but after waiting for the dough to rise you, “Bring 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan. Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds.”

Bringing 10 cups of water to a boil when I’m in a hurry on a busy weeknight when I just want something warm to serve with dinner, and having to dunk them one-by-one for 90 seconds each, is too fussy for me. The water and baking soda bath prior to baking gives pretzels that brown, crusty exterior but I successfully skipped it and deferred to a couple minutes under the broiler.

Soft Buttery One Hour Pretzels (vegan) - Make these in an hour & save yourself a trip to the food court & save money, too! So good & so easy!

My other issue with the recipe is that is uses an egg wash before baking and I have nothing against eggs, but I kept these buttery twists vegan. Brushing them with melted vegan butter or margarine instead of real butter works just fine. There’s no egg, milk, or butter in the dough, and since I’d come that far without an egg, why slap on an eggwash at the end. Plus, sometimes eggwashes make things taste too eggy for me, so it was a win to omit it.

The other important consideration was keeping the batch size modest. They’re best eaten warm and fresh from the oven and unless you have a large family or a raging metabolism, I don’t want or need a dozen. This recipe makes six.

Soft Buttery One Hour Pretzels (vegan) - Make these in an hour & save yourself a trip to the food court & save money, too! So good & so easy!

For the dough itself, I used the King Aurthur recipe because their ratios are solid and trustworthy, but I deviated heavily from their methods and instructions. To make the pretzels, place bread flour, instant dry yeast, one teaspoon sugar, one-half teaspoon salt in a large mixing bowl and pour one cup warm water over the top. I did this in my stand mixer.

I used bread flour rather than all-purpose because it produces chewier bread and I love a good jaw workout. Pretzels made with all-purpose will still be chewy, just not quite as much. Also, they may rise slightly less, because bread flour is the absolute champion in the rising and puffing department. Substituting with up to half the amount of whole wheat flour is possible, but know in doing so that your pretzels will not be nearly as fluffy and puffy, and will be much more dense, since whole wheat flour has that effect.

Soft Buttery One Hour Pretzels (vegan) - Make these in an hour & save yourself a trip to the food court & save money, too! So good & so easy!

Depending on the kind of yeast used, water temperatures will vary. I used Red Star Platinum yeast because I always have excellent results with it, and it necessitates a slightly warmer water temperature, about 120 to 130F. If using other brands, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, but 10o to 110F is typical. I know some people just dip their finger into water and if that’s the method you’re using, err on the side of warm bath water rather than hot because you don’t want to risk killing the yeast. In bread-making, I don’t like to guess and always use my candy thermometer. I just never use it for candy.

Make sure to select instant dry yeast rather than active dry yeast. Instant yeast, among other things, helps dough rise in a hurry and because this dough has only one 30-minute rise, you need to make it count.

Adding one teaspoon of sugar is non-negotiable because it feeds the yeast. I used a scant quarter teaspoon of salt in the dough. I don’t like salting dough because it can inhibit rising, and also I am mindful with how much salt I use in cooking. You can sprinkle salt on after baking as generously as desired anyway.

Soft Buttery One Hour Pretzels (vegan) - Make these in an hour & save yourself a trip to the food court & save money, too! So good & so easy!

After adding the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and pouring the water over the top, beat on medium-low speed with the paddle attachment for about one minute, or until just combined. Switch to the dough hook and knead for five minutes. If doing this by hand, flour your work surface and have fun.

After five minutes, remove the dough from the bowl, and either spray down that mixing bowl or another bowl with cooking spray, and place the dough into it. Cover with a piece of plasticwrap and place it in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 30 minutes. I’ve let my dough rise for as long as 75 to 90 minutes due to distractions, poor planning, and timing issues, and nothing bad happens. Actually, the pretzels turn out fluffier. If you want to allow it to rise for up to about 90 minutes, or doubled in size, go for it. But the recipe does and will work with just a 30 minute rise.

After 30 minutes (or longer) punch down the dough and remove it from the bowl. Below in the red bowl is what mine looked like after thirty minutes. It rose so well it almost blew off the plasticwrap. There is nothing more glorious than punching down a big doughy puffball and hearing the air escape, knowing that the yeast worked and things went according to plan.

Soft Buttery One Hour Pretzels dough

Place the dough on a floured work surface, and using a sharp knife or bench scraper, divide it into six equal pieces. Using your hands, roll each piece into a long rope, about 15 to 18-inches long. The skinnier you roll your ropes, the less chubby the finished pretzels will be, but they don’t have to be perfect. Some sections of my ropes are thinner, and some are thicker. It all tastes good.

Because this dough hasn’t been rested after the rise, it’s springy and resilient and your ropes may want to recoil and shrink back down. Just keep finessing them back into an elongated state. Or wait ten minutes before rolling and shaping the ropes if you have time to spare.

Soft Buttery One Hour Pretzels

Just as there’s many ways to braid Challah, there are ways to complicate pretzel-shape making. I just think of a heart and make that shape with draped ends laid loosely on the opposite side. You can twist the center of the heart together like a twist tie, but it’s an 18-inch long piece of dough, not a little twist tie. The less I have to mess with it or do with it, the better. This is a one hour recipe and eliminating any non-essential steps is my strategy.

Transfer your hearts to two Silpat-lined baking trays, three per tray. Melt the (vegan) butter in the microwave, about one minute, and brush half of it onto the pretzels. Save the other half for when the come out of the oven. It seems like a bit much as you’re brushing, but some of it is lost to the baking sheet, some of it gets stuck in the pastry brush, and if you’re lucky, the rest seeps into that white, spongy, soft dough.

Soft Buttery One Hour Pretzels

Bake them at 425F for about ten minutes, rotating trays once if your oven bakes unevenly. This is shorter in duration and cooler in oven temperature than many recipes. This is buttery, soft, white, fluffy dough and it burns so keep an eye on it. I don’t even leave the kitchen. After about ten minutes, I turn the broiler on, and broil one tray at a time for about ninety seconds each, up to two minutes. A matter of seconds can make the difference in golden and burnt, so broil at your own risk and with a very, very watchful eye. You can see in some of the photos where some ends are more browned than others and those differences happen in literally ten seconds.

After they’re out of the oven, baste the pretzels with the remaining butter. After baking, optional twists for the twists include brushing them down with: garlic-butter, Honey Butter, Cinnamon-Sugar Butter, apple butter, pumpkin butter, you name it, brush it.

I sprinkled Kosher salt, but try cinnamon-sugar, garlic and onion powder, chili and lime, very finely diced nuts, sesame and poppy seeds like an everything-bagel, or a fine dusting of cocoa powder.

Serve them with or dip them in Spicy Honey Mustard,Homemade Peanut Butter, Homemade Cookie Butter Peanut Butter, Chocolate Coconut Cashew Butter, Nutella, Dark Rum Caramel Sauce, or Balsamic Reduction and olive oil.

Between the types of flavored butters you can brush on, the items you can sprinkle on top, and combined with what you can dip them into, there’s a combination for everyone. They can go either sweet or savory because the dough is a blank canvas.

Soft Buttery One Hour Pretzels (vegan) - Make these in an hour & save yourself a trip to the food court & save money, too! So good & so easy!

Just as my Honey Dinner Rolls will be my forever go-to recipe for dinner rolls, this will be the one for pretzels. Combing the most basic of ingredients; flour, water, yeast and a pinch of sugar and salt, and butter and creating something fabulous that’s ready an hour later is success in my book.

They’re light and fluffy without being airy. There’s density and plenty of chewiness, just like mall pretzels. The dough itself is moist and after being basted liberally with butter, both before and after baking, they’re so buttery, satisfying, and comforting. My cutting board has never been so well-moisturized from all that butter in all it’s life.

Soft Buttery One Hour Pretzels (vegan) - Make these in an hour & save yourself a trip to the food court & save money, too! So good & so easy!

The other bonus is that the whole batch cost less than three dollars to make, and that’s only because the yeast I use is more expensive than most, and accounts for two of the three dollars. The cost of the remaining ingredients is negligible. So take that four-dollars-each mall pretzels. I just made six for under three bucks in an hour.

It’s dangerous that I can make these at home.

Soft Buttery One Hour Pretzels (vegan) - Make these in an hour & save yourself a trip to the food court & save money, too! So good & so easy!

Soft Buttery One Hour Pretzels (vegan) - Make these in an hour & save yourself a trip to the food court & save money, too! So good & so easy!

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Yield: 6

Soft Buttery One Hour Pretzels

Soft Buttery One Hour Pretzels

These are like the soft, fluffy, buttery pretzels you can buy at the mall that you can smell a mile away. Now you don't need the mall for them; you just need one hour. They're easy enough for the novice bread-maker because I removed all the complicated and fussy steps and pared this recipe down to the most basic elements, and also kept it vegan (use vegan buttery spreads or margarine). Dough is a blank canvas and can go sweet or savory; a variety of options are included below. Ready in an hour, buttery soft, and dangerously good.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Inactive Time 38 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour (all-purpose may be substituted, pretzels won't be as chewy)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (one one-quarter ounce packet) instant dry yeast - I use Red Star Platinum
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • scant 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
  • 1 cup warm water (120-130F for Red Star Platinum, 95 to 105 for other yeast)
  • 1/4 cup butter or vegan butter, melted and divided use
  • Kosher or coarse salt, for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour, yeast, sugar, optional 1/4 teaspoon salt and turn mixer on and beat for couple sends to mix dry ingredients. Pour the water over the top (Based on the type of yeast used, temperatures will vary. Red Star Platinum yeast calls for warmer temperatures than most, 120 to 130F; other brands and yeast call for much lower temperatures, about 95 to 105F. Warm water according to the yeast manufacturer's recommendations on the packaging. Taking the temperature with a digital thermometer is recommended, but if you're not, make sure the water is warm, not hot. Err on the cooler rather than hotter side so you don't kill the yeast.) Beat the mixture on medium-low speed for about 1 minute, or until combined.
  2. Switch to the dough hook and knead dough for about 5 minutes. It will be firm, smooth, not sticky, and elastic. (If making bread by hand, mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl by hand, then turn dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for about 5 minutes)
  3. After five minutes, remove the dough from the mixing bowl, spray mixing bowl or another bowl with cooking spray, and place the dough in the bowl. Cover with a piece of plasticwrap and place it in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 30 minutes. (I’ve let this dough rise for as long as 90 minutes due to distractions, poor planning, and timing issues, and nothing bad happens. Actually, the pretzels turn out fluffier. If you want to allow it to rise for up to about 90 minutes, or doubled in size, that's fine. But the recipe does and will work with just a 30 minute rise) In the final moments of rising, preheat oven to 425F and line two baking trays with Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mats or parchment paper; set aside.
  4. After 30 minutes (or longer), punch dough down and place it on a floured work surface. Using a sharp knife or bench scraper, divide it into six equal pieces. Using your hands, roll each piece into a long rope, about 15 to 18-inches long. The skinnier you roll the ropes, the less chubby the finished pretzels will be. Make a pretzel shape with the rope. Grab the ends and pretend you’re making a heart-shape with it. Lay ends on the opposite side and allow them to drape loosely; optionally twist the center of the pretzel like a twist-tie so there's a twist in the pretzel or shape them as desired. Transfer pretzels to two Silpat-lined baking trays, three per tray.
  5. Melt the butter in the microwave, about 1 minute (use unsalted or salted, regular or vegan, based on preference) and brush half of it onto the pretzels. Save the other half for after baking. Bake at 425F for about ten minutes, rotating trays once if your oven bakes unevenly (This is buttery, soft, white, fluffy dough and it burns easily so keep an eye on it and I don’t even leave the kitchen). For golden brown tops, turn the broiler on and broil one tray at a time for about 90 seconds each, or as desired. A matter of seconds can make the difference in golden and burnt, so broil at your own risk and with a very watchful eye. I bake for 10 minutes and broil for just shy of 2 minutes based on my oven and preferences.
  6. Baste pretzels with the remaining butter. Sprinkle with Kosher or coarse salt (or any of the basting, sprinkling or dipping options above) and serve immediately. Pretzels are best eaten fresh and warm, but will keep for up to 2 days in a ziptop plastic bag or airtight container.
  7. Optional suggestions after baking - Get creative with what you brush on them, sprinkle on top, or dip them into:
  8. Brush pretzels with Honey Butter, Cinnamon-Sugar Butter, garlic butter, seasoned or herbed butter
  9. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar, a fine dusting of cocoa powder, toffee bits, garlic and onion powder, chili and lime, very finely diced nuts, sesame and poppy seeds like an everything-bagel
  10. Dip them in Spicy Honey Mustard, Homemade Peanut Butter, Homemade Cookie Butter Peanut Butter, Chocolate Coconut Cashew Butter, Nutella, Dark Rum Caramel Sauce, Balsamic Reduction and olive oil
  11. Dough ingredient ratios adapted from King Arthur Flour

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 298Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 265mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 8g

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Honey Dinner Rolls – Soft, light, fluffy, tender, moist and the dough has just enough chew to really sink my teeth into. They’re the absolute best white dinner rolls I’ve ever had and I will make this recipe over and over for years to come when I need white dinner rolls. Highly recommended for holiday gatherings, brunches, or anytime

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Challah – Light, fluffy, soft, tender, crossiant-like, and the best challah I’ve ever had and extremely easy to make. Made using the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking principles, this is a no-knead, goofproof, and effortless method to making bread and dough can be made in advance and stored for up to five days prior to baking it

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Outback Steakhouse Wheat Bread {Copycat Recipe} (vegan) – This recipe is based on my love of Outback’s bread and makes two small loaves of hearty, dense, wheat bread. The bread is ever-so-slightly sweetened and is infused with subtle hints of molasses, and a dead-ringer in the flavor department. Serve with honey butter for even more authenticity

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Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin Bread with Cinnamon Sugar Butter – If you’ve never made bread before, this is a goofproof, foolproof, no-knead recipe that’s perfect for the first-time bread maker. You’ll never have a need for storebought English muffins again, especially because this bread is spiked with cinnamon-sugar and raisins

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Do you like soft pretzels or ever tried to make your own?

If you have favorite recipes, share your links and if you have favorite toppings and flavor combinations, tell me about them.

I personally love cinnamon-sugar pretzels the most, and they’re easy to slather with honey-butter and cinnamon-sugar butter. Scott loves salted, buttery pretzels and I really made these for him, but want to keep trying out new flavor combos now that I have a dough base and method that’s so easy.

 

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Comments

  1. These are amazing! I found this recipe on Pinterest and after several failed soft pretzel recipes, my husband and I were skeptical, but hopeful. Definitely a keeper! Thanks so much for this!

  2. I don’t have an electric mixer, would I still be able to make this? If so, are there any other steps I need to take to ensure it turns out proper? Thanks.

    1. You will just get a major arm workout with the kneading but it’s certainly do-able. Enjoy!

  3. LOVE THESE I made them last night. I did some salted ones and some cinnamon sugar ones. Gave some to my non vegan friends and they loved them!!!!

    1. Yes in theory bread freezes pretty well however there is nothing like a freshly baked warm pretzel as I’m sure you know!

  4. So delicious!  Our first batch is out of the oven right now.  We managed to make 8 smaller pretzels.  They are delicious!  I’m not sure if they taste 100% like pretzels but for an hour, these are remarkable good.  Thank you so much!  Our house smells wonderful and we are happily devouring the pretzels.

  5. I saw this recipe aaages ago and finally decided to make them! I had unusually good luck with the dough rising (probably because it’s still summer), and they were super easy to make. :) I did switch them over to foil for the broiler because silpats and parchment aren’t meant for broilers. It was also my first time using the broiler! Anyway, I have a feeling I’ll be making these again very soon.

  6. Oh, thank you, thank you! I made these as a test to see if I could give them for Christmas presents and they came out perfect! I’ve never baked any type of bread-like thing (except for muffins which are way easy). I made mini/bite-size ones and put them in a large mason jar. My husband could not stop eating them.

    I got really excited after the first batch and made a bunch of flavors adding different things such as: nutritional yeast, garlic and herbs, kelp seasoning, lemon peel…yum!

    Thanks again, this was so easy and SO fun :)

    1. Love how creative you got!! I love nutritional yeast :) It’s such a staple for me and I bet it would be great here. And the kelp seasoning and lemon peel, sounds great! So glad that these were easy for you and husband-approved! :)

  7. I made these over the summer with my camp kids and they absolutely loved it! Great recipe :)

    But quick question, is there a limit as too how long you can let the dough rise for? Would I be able to mix everything together in the morning and then bake it when I get back at night?

    Thank you! Love your recipes!

    1. There is something called over-proofing or over-rising. The dough can kind of collapse on itself and not be the best BUT…there are entire books devoted to make-ahead doughs that you let rise for days in the fridge. I would say if you know you’re going to do it where you’re going to let it rise for 6-10 hours (all day at work and gone), then use half the amount of yeast. LMK what happens!

  8. My room mate and I decided to through these together yesterday after we both got back from class and were blown away with how easy they were! They are so delicious and came together in a snap. They even taste great the next day. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  9. Just found this recipe today and made these. They are awesome! Can’t wait to try them sweet with cinnamon next time.

  10. Just made these and they were a hit in my house! The garlic powder/garlic salt were the most popular :) I just ate my dinner in soft pretzels, thank you!!!!

    1. A dinner of soft pretzels sounds like a great dinner! Glad you enjoyed these and they’re a hit with your household!

  11. I made these tonight – only I put the dough in the bread machine to mix. They turned out just perfect and the kids loved helping rolling them into shapes.

    Thanks so much!!!!

    1. Glad to hear the dough in the bread machine worked and that your kids even got in on the action! Glad you guys enjoyed them!

  12. I made this for a small get-together of 4, and they were gone within about 45 seconds. Absolutely delicious!!

    Did have a question for clarification, though.. my dough didn’t rise quite right. I made them anyway, as I was short on time, but I realized the recipe calls for 1 – 1oz packet of instant yeast. To my knowledge, yeast packets are each 1/4oz. So.. should it be one packet or one ounce? Or am I reading it completely wrong? :) Thank you!!

    1. That was a typo and I just fixed it. You just want one packet of yeast, normally 1/4 ounce each. I do swear by Red Star Platinum, especially for recipes like this where you’re not allowing much time at all for a rise; it really helps give a nice boost. However, if your pretzels were gone in 45 seconds, they sound like they turned out just fine :) You could also let them rise a little longer if your time permits and/or make sure your yeast is nice and fresh.

  13. These are delicious! I baked them for 10 minutes the first time and my husband thought they were a bit under cooked. The second time I baked them for 12 minutes rotating the cookie sheet half way between and did not put them under the broiler, they turned out perfect.

  14. Made these as “pretzel bites” and they’re sooooooo good! Taste a lot like the mall’s and super easy to make. Soft on the inside and just slightly crispy on the outside and bonus for the no-egg wash=no eggy taste! :)

    1. Glad to hear you loved them and they’re a lot like the mall – I agree! And yes, bonus to no eggy taste. Thanks for trying the recipe and the report back!

  15. I really loved the recipe! I tried it once without the baking soda soak and once with and I honestly prefer it with the baking soda technique more. It has more of the pretzel texture and fast I have been craving all week. But thank you for the recipe! Its so quick and yummy :)

  16. Just wanted to let you know how much we loved your pretzels. We made them today with 12 kids for a baking party. We doubled the recipe (except the yeast- it stays the same) and they were fabulous. So easy for the kids to mix together and quick enough to do start to finish during a party. The kids were having trouble rolling out the dough, but we let it rest for about 10 minutes after it was portioned out and it behaved great. I couldn’t stop eating them and they kids loved them!

    1. So glad to hear that you loved these, and the kids, too! And that they were your little helpers. Cute :) Yes, this dough is springy and will recoil on you. Smart to let it rest for 10 mins so it relaxes a little. Glad they were a hit!

  17. Hi Averie! Just wanted to let you know that I made these heavenly pretzels tonight for dinner and they were a hit! Soft inside,crispy on the exterior…. wish I can send you a picture, I’m super proud of em! Thanks for another perfect recipe!

    1. So glad to hear these were a big success for you and I love that you’re proud of them. That’s the BEST feeling! Thanks for LMK!

  18. Made these babies this afternoon for my husband and brother in-law! Success!! Not a hard exterior but warm and chewy inside. Your time and temps were spot on :) Thanks!

    1. I am so glad to hear that you had great luck! I love this recipe – easy with great results and nice and soft on the inside. Glad the times/temps worked for you, too! :)

  19. This is quite possibly the best thing I’ve ever baked..seriously, WOW!!! Me and my husband ate 5 of them within 5 minutes, as soon as they came out of the oven. All we could say in those 5 minutes was “mmmmmmmmh” or “they are so good” :) I will make some of these for my mum, as she was born in Germany and she loves german food! I;ve been to Germany a lot of times and had proper pretzels there, but I’m sorry Germany this homemade version is a lot better! Thank you so much for the recipe and btw, yesterday made another batch of your blueberry vegan muffins, that my daughter also loves :)

    1. Love this comment! So glad to hear these are that good – that they’re possibly getting the ‘best thing you’ve ever baked’ title. And you bake something…daily! :) So thrilled that these are competing with German pretzels. Feel as good about that as I do that you say my pizza dough is as good as homemade Italian dough! So happy you loved these. If you like these, then along these same lines are bagels (you can skip raisins and keep them more buttery/salty if you want) https://www.averiecooks.com/2013/07/easy-homemade-cinnamon-raisin-bagels.html

  20. I haven’t even hit print on this recipe (or fully finished reading the page) and I just had to comment on how excited I am to have found your website. This recipe is so detailed and I am ready to devour the pretzels! I am excited to have found your website (Thanks Pinterest!) and I will be following you regularly now too. Keep up the yummy posts!!

    1. Thanks for finding me, for following, and for the super sweet comment! Please write back if you make anything & LMK how it is!

  21. I JUST made them and enjoyed a couple with my fiance and we both LOVED this recipe! So delicious and buttery! The only thing I did differently was twist the dough in the middle, but that’s more of an aesthetic choice than anything. We also tried dipping them in honey mustard sauce, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and Nutella (my fiance’s favourite was the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, while I have a sweet tooth and preferred the Nutella. The mixture of salty and sweet is a definite winner!).

    Fantastic and easy recipe with amazing results!

    1. So glad you tried these and loved them! Thanks for the glowing report – and I love all your dippers! I am a dip dip dip queen! Love them. And so happy to hear all the ones you tried and that of course the pretzels were a hit. In the 9 mos or so since I posted these, I too figured out to twist in the middle for a prettier look :)

      And if you like Nutella, please see
      https://www.averiecooks.com/2013/07/creamy-nutella-martini.html
      https://www.averiecooks.com/2013/02/nutella-chocolate-chip-baklava.html
      https://www.averiecooks.com/2012/12/nutella-cinnamon-rolls-with-vanilla-glaze.html (I bet you could make them from scratch with pretzel dough!)

  22. If you want them to look just a tad more traditional if you hold the two ends loosely together in your hand after you have made the circle shape and give the a twist before you place them down you will get that neat finished look of the pretzel carts. Not necessary but it makes you family wonder where they came from… Mom or the pretzel cart? Thanks for the recipes.

    1. Since making these about 9 months ago, my dough shaping has improved significantly and I do exactly what you’re talking about now!

  23. I used all purpose flour instead of bread flour and active dry yeast instead of instant dry yeast. Turned out great with a rise time of just 30 minutes. However, I think I’ll use bread flour next time to get more chewy-ness. With AP flour they’re more akin to the texture of breadsticks. Still great though!

    1. So glad you tried them and just a 30 minute rise did the trick! And yes, if you use bread flour you will definitely get more chewiness! Glad you enjoyed them!

  24. This dough is super easy and rises really fast. My daughter and I used this to make Spinach & Mozzarella Turnovers which we wrapped individually for her to reheat later. She ate three right from the oven! Thanks

    1. So glad to hear you had such great luck with this and also made some turnovers with it!

  25. My sister and I made these last night! Thank you for the recipe and it was soooo easy just as you stated!!! Super yummy! We may use this recipe for pizza dough too!!! And garlic knots! Thank you again!

  26. I found these babies on Pinterest. These were better than the mall, because sometimes the mall ones aren’t so fresh. My husband loved them. They are my new go-to snack! Thanks so much!

    1. Thanks for finding them and me, Kristin! And so glad that you and the hubs approve and enjoyed! I agree..sometimes those mall pretzels are sitting under those warming lights for hour(s) and they don’t taste so fresh anymore! Plus these are cheaper and you don’t need to go to the mall and be tempted to buy everything you see while out :)

  27. I just made these a few minutes ago. They taste like heaven. Ahh..

    I let them rise for about 50 minutes (because I was doing other chores) and their texture was perfect. I ate two of them .. I couldn’t resist!

    1. I am so glad to hear that you made them and were so happy that you had seconds! Thanks for coming back to LMK they worked out perfectly!

  28. Averie, I just found you and I’ll be sure not to lose you. Wonderful recipes. Soft, chewy pretzels are my favorite. Thank you for sharing a simple, small batch recipe. Can’t wait to try them.

  29. I made pretzels with my family when I was home for Christmas. It was an Auntie Ann’s “Do-it-at-home-everything-you-need-is-in-the-box-just-add-water” kit. They turned out GREAT (though I grumbled at my mom for spending $6 on something that essentially contained nothing more than about 2 c of flour, a packet of yeast, salt, baking soda and instructions that would be freely obtainable on the internet).

    Anyway, the point of my story is the instructions had you mix baking soda in hot water and dip the pretzels in that rather than dealing with boiling water. I was extremely skeptical at first because I knew they were supposed to be boiled. I figured they were just covering their butts from a potential lawsuit, BUT it worked. They browned very nicely in the oven and got the chewy crust I associate with good soft pretzels (the baking soda is a base and the high pH causes a chemical reaction with the dough to create the crust – yay science!). Since they just got dipped quickly it didn’t really add much prep time. I thought I would share in case other are interested!

    Also to Mary Hamilton – Lye is just a really strong base (the chemical name is Sodium Hydroxide or NaOH) that is much more water soluble than baking soda. Because of this you will get even better results with the dipping method. Food grade lye is perfectly safe, though it’s probably a good idea to wear gloves when dipping to avoid skin irritation. Your stomach, however, is full of a very strong acid (Hydrochloric acid or HCl) which would instantly neutralize any lye remaining on your pretzels. Please excuse the chemistry lesson – I can’t help myself :)

  30. I have a receipe for soft pretzels that call for lye and water for dipping before baking? I went and bought it…..It is poisonous! used to unclog drains but I was told it burns off in the oven and browns them perfectly……..I ate them many years ago and I am still alive!!!

  31. I LIVE for mall pretzels – these are perfect and might just have to make an appearance at SuperBowl this weekend!

  32. If it wasn’t 10 o’clock at night and I wasn’t exhausted I’d be making these right now! These look amazing. Definitely trying these soon!

  33. Yum! I am going to try this version for superbowl this weekend. Thinking about making pretzel bites to dip, instead of the traditional shape. This should work perfectly!

    1. They should work great – I just don’t have the patience for the little bites so I made bigger pretzels. LMK how they turn out for you!

  34. I made these last night and they came out great! It will become a staple, thank you for sharing this recipe. :)

    1. I’m so glad to hear that you tried them and they’re going into staple-status! Love that & thanks for coming back to tell me!

  35. Seriously – today we were just at the mall and bought some pretzel bites. The whole time we were eating them, I kept thinking that I needed to go home and make my own! These look absolutely perfect.

    1. Your hungry family would make perfect use of these – and you’d save a bunch of cash. And it’s EASY. I know making bread is probably the LAST thing on your to-do list, but this is 1 hour start to finish bread!

  36. soft pretzels are my weakness…any concession stand yea i want the soft pretzel…these would be so dangerous in my house as well…i so enjoy trying alton brown’s recipes…some i don’t for those extra steps he has that i just don’t have the time so totally hear ya on the 10 cups of water etc..etc..so your 1 hour ThankYOU!

    1. Any non-essential extra step (as a mom you know this too) needs to be eliminated, case closed :)

  37. YUM! I wish I had one right now to dip in yellow mustard! I absolutely love soft pretzels and they are the treat I always get at a sporting event! How great that these can be made so quickly!

  38. What gorgeous, perfect pretzels! I love that you made them vegan (although knowing me, I’d generously slather them with full fat cow butter). And hells yeah to simple, quick recipes that don’t involve crazy, time-intensive procedures or yield way too much for me ‘n the husband to eat. Thanks for all your alterations to the recipe.

    1. I try to think of all those things from time investment to batch size b/c most of my readers I think are busy and don’t have tons of time for complicated stuff. And they’re single, or just a couple, or maybe 1-2 kids which is why I try to cook with smaller batch sizes in mind!

  39. Pretzels have been on my bucket list forever too! These are screaming my name with those thick salt crystals and perfect golden buttery look–YUM!

  40. Ohhhh, I miss soft pretzels!!! I wonder if you could make these with gluten free flour? And f so, what alterations would be needed to stay fluffy? Xantham gum? Hmm, it’s supposed to snow here tomorrow…. Sounds like a good experiment for the gf littles and me!

    1. I would consult websites dedicated to GF bread making. I am definitely not able to help you with that! Good luck finding some options!

  41. I love soft pretzels. I could eat one everyday for lunch. I’ve made them at home before with a recipe I can’t find. But I buy the Auntie Anne’s box to make at home also.

  42. Yes please! I super heart mall pretzels and try to avoid getting one every time I’m there, but inevitably succomb to their sweet, buttery smell… my willpower is nonexistent for carbs :) and made in one hour? Talk about dangerous.

    1. Hayley they’re so dangerous but at least you have family at home to help you eat them so a batch of 6 isn’t too terrible :)

  43. Hey there! Was out of commission there for a week or so…missed your blog! And what a comeback – for me – that is! ;-) Those soft pretzels at the mall were what I survived on when I was in college and I had a part-time job. Every day, and I mean every single day, I went to the mall next to the college and got a soft pretzel with extra salt and a lemon sorbet. That was my lunch! Ha! But oh my, I have always been a pretzel lover, even as a child, preferring the soft ones, but loving the hard, crunchy ones out of the box, too. My parents bought the Costco bags of the latter and I would eat those with top ramen, cottage cheese, ranch dip, you name it! Haha. Anyway, these look absolutely fantastic and look even more delicious than the ones at the mall. I am absolutely making these and my boys, who get their pretzel loving from their mama, are gonna love them, too! :-)

  44. OMG, Averie! I love this! Is there anything you can’t bake? This is awesome. . and what a line up on this post, love this, thanks!

  45. I love soft pretzels, love them! I just made some a couple of weeks ago and my Husband and devoured them!! Your recipe looks great!

    1. Thanks, Cassie. I know you have some great bread recipes. I still think about your bread bowls you made 6 mos or so ago!

  46. Love soft pretzels but I haven’t had one in forever. All the recent blog recipes have me craving one so badly. Yours look amazing. Although I must say the Alton Brown recipe definitely intrigues me.

    1. If you have a big family and can handle a dozen ++ at once (because they really are best eaten within 4 hours tops of making them), it’s probably awesome but for us on so many levels just not as practical.

  47. I think they must pump warm pretzel smell through the air ducts at the mall—and now I can’t even escape sitting innocently at home at my computer! These look soft and chewy and glossy and I need one now.

  48. You’re reading in my mind! Guess what I had for breakfast today. I was in hurry this morning so I bought one (easy thing to do in Berlin), but I’ll so start to make it. 1h and I have my own buttery pretzels – can’t wait!

    1. I hope you get a chance to try them – would make life easier (and save money!) if you didn’t have to buy them!

  49. I’ll take five with some of your spicy honey mustard, please! KAF and Alton Brown are perfect guides when it comes venturing out into new culinary adventures. Great work!!

  50. You reminded me of grandma, she always made pretzels for us, but her recipe unfortunately I don’t remember. I remember her making bread, other dishes, but pretzels slipped away somehow… I need to ask my mother, maybe she remembers. Great post, thanks for bringing some good memories… :)

    1. Oh it would be an interesting comparison to see if the older ladies made them the way we do now with the advent of ‘mall pretzels’ sort of shaping the public’s preferences. Glad this recipe brings back good memories!

  51. Pretzels! I loooooooooove warm pretzels. These look great! Mall pretzels. Those pretzels from the food carts in NYC are such a disappointment. I hope someone gluten frees these! I can’t get gluten free stuff to rise yet . . .

    1. I can only imagine trying to bake with GF flour and trying to get it to rise….ugh….I know just wheat flour can be tricky!

  52. I can SMELL an Auntie Aunt’s Pretzel standing as I read this! I totally want to recreate my favorite: Glazin’ rasin. Raisins in the dough + gooey icing on top. Thanks for the buttery blank canvas to work with!

    1. I used to work in h.s. at the mall and was right next to an Auntie Anne’s and Glazin’ Raisin was a multiple times per week occurrence. Thanks for that memory!

  53. Of all the things I can’t have and miss since being gluten free, soft pretzels are the top of the list. I used to LOVE those Auntie Annie’s pretzels at the mall – the pizza sauce dip, the cinnamon-sugar ones, UGH. My mom used to buy the frozen ones in bulk, I ate them so much. And I always got one at any sporting event or movie I went to. I skipped the big boxes of candy for the soft pretzels every time.

    DANG.

  54. Preztels are the best! I used to get the cinnamon sugar one and dip it in cheese sauce. It sounds disgusting and weird, but it incredibly delicious. Anyway, I’m wondering if using whole wheat pastry flour or whole wheat white might work to use for the entire recipe versus just half. Hmmmm!

    1. You know it probably would work with some adjustments to the amount of water, you may need to add vital wheat gluten, you may need to proof the yeast first, or extend the first rise time and then do a 2nd rise…all-wheat can be much trickier and for the avg person with just an hour, if they do half whole wheat, that’s a nice balance I think.

  55. Ah, yes. The undignified wiggle into the undersized dressing room, only to then wiggle into the undersized jeans, all while engaging in equally undignified drooling over the Wetzel’s Pretzels being sold next door. What is it about soft pretzels that makes me willing to drop my dignity for just one bite? LOVE your version. So soft and buttery!!

    1. Wetzels, Auntie Anne’s…all of those places. They scream my name as Im in the undersized dressing room trying to wiggle into the undersized jeans!

  56. I absolutely adore, and have made soft pretzels on numerous occasions, but never in just an hour! It’s usually quite a waiting game, but I can certainly get behind this quick recipe. I haven’t made any in a while, so your recipe is going right to the top of my list! Though I’m a hardcore mustard fanatic, balsamic reduction sounds like a wonderful option for drizzling over these pretzels. A few favorite toppings outside of mustard include gomasio, the requisite cinnamon sugar, and Old Bay. Adding a few chocolate chips to the dough is quite heavenly as well, topped with a bit of coarse sugar. A lemon glaze would probably be lovely, as well!

  57. Averie these look unbelievable! So unbelievable that I have to taste them for myself :P LOVE LOVE LOVE that these are vegan, also!

    I like Alton Brown but not enough to participate in the cult-like following that he has. He’s great, very intelligent, but his recipes are sometimes too mechanical for me and are missing the love and attention that others have.

  58. I’ve made Alton Brown’s pretzels before, and you’re right – they are a bit fussy! These look like a much more approachable variation; and pretty, too!

    1. Glad to hear you’ve made them and that these seem more approachable. One day I want to try those but for now…these are easy!

  59. I gained the freshman 15 because the cafeteria by my dorm had pretzels like these! I ate them EVERYDAY! yep, that will do it to ya! However, my freshman year of college was a loooooong time ago. I think I can allow myself one more of these guys. And that spicy mustard….yeah, that needs to happen.

    1. I think that the caf food/dorm food is just destined to do that! Away from home, comfort food, white carbs…it’ll happen! The good thing now is you have a husband who you can pawn the extras off onto :)

  60. gorgeous pretzels Averie! The photos turned out to be stunning and they look fabulous on screen. I love all the salt sprinkled around! reminds me of photoshoots using sprinkles. :) They look so soft, fluffy, and chewy. And extra doughy! In a good way. And I love the gorgeous color of yours. Glad you broiled them as well, that’s what I did to give mine a golden sheen. They look wonderful!

    1. Thanks, Sally, for your compliments! I know you have your amazing pretzels, which are ready in even less time than these! And your wheat ones and the chewiness you described, I want to try one and still think about them! And I loved the salt, too, in the shoot. It was like…snow dust or something. I don’t even like that much salt but was just having fun sprinkling it everywhere :)

  61. I love the pretzels at the mall, Auntie Anne’s always calls my name! Love the small batch size. I’ve noticed that when there is salt on bread (like Kemmelweck rolls) that they’re best eaten the same day or the salt makes the bread all soggy.

    I’d keep my pretzels in the savory category over the sweet but love the versatility!

    1. In h.s. I used to work at the mall…like 4 doors down from Auntie Anne’s. It was a blessing & a curse!

  62. Who told you that pretzels are in my top 5 food list? I’m envisioning either rolling these in butter & parmesan or dipping them in cheese sauce.

    1. Your choices are what my husband would pick. I would pick…warm caramel sauce or homemdade PB or cookie butter!

  63. Hi, I’m a new fan of your blog! Soft pretzels have been on my “Baking Bucket List” for a while, too — can’t wait to give these a try!

  64. Oh love love soft pretzels but have always been too intimidated to make my own. Definitely pinning this to try. My one huge indulgence is the stuffed jalapeno variety at the race track once a year. Sooooo good and so worth every calorie LOL

    1. And I can’t wait to hear about it if you do! I know you make that other bread frequently and maybe these can mix it up for a little change!

  65. Those pretzels at the mall are dangerous! But I do love when they’re giving out little bite-sized samples. ;)

    I made soft pretzels last year and loved them! Somehow I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to make my own soft pretzels, but I loved them so much more than what you get at the mall or a game. I love the idea of all the different toppings/flavorings you used. The options are endless!! Now, I’m going to have to compare my recipe to yours to see if I can make any improvements. :)

    1. I don’t even remember that post of yours! See…there are just sooooo many recipes and posts out there for them. The choices and comparisons were overwhelming! And the bite-sized samples…seriously that’s all I probably ‘need’ and should just stick with those!

  66. Oh my gooooodnesssss—I want those right here right now for breakfast. I would sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar on them and dip in melty cream cheese. YUMMMM!

  67. YES! So excited about this one… been wanting to make these for a long time! It’s snowing here in Texas today, so it’s the perfect day to stay in and make these! I only have active dry yeast at home though… do you think that’s ok to substitute?

    1. Yes, fine – just give them an extra little bit on the rise time until the dough is nice and puffy over the recommended 30 minute minimum rise time and you’ll be fine. You just made croissants so there is nothing I need to tell you :)

  68. hahah nothing like a shopping trip of feeling like NOTHING fits than soothing your pain with a fresh-baked pretzel. Who needs those jeans anyways?

  69. You are such a genius, Averie! One hour pretzels?! What could be better than that! Eddie loves pretzels, but I’ve been resistent to making them due to the time commitment a lot of recipes require; this changes everything.

    1. They fast, easy, and I have very little desire to try any recipes now that call for MORE time investment since these came out so well!

  70. I’ve made soft pretzels (and breadsticks) a couple of times but I’m pretty certain I just used all purpose flour back then. I’m sure I’d like the results better with bread flour. I love getting them from street vendors when I’m wandering around New York City or Chicago. These photos really make me want to sink my teeth into one.. I love some chewiness inside with a butter brushed browned crust! Flour, water and yeast can be so fun and versatile!

    1. I used to live downtown Chicago – it was a minefield dodging all that streetfood/comfort food…from caramel corn to pretzels! I’m glad you like the photos and I think these would even be okay with whole wheat flour (up to half the amount) because it’s not like you need a super high-rising dough. It’s not a crossiant. That said, my 100% bread flour seriously rose so well that it surprised me!

  71. Pretzels are on my bucket list as well! These sound delicious Averie, and they look spectacular! I think I would have to dbl this will my family, but it seems easy enough to do!!

    1. You’re one of the rare families/situations with 4 kids!!!! that can get away with batch sizes of 12 or when it’s cookies – 3 dozen or bars 9×13 pans (rather than 8×8)… I always have to be mindful of my batch size to keep it smaller and you’re the opposite! Oh the fun I could have baking if I was cooking for 6 on any given day. But your grocery bill…I bet it’s insane!

  72. Thank you for posting about these! I’ve made Alton Brown’s pretzels before and I’ll admit, I loved them. Despite their 10-cup, all-of-my-baking-soda diva requirements. But their prep time makes them such a luxury to have around, when really pretzels should just be an easy snack food. So this is perfect! What a nice alternative :).

    1. Ahhh, good to know that you’ve made and loved Alton’s recipe (and I know I would love the taste – just not the workload)…but maybe one day I’ll try it.

      1. You should definitely try it if you’ve a lazy Sunday. I’ll make your version ASAP and we can compare! :).