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Soft Pretzels

Siri and Carson Daly on TODAY January 29th, 2018
Siri and Carson Daly on TODAY January 29th, 2018Nathan Congleton / TODAY
Cook Time:
20 mins
Prep Time:
1 hr 30 mins
8 pretzels

Chef notes

As a kid, there was nothing quite like a warm, soft pretzel bought on a street corner or, most often, at some sort of sporting event. Whether it's dipped in mustard or a cheesy sauce, soft pretzels are always a hit, especially if you make them yourself!

Technique tip: Make sure not to over-knead the dough, or you'll have dense pretzels. A silicone baking mat will ensure your pretzels don't stick to your baking sheet.

Swap option: You could make these whole wheat pretzels by using whole wheat flour, or you could add cinnamon sugar instead of salt at the end to make them sweet.


  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • cups warm water
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Coarse sea salt, for topping



In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water and let sit for about 5 minutes.


In a large bowl, add flour and then mix in the kosher salt to combine.


Pour the yeast mixture over the flour and the melted butter over that. Mix with your hands (or a rubber spatula) just until dough starts to form, it will be messy.


Place dough on a flat surface and knead for about 3 minutes, until dough softens (careful not to over-knead).


Lightly oil a large, clean bowl and place dough inside. Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let dough rest at room temperature for 1 hour or so (until it doubles in size).


Once dough has risen, place it back onto a clean surface and cut into 8 equal portions. Roll each into a 15-inch rope, twist into a pretzel shape and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (sprayed with nonstick cooking spray) or a silicone baking mat.


In a large pot, dissolve baking soda into 1 quart of water and bring to a slow boil over medium-high heat.


Preheat oven to 450°F.


Gently drop 3 pretzels into water at a time until they start to puff (just under a minute), then remove with a slotted spoon and place them onto the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pretzels.


Brush each pretzel with egg and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.


Bake for 10-15 minutes, until pretzels are golden brown.