Homemade Soft Pretzels {Oven Baked!}

Homemade soft pretzels are salted on the outside

and soft on the inside.

I’ve shared my best tips below to make sure these come out perfect every time!

An easy from-scratch dough is folded into pretzels, boiled, and brushed with an egg wash before being baked.

Baked soft pretzels in a basket with honey mustard dip

The Perfect Homemade Recipe

You likely have soft pretzel ingredients at home in your pantry already.

This easy recipe walks you through the steps to creating better-than-bought pretzels right from your very own oven! Warm with a golden exterior, a soft chewy interior and the texture you know and love from your favorite pretzel stand.

The great thing about making pretzels at home is that you know exactly what goes into them and they can be topped with anything you’d like (from sesame seeds to cinnamon and sugar).

Ingredients to make soft pretzels on a countertop.

Ingredients

FLOUR This recipe uses all-purpose flour for the perfect consistency.

YEAST  1 packet of active dry yeast is equal to 2 1/4 teaspoons. Mix the yeast with a bit of sugar & water and let is sit until foamy (5-10 min). Once foamy, it can be combined with the flour.

It is important to check the expiry date on your yeast, if it’s out of date your dough will not rise properly.

BAKING SODA/WATER BATH Before baking, the prepared pretzels will be dipped in boiling water with baking soda in it. This gives the color and texture to the exterior of the pretzel.

EGG WASH An egg wash is brushed over the pretzels before baking. It is optional but helps the toppings to stick and makes the pretzels pretty and shiny!

How to Make Soft Pretzels

This recipe is made from yeast bread dough that is curved into pretzel shapes, boiled then baked. A quick overview of the steps needed:

    • PREPARE DOUGH This is a typical yeast dough and can be made in a stand mixer. After the dough has risen, divide into 8 equal parts.

Rising dough in a glass bowl to make soft pretzel

    • SHAPE DOUGH Roll into ropes and shape into pretzels (how to fold pretzels below).
    • BOIL Gently lower into boiling water for several seconds.
    • BAKE Remove, drain and brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with topping. Bake until toasty brown.

Soft baked pretzels can be customized into different shapes and sizes. It’s fun to turn into initials for the kids. Or, simpler shapes, like pretzel sticks.

Steps to form dough into pretzels.

How to Fold a Pretzel

  1. Roll each piece into a 24-inch rope.
  2. Form the dough into a “U” shape.
  3. Cross the two ends over each other.
  4. Fold the ends down to the bottom of the U shape to form a pretzel.

What Does the Boiling Do?

Once the pretzel is formed, it is lowered into boiling and baking soda for a few seconds. This changes the pH of the outside and gives it that beautiful brown color.

This also gives the flavor we love in pretzels and starts the crust formation which finishes in the oven.

Close up of a soft pretzel topped with salt on a baking tray.

How Important is Egg Wash?

Egg wash helps all those tasty toppings adhere to the curved surface of the pretzels. In addition, the egg and water wash will give pretzels a golden brown sheen and satisfying crunch.

For a softer crust, use the whole egg. A wash made from egg white only and water will produce a harder, crisper exterior.

Variations/Toppers

Four baked soft pretzels on a baking tray.

The Best Dippers for Soft Pretzels

Even soft pretzels are on the dry side, so an array of dips will always be welcome. Tangy mustard is always popular. Here are some other options that make the best soft pretzel dips.

  • Beer Cheese Dip – Classic combo
  • Honey Mustard – Combine equal parts mayonnaise, honey and prepared mustard (or a bit of dijon). Add a pinch of garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce.
  • Fluffy Pumpkin Pie Dip Perfect for sweet pretzels
  • Dijon Mustard – or spicy mustard
  • Homemade Pizza Sauce – sprinkle pretzel with parmesan cheese before baking

Did you make these homemade soft pretzels?  Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Print

Oven Baked Soft Pretzels

Deliciously soft, slightly chewy pretzels with a perfect exterior.
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 8 pretzels
Calories 304
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 pkg)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 oz butter melted

Water Bath

  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda

Topping

  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • kosher salt

Instructions

  • Combine water, sugar, salt, and yeast in a stand mixer. Let sit 5-10 minutes or until foamy.
  • Add 2 cups flour and the butter to the yeast mixture. With a dough hook, mix on low. Continue adding flour a bit at a time until combined.
  • Knead in the mixer with the hook until the dough is smooth, about 5 minutes (or knead on the counter by hand about 10 minutes).
  • Remove the dough, place in an oiled bowl and cover. Set in a warm place and allow to rise 60 minutes or until the dough has doubled.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F and line baking pans with parchment paper. Bring water and baking soda to a boil.
  • Divide dough into 8 pieces and roll each piece into a 24" rope. Form the dough into a "U" shape. Cross the two ends over each other and fold down to the bottom of the U to form a pretzel shape. Repeat with remaining pretzels.
  • Gently place pretzels on a large spatula and lower into the boiling water. Let boil 10-15 seconds. Gently lift out of the water, let excess drip off and place on prepared pan allowing at least 2" between pretzels.
  • Brush each pretzel with egg was and sprinkle with salt.
  • Bake 12-14 minutes or until golden.

Notes

Yeast Use Active Dry Yeast. Check the expiry date on your yeast, if it's out of date your dough will not rise properly.
To Make without a Stand Mixer I use a stand mixer to knead the dough. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can knead on the counter for about 10 minutes.
To Boil the Pretzels place each on a large spatula and gently lower into the boiling water. Use a large slotted spoon to gently remove them from the water.
To Form into Pretzel Bites Divide dough into 4 pieces and roll into a 24" rope. Cut rope into 2" pieces. Boil as directed and bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden.
Egg Wash For a softer crust, use the whole egg. A wash made from egg white only and water will produce a harder, crisper exterior.
Topping Variations Try sesame seeds, everything bagel seasoning, cinnamon sugar or cheddar cheese & thinly sliced jalapenos.

Nutrition

Calories: 304 | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 654mg | Potassium: 103mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 210IU | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 3mg
Oven baked soft pretzels in a basket.
Oven baked soft pretzels in a basket.
Top image - oven baked soft pretzels ina basket. Bottom image - Pretzels formed on a baking sheet.

 

Homemade Pizza Dough {and Sauce!}

Homemade Pizza Dough is a quick and easy to make at home! This pizza dough recipe makes a traditional crust is sturdy enough to hold your favorite toppings!

It’s delicious with a slight chew, just the way a pizza crust should be!

Baked pizza made on homemade pizza dough cut into wedges.

Ingredients

    • WATER The water should be warm but not hot. If you have a thermometer, you want the water to be about 110°F.
    • YEAST This recipe uses active dry yeast. You can use instant yeast (or rapid rise) in this recipe as well, skip letting it sit in the water in this recipe if using instant yeast. (1 packet of yeast = 2 1/4 teaspoons)
    • SUGAR A pinch of sugar is needed to feed the yeast and help it bloom.
    • FLOUR I use all purpose flour in this recipe as it’s what we  most often have on hand. Add flour a bit at a time just until the dough is no longer sticky. If you add too much, the dough will be tough.
    • OLIVE OIL & SALT  Are added for flavor.

RISE TIME: This is a quick pizza dough and doesn’t require a long rise time. If you’d like you can allow it to rise for up to 1 hour before rolling out to fill the pizza pans. I  most often don’t rise the dough and just bake it as is.

How to Make Pizza Dough

The best pizza dough uses just a handful of ingredients you likely have in your pantry! Be sure to check the expiration dates on your yeast and make sure it’s still fresh before you use it. Fresh yeast means a good rise and a perfectly chewy crust.

  1. Mix the yeast and water in a bowl, let sit until the yeast starts to bubble up.
  2. Add three cups of flour to the mixture, one cup at a time until you get a nice dough that isn’t too sticky. Add a bit more flour if needed if your dough seems sticky.

Now that you have your dough, it’s time to knead!

Images of preparing pizza dough

How to Knead Pizza Dough

Kneading pizza dough takes a little bit of muscle but is so worth it in the end!

  • Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead the dough until it is smooth, adding more flour to keep it from sticking to your hands or work surface.
  • Knead the dough using two hands, pushing the dough away from you and then turning it 45° to the left, knead it some more, and then turn it another 45° until a full circle has been completed. It should only take about 6 minutes.
  • Roll and form the dough to fit the greased pizza pans or stones.  Let the dough rise.

After the dough has risen, poke holes all over the surface with a fork (this is called ‘docking’ and prevents the dough from bubbling up), then add sauce, cheese, toppings and then top with cheese before baking. Super simple and super fun!

Have a stand mixer? Let the mixer do the heavy lifting for you. Simply add the ingredients to the mixer with dough hook. Once combined, turn the mixer to medium high for about 4-5 minutes.

Pizza dough rolled out on a pizza pan, topped with sauce, cheese and pepperoni.

Make-Ahead

Pizza dough can be made hours ahead of time and stored in the fridge. Rest on the counter for about 20 minutes and then roll to fit pans. You can make a batch of the shortcut pizza sauce in the recipe below or use canned or another homemade pizza sauce.

To Freeze Pizza Dough

Freezing pizza dough is so easy and is a great way to always have pizza dough on hand!

  • To freeze, place dough ball into a zippered freezer bag. Frozen pizza dough balls can last up to 6 months in the freezer.
  • To thaw, let them come to room temp, place them on a floured surface and dust with flour. Knead a few minutes, then shape over a pizza stone or pan.

The best thing about frozen pizza dough is that there is no need to overly knead them since they will require a little kneading once they are thawed again!

A baked pepperoni pizza made with homemade pizza dough.

Delicious Pizza Recipes

Use it to make a classic Margherita pizza or load it up with topping like this cheeseburger pizza. Either way, it is sure to be delicious!

Print

Homemade Pizza Dough {and Sauce!}

This easy pizza dough recipe is perfect for baking or freezing!
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword Pizza Dough
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 272
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

DOUGH:

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil divided use
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour or half all-purpose half whole wheat more as needed

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Mix the yeast and water in a small bowl, cover and let stand for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Mix the 2 tablespoons olive oil, sugar, salt and yeast mixture in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the 3 cups of flour, a cup at a time. If the dough seems sticky, add more flour, a couple tablespoons at a time.
  • Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until moderately stiff, about six minutes.
  • If time allows, you can let the dough rise 1 hour at this point. If allowing to rise, punch the dough down before fitting in the pans below.
  • Lightly grease two pizza pans with oil. Roll out the dough and stretch to fill the pans.
  • Let the dough rise 10 minutes.
  • Brush pizza dough with remaining olive oil and top with pizza sauce, toppings and cheese as desired. Bake 15-18 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden.

Notes

Note: You can allow up to 1 hour rise time for this dough but more often than not, I skip this step to make a quick dough.
Rising the dough will add a bit more flavor (and chew to the texture).
Shortcut Pizza Sauce: Place 28 oz canned diced tomatoes in a sieve and press out as much juice as possible. Place tomatoes, 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth.
Nutrition includes dough only. Serving is 2 slices of pizza (if each pizza is cut into 8 slices). 

Nutrition

Calories: 272 | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 231mg | Potassium: 254mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 129IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 3mg

Adapted from The Food Nanny

Top image - baked pepperoni pizza. Bottom image - pizza dough formed into a ball.
Baked pepperoni pizza.
Close up of a baked pepperoni pizza.

Homemade Crescent Rolls {Tender & Flaky}

Homemade Crescent Rolls are so soft and buttery, you’ll never go back to the canned version again. This easy recipe yields perfectly fluffy rolls, full of real butter flavor! 

Don’t let the thought of yeast intimidate you! While it takes some time, these are not difficult to make.

A basket full of homemade crescent rolls

Tips For Making Crescent Rolls

Knowing a few tips for bread making can make the process easy

  • Use fresh yeast (and check the expiry date on your jar). Expired yeast won’t work well.
  • When adding the yeast to the water, ensure it is closer to lukewarm than hot.
  • It’s ok to add a little more or less flour to get the consistency you want. If the dough seems too sticky, add a little more flour at a time until it seems just right.
  • Get kids to help with the kneading! Every child should have the experience of making bread…at least once!
  • Use a pizza cutter to make the wedge shapes.
  • Roll wedges from the wide side first, and roll loosely. Curve into crescent shape after placing the roll on the parchment.

Most importantly: have fun!

Left image - dough rising in a glass bowl. Right image - dough rolled into a circle and cut into wedges.

How To Make Crescent Rolls

Recipes like this one take the intimidation out of making homemade bread. While there may be a few steps to follow, bear in mind that most of them are as easy as watching bread rise!

  1. Make the “sponge” (per recipe below) and mix all ingredients together in a large bowl (except flour).
  2. Slowly add flour until soft dough forms and knead until smooth.
  3. Allow it to rise until doubled in size. Then cut in half, roll out into circles and cut into wedges.
  4. Roll each wedge into a crescent and place on a tray to rise.
  5. Bake until golden brown!

Spread butter, garlic butter, or even homemade jam on these crescent and enjoy!  

Crescent rolls prepped on a parchment lined baking tray.

What To Make With Crescent Rolls

There are so many amazing recipes to make with crescent rolls! You can use them to make:

The options are endless!

A basket full of baked crescent rolls.

How To Freeze Homemade Crescent Rolls

To freeze before baking is so easy, and when it comes time to make the rolls no one will know they weren’t prepared the same day!

  • Make crescent rolls but instead of baking put them in the freezer, covered, on the baking tray.
  • After two hours, remove and place in a zippered freezer bag or airtight container for up to 6 months.
  • To bake, defrost rolls in the fridge completely (on a parchment-lined tray ready to bake is best), then bake according to recipe directions!

This is a recipe for rainy days or special occasions. Enjoy it with your loved ones anytime.

Homemade Crescent Rolls

This easy recipe yields perfectly soft and flaky crescent every time, full of delicious real butter flavor! 

  • 1 packet active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (plus 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110°F)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (110°F)
  • 1 egg (room temperature)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
  • milk for brushing
  1. Combine yeast, sugar, and warm water. Let sit for 10 mins or until foamy.

  2. Add melted butter and warm milk to a large bowl. Add yeast mixture, egg and salt. Stir in 2 cups of flour.
  3. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time to create a soft dough. Knead until smooth, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  5. Place dough on a lightly flour surface and divide in two. Roll each half into a 12″ circle and cut each circle into 12 wedges.
  6. Roll wedges into a crescent shape starting with the wide end. Place at least 2″ apart on a parchment lined pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise 30-40 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush with milk and bake rolls 10-12 minutes or until golden.

Top image - crescent rolls in a basket. Bottom image - crescent rolls prepped on a baking sheet.
Crescent rolls in a basket
Crescent rolls in a basket

Easy Homemade French Bread

There is nothing better than a homemade loaf of crusty French Bread. This recipe uses only a few ingredients and while it takes time, it’s easy. Even YOU can make the perfect loaf of french bread!

This is great to serve alongside a spaghetti dinner (or any pasta recipe) and makes delicious garlic bread. It’s also perfect for homemade French toast for a lazy Sunday morning!

Tips for Baking Bread

Yeast The most important part of this recipe is to make sure your yeast is not expired. Use an active dry yeast. You will proof your yeast with a mixture of sugar and water, this ‘feeds’ the yeast so it can rise your bread! If you don’t see a foamy layer like the image below, your yeast isn’t good to bake with.

Flour Start with the smallest amount of flour in the recipe (2 3/4 cups in this recipe). For french bread, you want to add just enough to create a dough that is still slightly sticky. Too much flour will make a dense loaf.

Kneading by Hand  Knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 3-5 minutes.

Kneading with a Stand Mixer Place the dough in a mixer with a dough hook. Allow it to mix on medium speed for about 2 minutes.

Left image - yeast blooming in a glass bowl. Right image - formed french bread roll on a baking tray.

How to Make French Bread

A true French bread contains just water, flour, yeast, and salt although you’ll commonly find other ingredients added to French bread in North America. French bread can vary in shapes and sizes from baguettes, to loaves to round in shape and is often baked in a steam oven resulting in the perfect crust (I’ve included my tip for getting steam into your oven below in the crust section).

This basic French loaf recipe can be altered to include slivers of garlic, fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme, or even a handful of shredded cheese. The varieties are endless, but all versions start with the same basic steps!

  1. Make Dough
    1. Combine warm water with sugar, and salt until fully dissolved, then stir in yeast. Let it sit until foamy.
    2. Stir in the flour and mix well. Knead a few minutes
  2. Rise #1 about 1 hour in a warm place until doubled.
  3. Rise #2 punch down and rise again 30 minutes.
  4. Form Loaf You can form the loaf from the ball of dough but I like to roll it out to a rectangle and roll it up jelly roll style and pinch the edges under to seal.
  5. Rise #3 Let the bread rise another 30 minutes and then brush with egg white.
  6. Bake until golden brown on top. Cool on a wire rack.

For the Perfect Crust

Add slashes to the loaf You can purchase a tool for this (a bread lame) but if you don’t make a lot of bread, just use a very sharp knife. The purpose for the slashes you see on a loaf of bread is to help keep the bread in the desired shape while it expands as it bakes. If brushing with egg, slash the bread after.

Brush with egg if desired Brushing the outside of the bread with egg white will give a glossy crisp crust, this is optional. For a soft crust, brush with melted butter.

Add Steam Generously spritz both the bread and the inside of the oven with water (don’t spritz your hot glass with water though and be sure to check your user manual first) or add a handful of ice cubes into a cast iron skillet and place it in the oven with the bread. Steam helps give the perfect crust

French bread loaf being brushed with melted butter mixture before baking.

How to Soften French Bread

The best way to keep your homemade French bread fresh is to keep it in an airtight container or zippered bag. French bread can also be stored in aluminum foil as long as it is tightly wrapped but be sure to store it away from extreme temperatures.

Turn into crostini and top with bruschetta, or top with garlic butter for delicious homemade garlic bread.

More Yummy Bread Recipes

Easy French Bread

This is an easy recipe that uses only a few ingredients and a little bit of technique.

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 3/4 to 3 cups flour
  • 1 egg white
  1. Combine sugar, salt, and 1 cup warm water in a bowl. Stir in yeast and let stand 5 minutes.

  2. Stir in 2 cups of flour. Continue adding flour a bit at a time to form a stiff dough. Knead until about 5 minutes (or use a dough hook on a stand mixer per notes below).

  3. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise 1 hour or until doubled. Punch dough down and let rise 30 minutes more.

  4. Roll dough into a 14"x10" square and roll up jelly roll style to create a 14"x2.5" loaf. Place on a parchment lined pan seam side down. Using a sharp knife, cut 3-4 diagonal slits into the loaf (about 1/4" deep).

  5. Cover with a damp towel and let rise 30-40 minutes or until doubled. Brush bread with egg white. Preheat oven to 425°F.

  6. Place in the oven and bake 20-25 minutes or until browned. Cool on a baking rack.

Place the dough in a mixer with a dough hook and allow it to mix on medium speed for about 90 seconds.

Recipe Adapted Martin, Verneil. “Among Friends Vol II”. Calgary, AB, 1989. 39. Print.

French Bread sliced on a wooden board.
Homemade French Bread sliced on a wooden board.
Top photo - Top view of French Bread sliced on a wooden board. Bottom photo - Slices of French Bread on a wooden board.