Soft Pretzels

Egg-Washed Pretzels (Light Colored) & Baking Soda Bath Pretzels (Dark Colored)

“We made these during after-school care at Mid County (now Twin Lakes) Christian School. This would have been around the 3rd or 4th grade, and we had a great time shaping the dough into different animal shapes … and then biting their heads off after they were baked!

When I went to make these again in 2021, I came across some instructions for doing a traditional baking soda bath. This gives the pretzels a more traditional pretzel taste and distinctive look compared to the egg wash. There were also instructions for cinnamon-sugar pretzels and these are my favorite!” – April Ferre

Soft Pretzels

Course: Yeast Breads


  • 1 1/2 Cup Water Warm
  • 1 Package (2 1/4 Teaspoons) Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar Brown or Granulated
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter Melted & Cooled
  • 4 Cups Flour Plus Extra for Kneading
  • Finishing Ingredients See Options Below


  • In large bowl, mix together water and yeast. Allow to rest for a minute. Mix in sugar, salt and butter.
  • Add in flour 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition until dough is no longer sticky and forms a ball. Rest for 10 minutes.
  • Knead dough on table until dough is smooth, about 3 minutes. Shape dough as desired, originally these were made into animal shapes. Alternatively, divide the dough into 12 even portions and roll into a long, thin rope, then twist into a pretzel shape.
  • Place onto baking sheets lined with silicone mats or parchment paper greased with butter or non-stick spray.
  • Choose your finishing method (below.)
  • Bake in 425 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until browned.
  • Pretzels may be frozen and reheated in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Finishing Methods:

  • Egg wash (Original Recipe): Brush pretzels with a well beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse salt.
  • Traditional Baking Soda Bath: Combine 9 cups of water and 1/2 cup baking soda in a large Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Drop pretzels one at a time into the bath for 20 to 30 seconds. Do not boil longer or pretzels will have a metallic taste. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow water to drip off. Place on baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt.
  • Cinnamon-Sugar Pretzels: Follow directions for baking soda bath above, but do not sprinkle with salt. Combine 3/4 cup sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl. After baking, allow pretzels to cool slightly. While still warm, brush pretzels with melted butter and coat with cinnamon-sugar mixture.

1991 Recipe, Expanded & Revised 2021 – April Ferre

Cinnamon-Sugar Pretzels