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Soft pretzels on a piece of parchment paper.
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German Pretzels (Soft Pretzels)

German Pretzels (Laugenbrezeln) are delicious soft pretzels that are chewy on the outside and soft in the middle. They are very easy to make at home. Nothing beats a warm and fragrant pretzel straight from the oven dipped in cheese sauce, so instead of buying store-bought, make a batch of these!
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American, German
Diet Vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
rising time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8 pretzels
Calories 226kcal
Author Aleksandra


for the dough:

  • 1 cup (240g) water
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) butter or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (7g/1 packet) instant yeast
  • 3 1/4 cups (410g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • 5 cups water
  • 1/4 cup (67g) baking soda
  • coarse sea salt


  • Make the dough:
  • Melt the butter in a small pot, add the water and stir to combine. Cook for a couple of seconds then take off the heat. Add the sugar. Check the temperature of the water with a thermometer, it should be 100-110°F (38-43°C). The water can’t be too hot or the yeast won’t work. When water has the right temperature, stir in the yeast. You can let stand the yeast mixture for 5 minutes to foam (a good way to check if your yeast is working, but it's optional).
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. (Adding the flour: measuring the flour with measuring cups is inaccurate so if that's the way you're measuring your flour, add 3 cups of flour first and then add the remaining 1/4 cup while kneading the dough if it’s still sticky. If using a digital scale you can add all the flour as written in one go).
  • Add the yeast mixture. Stir with a spoon until roughly combined.
  • Knead the dough by hand or with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment – about 3-4 minutes until the dough is smooth and not sticky. If it's too stickly just add a little bit more flour.
  • Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let stand in a warm place until roughly doubled in volume. You can put it in a turned off oven with a light on. It should take about 45-60 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
  • Punch the dough to deflate it. Place the dough on a lightly floured counter or on a rolling mat, shape it into a thick disc and cut into 8 parts.
  • Shape the pretzels: Take one piece of the dough and roll it into a 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick and 23 inches (60 cm) long rope.
  • Form a U-shape with each end of the rope then holding the ends of the rope, cross them over then twist the ends together and pinch them to the sides to form a pretzel shape (see photos in the body of the post for a reference).
  • Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Cook pretzels in soda bath: Bring 5 cups of water in a medium/large pot to a boil. The pot can't be too big or you'd have to use more water to cover the pretzels (double water and baking soda accordingly) but it also can't be too small - the pretzels must be submerged in the water and have enough place to 'swim'.
  • When the water is boiling, add baking soda - do this carefully! it will foam vigorously. Boil 1 pretzel at a time, for 20-30 seconds (don't exceed this time), then remove with a slotted spoon back to the baking sheet. Sprinkle immediately with coarse / flaky salt. Repeat with the remaining pretzels.
  • Bake until golden, about 11 minutes.
  • Enjoy!


  • How to measure flour: Fluff the flour by stirring it in the bag/flour container with a spoon. Spoon the flour and sprinkle it into your measuring cup. Sweep off the excess flour with the back of a knife. Use a digital scale for best and consistent results.
  • If you want your pretzels to be more shiny, brush them with egg wash (an egg beaten with a tablespoon of water) after soda bath. Then sprinkle with salt and bake.
  • Calories = 1 pretzel (1/8 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!


Calories: 226kcal