Food Court Soft Pretzels

April 10, 2020Brianna

I want to take a moment and first say, soft pretzels are not as hard to make as you think. They take a bit of time, like all yeast doughs, but honestly, way less scary than you’re imagining. I promise. This recipe comes from a lot of research and combining techniques and recipes from like 6 different websites. It’s perfect. You’re going to be blown away by how much these taste identical to a mall pretzel shop.

I’ve been having a lot of fun recently trying new salt. I watched documentary on Netflix called “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” and ever since have been trying new kinds of salt. I highly recommend the documentary. I learned a lot.


Food Court Soft Pretzels

Food Court style soft pretzels made from your own home. Slightly sweet pretzel dough topped with salt and finished with melted butter.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes active, plus 1.5 hours inactive
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 6 minutes
  • Yield: 16 medium soft pretzels 1x



Pretzel Dough-

1 teaspoon sugar

4 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 ¾ cups warm water

5 cups flour

1/2 Cup sugar

1 ½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoons Canola or vegetable Oil

1 tablespoons honey or agave nectar

Baking Soda Bath-

4 Cups water

1/2 cup baking soda* see note

Fleur de sel salt, maldon sea salt flakes, or pretzel salt, for sprinkling, if desired.

¼ cup butter, melted. (you may need more than this)


In a small mixing bowl add 1 teaspoon sugar, yeast and 1 ¾ cups warm water. Stir gently. Cover and let rise until foamy. About 5-10 minutes.

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer add the flour, ½ cup sugar and 1 ½ teaspoons salt. Blend well. Add the yeast mixture, oil, and honey. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or a dough hook attachment. You want the consistency to be a soft, barely sticky dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and Knead by hand for 10 minutes or knead in the mixer for about 7-8 minutes.

Spray a large bowl with non-stick spray or brush with oil and place the kneaded dough into bowl. (I always push the dough over to one side of the bowl I already used and spray the empty side, then roll the dough to the sprayed side and spray the other side, to dirty less dishes). Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 ½ hours.

During the last half hour of rising, preheat the oven to 450 F, and line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Put 4 cups of water in a medium to large sauce pan and add the baking soda. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Melt butter and have a pastry brush handy.

Push the dough out onto the counter and cut into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a snake about 20-24 inches long. Shape into a Pretzel (see pictures below). Make sure you press the ends well so it doesn’t fall apart in the boiling water. Set on a parchment covered baking sheet. Continue shaping the dough into Pretzels until you have a full tray. (you’ll finish the rest of the dough in a few minutes)

Gently drop each pretzel, 1 by 1, into the boiling water. Boil for about 3-5 seconds, making sure the pretzel is fully submerged, remove with a big slotted spoon or a large slotted spatula, draining as much water as you can. Gently place back on baking sheet and immediately sprinkle with salt, if desired*see note. Continue boiling and salting pretzels till your tray is done. Place in oven and bake till well golden brown, about 6-9 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately brush generously with melted butter. Let the pretzels cool on tray or eat right away.

While the first tray of pretzels is baking, continue rolling, shaping, boiling, and salting pretzels so you hopefully have the next tray ready to go when the first tray comes out of the oven. Continue till pretzel dough is gone.


If you don’t have ½ cup baking soda, you probably can get away with boiling 2 cups of water and ¼ cup of baking soda, as long as the pan you’re using is wide enough for your pretzels but also not too wide that 2 cups of water will completely submerge the pretzel.

You can also sprinkle with cinnamon sugar instead of salt too.

If you don’t drain the water after dipping the pretzels enough, your pretzels will not bake right and end up soggy.

Don’t store pretzels in an airtight container or they’ll get soggy. Store in a paper bag folded closed or a container with a towel over it. (These are definitely best the day they’re made)

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3 years ago

I made these yesterday, and I was shocked by how easy they were to make. Plus they really do taste exactly like the pretzels from Pretzelmaker/Auntie Anne’s! My dough didn’t need any of the extra water, and I’m glad I checked before adding any because it would have ruined the consistency. I used Kosher salt on half of the pretzels and no salt on the other half, and I definitely preferred the pretzels with salt. The pretzels in my second batch seemed a little under-baked, so I put them back in the oven for a few minutes after brushing the… Read more »

3 years ago

I’ve made these about 5x the last 2 months. My Kids LOVE them. I’ve made a handful of other food bloggers pretzels and these are hands down the best I’ve tried. I won’t ever make another recipe again. They truly taste like they came from a mall pretzel stand! Yum yum!

3 years ago

These pretzels are surprisingly easy to make and they are amazing! I sprinkled half with sea salt and half with cinnamon sugar. We ate them so quickly and loved them so much I made them again the very next day. I think pretzels will become a pretty common thing in our house now.

2 years ago

These were so easy to make and absolutely delicious! I’ve tried uploading a picture but for some reason it won’t let me.

2 years ago

Seriously the yummiest pretzel recipe I’ve ever made. We ate the whole batch hot out of the oven! My kids begged me to make them the next day.

Rachel Beenfield
Rachel Beenfield
2 years ago

This pretzel recipie is the bomb!!! I’ve made both cinnamon and salt and you really can’t go wrong either way.

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