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How to Make Soft Pretzels like Auntie Anne’s

Our easy soft pretzel recipe is fantastic! This is how to make soft pretzels like Auntie Anne’s copycat style. Like their Auntie Anne’s pretzel dogs, but with just sea salt on the outside. These large chewy and salty pretzels will make your mouth water. 

homemade soft pretzels

This is how to make copycat Auntie Anne’s pretzel recipe with yeast and just 7 ingredients. Easy to make and dipped in mustard is great if you’re looking for the ultimate comfort food, you’ve come to the right place! (affiliate links present)

Let me tell you how much I love pretzel dogs at Auntie Anne’s, and their regular salted varieties. I’m so slightly obsessed with them that when I was pregnant I would drive 25 minutes to the local mall, park, and walk all the way inside to get my hands on one. I’m. Not. Kidding.

Easy Recipe for Soft Pretzels

Now I’ve come to my senses, somewhat. 😉 No but really, we moved out of state and I haven’t seen one near us since! Heartbreaking I tell you. That’s when I decided I had to figure out a copycat version of our own. Here’s what you do.

homemade pretzel dough

How to Make Homemade Soft Pretzels

I will start by saying that typically if I read a recipe and it needs yeast, I quickly turn away and find another. BUT there is no substitute here, you have to make this homemade from scratch.

It really isn’t that hard, I just had to get over the idea that it would be easy to mess up. If you’re anything like me and reading this, take my word for it and give this a whirl, then try baking bread at home too.

How to Make Homemade Pretzel Bites

You can cut these into bite size pieces instead if you wanted too. I suggest using our air fryer pretzel bites temp and timing for those. As with any recipe with yeast you’ll need to use some warm water, sugar and salt. A stand mixer with a dough hook is very handy to have too so you don’t have to hand knead the dough Once those are combined, sprinkle the active yeast on top and allow it to bloom.

What does it mean for yeast to bloom?

Yeast is alive (seriously). When in stored, yeast cells gradually die. This procedure is also known as “proofing the yeast”. Blooming is the process where active dry yeast is made to be ready in a recipe such as this easy soft pretzel recipe.

Homemade Pretzels

Once you beat in the flour and added the melted butter, it will form a ball and start to pull away from the sides. Then you know it’s ready to be placed in a warm location to rise.

  • This will take about an hour
  • You’ll need to cover the bowl with plastic wrap
  • Finding a warm location without a draft is key to it being successful

Next you’ll need to make a baking soda bath and get your pretzels shaped on a slightly floured surface so the pretzel dough resembles what you see below. Make sure you have equal pieces so your homemade soft pretzels bake evenly.

Why do you boil pretzels?

The baking soda is what gives the pretzels their brown and shiny crust. The browning makes the outsides of a soft pretzel crunchy while leaving the insides soft.

Yes, you can skip the “boiling in water + baking soda” step but the texture will be different and probably not as pleasing to the palate.

soft pretzel recipe

German Soft Pretzel Recipe

They only need a 30 second trip in the water and then on to your parchment lined prepared baking sheet. Here are all the items you’ll need for homemade pretzels;

  1. All purpose flour
  2. Butter
  3. Coarse sea salt
    1. sometimes called Kosher or pretzel salt
    2. if you wanted a sweet version, use cinnamon sugar instead
  4. Water
  5. Active dry yeast
  6. White sugar
  7. Baking soda
  8. Egg yolks to brush on the top to make them shiny

Parchment paper is handy to have on your cookie sheet so they don’t stick. Once they’re all done, whisk together your egg yolks and a bit of water so you can brush it on the tops. Then sprinkle on your salt and they’re ready for a trip in your oven. Once your dough is ready, this last process will take about 30 minutes until you’re ready to enjoy these. 

easy homemade soft pretzels

What gives pretzels their flavor?

Salt is the most common seasoning for pretzels, as well as the baking soda bath I spoke about earlier. This process will really give them the traditional skin you’re used to, and flavor as well.

Of course you can add flavors like our copycat Dots honey mustard pretzels too.

  • Other seasonings known to be put on the tops are cheeses, sugar, chocolate, cinnamon, sweet glazing, seeds, and nuts.
  • Once you try this you should go on to add different toppings, the possibilities are endless really!

What goes good with soft pretzels?

Traditionally they’re served with some type of mustard, but even those are numerous to count including; honey mustard, dijon, Cajun, yellow, the list goes on and on. Other yummy pretzel dip options are:

  1. cheddar Velveeta cheese sauce
  2. pizza sauce
  3. warm nacho beer cheese
  4. or many other hot dip recipes
  5. including this mustard pretzel dip recipe you see below

Best is to have all of them available to choose from in little ramekins. Make a pretzel bar of sorts when friends come over for sure. Sweeter choices could be offered too like cream cheese frosting or melted chocolate.

pretzel dipping sauce

How to Make Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels

If you wanted to transition these into a sweeter creation you totally could. There are a lot of “toppings” you could use, dips, frostings etc…. like:

  1. melted caramel
  2. warm vanilla or cream cheese icing
  3. softened cream cheese

Other snacks you should try after you’ve enjoyed this one are our 2 ingredient bagels made in the air fryer where you need no yeast or rising required.

Can you make Auntie Anne’s pretzel recipe without bread flour?

Yes! We use all purpose flour to make a copycat soft pretzel recipe that tastes scary the same paired with our homemade mustard sauce. Pretzel dough recipe baked in the oven to create chewy insides with a salty crispy golden brown on the outside.

Easy Soft Pretzel Recipe

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homemade soft pretzels
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How to Make Soft Pretzels like Auntie Anne’s

How to Make Soft Pretzels like Auntie Anne's. This easy soft pretzel recipe is fantastic! A copycat Auntie Anne's pretzels style snack, these large chewy and salty pretzels will make your mouth water.
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword homemade, pretzels, soft
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 257kcal
Author The Typical Mom




  • In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together water, sugar, and salt until the sugar is dissolved. Sprinkle yeast over the top and allow to bloom for approx. 5 minutes
  • Add the flour to the stand mixer bowl and beat adding butter in a slow drizzle. Beat with the dough hook on medium speed for 5 minutes or until a ball forms and the dough pulls together and away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Grease a bowl with olive oil and transfer dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and rest in a warm place, for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spritz with nonstick cooking spray or lightly grease with oil.
  • In a large pot bring water and baking soda to a boil. Then, grease a cutting board lightly with oil. Divide dough into 8 to 10 equal pieces. Roll into a rope about 24 inches long.
  • Twist dough into pretzel shapes by creating a U. Then twist loose ends together and fold the twist back over to the middle of the U and press together.
  • One at a time, drop pretzels into the boiling water and allow to boil for 30 seconds. Remove using a slotted turner and immediately place on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Whisk together water and egg yolk in a bowl. Use pastry brush over pretzels and immediately sprinkle with kosher salt.
  • Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until tops of pretzels are golden brown.
  • ** Pretzel bites cut into 1.5" pieces will take about 5 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.


Nutrition Facts
How to Make Soft Pretzels like Auntie Anne's
Amount Per Serving (3 oz)
Calories 257 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 53mg18%
Sodium 2294mg100%
Potassium 63mg2%
Carbohydrates 38g13%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 280IU6%
Calcium 20mg2%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating

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Sunday 30th of April 2023

Can I use part wheat flour for this?

The Typical Mom

Sunday 30th of April 2023

I haven't tried that so unsure of the outcome or if the baking time would change


Saturday 19th of November 2022

Made these yesterday and absolutely impressed myself and hubby. They were so much easier to make than I anticipated. They taste just like an awesome pretzel, and were amazing warm. This morning, they still taste great, but salt is all gone. I don't see any salt in the bag? Could you give me details on how to store? I was hoping to premake for a party. Thanks sooo much!

The Typical Mom

Saturday 19th of November 2022

Yeah it is best to store these without any salt on them in a bag where you can suck all the air out, I like freezer bags for this.


Sunday 13th of February 2022

Thank you for this recipe! I made it very successfully and they were so yummy! Any advice for making them pretzel bites or sticks? Would you decrease the baking time? Has anyone tried this?

The Typical Mom

Sunday 13th of February 2022

I have made air fryer pretzel bites, you can look that up in my search feature. In the oven yes it would be a lot less time, and not long so I'd just keep an eye on them.

Kama Bode

Thursday 24th of December 2020

For the first step what temperature does the water need to be before putting the yeast?

Carla H

Sunday 8th of March 2020

Do you think this recipe would work if cut in half since it just 2 of us?

The Typical Mom

Sunday 8th of March 2020

Yes just half all the ingredients and that should be just fine

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