German Pretzel Recipe

Make your own pretzels could seem daunting , but after trying this recipe you will see that it is easier that it looks.

  • Author: Beatriz Garcia
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 15 Pretzels 1x
  • Cuisine: German


Units Scale

For The Pretzels

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 packets active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter

For The Pretzel Bath

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 8 cups water


 Dissolve The Yeast

In a small bowl, add the warm water and sprinkle the top with the dry active yeast. Let this sit for two minutes and then stir to dissolve the yeast. Set aside.

 Combine Ingredients

In a stand mixer bowl or another large bowl, add the flour and whisk it together with the salt. Set the bowl on the mixer stand.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the dissolved yeast and water. Add the sugar to the water.

Make The Dough

Using the dough hook attachment on your stand mixer, begin mixing the dough.  The dough will be shaggy when it starts to come together, but it should form a ball. This will take about 6 minutes total. If your dough does not come together within 6 minutes, add more water about a tablespoon at a time until it forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Alternatively, if the dough is too wet, add flour a teaspoon at a time until it comes together and forms a ball.

Let The Dough Rest

Transfer the dough ball to a large bowl that has been coated in olive oil. Let it rest in a warm area of your kitchen for 1 hour. It should double in size.

Divide The Dough

Once the dough has risen, form it into a ball or log and cut it into 12 equal pieces

Roll The Dough

Take one section of the dough and using the palms of your hands, begin to roll it into a rope. Draw your hands outward as you roll and the rope will begin to stretch. You want the rope to be at least 20 inches long, with tapered ends. I know my cutting board is 18 inches wide, so I used that as my guide, but you could also cut a piece of masking tape to 20 inches as a ruler on your countertop.

 Shape The Pretzels

Take the rope and make a U shape with the ends turning away from you. Take the ends and draw them toward you, twist them twice, and then connect the ends to the bottom of the U, creating a pretzel shape. Continue until all pretzels are shaped.

 Rest The Pretzels

Place the shaped pretzels on a parchment-lined baking sheet (I used two) and cover them with a towel to rest. Rest for 20 minutes until they’ve puffed up.

While they are resting, it is a great time to preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C).

 Boil The Pretzels and Top With Salt

While the pretzels are puffing, boil 8 cups of water in a large pot. Once boiling, add the baking soda. Be careful as the baking soda will cause the water to bubble up rapidly. This will only last a few seconds.

Once the water has calmed back to a boil, add the first pretzel. Cook on one side for 15 seconds, then flip and cook the other side for an additional 15 seconds.

Remove the pretzel from the water bath and set it on parchment paper that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Top the pretzels with a sprinkle of large flaky salt.

 Bake The Boiled Pretzels

Once you have a full baking sheet of boiled pretzels, I put that batch into the oven and start the baking process to ensure everything turns out correctly. Bake them for 15 minutes at 400°F (204°C).

Peek to make sure they’re getting deep golden brown and once you’re confident that they are turning out correctly, go ahead and start on the next batch.

If the first batch is not browning, read below for tips. Continue with the water bath and baking process until all the pretzels have been baked.