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The Best Homemade Pretzels

Small Batch Homemade Pretzels adapted from Alton Brown's recipe. These freeze well.
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 35 minutes
Servings 4
Author Cookie Madness


  • 308 grams all-purpose flour or Artisan bread flour 2 1/4 cups plus more if needed
  • 1 1/8 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter (or use 1 T. butter and 1 T. olive oil)
  • ¾ cup very warm water hottest out of the tap

Boiling Solution

  • 5 cups water
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 beaten egg mixed with a little water
  • Pretzel salt or Maldon sea salt


  • Weigh your flour and combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the melted butter (or butter and oil), then stir in the water to make a soft dough. You can use the paddle attachment or just stir with a heavy-duty scraper or spoon.
  • Attach dough hook and knead until dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. **Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in warm spot in the kitchen until doubled (45 minutes to an hour).
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil (I usually skip the oil). Set aside.
  • Bring the 5 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in a 3 1/2 quart saucepan.
  • Meanwhile, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface (this helps keep the ropes from breaking as easily) and divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.
  • Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg mixture and sprinkle with your choice of salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.


I used to clean out the mixing bowl and oil it a bit before adding back the dough to rise.  These days I just leave the kneaded dough in the bowl and cover it.