soft pretzels

Since my children were small it has been a tradition in our house to make pretzels for Halloween. Over the years, the recipe has morphed a bit, and of course they show up as a tailgate treat as well. Serve them with white jalapeño sauce for dipping, and you have a winner! And last year, I added two new treats using this dough — pretzel Halloween poppers and pretzel wrapped cocktail wieners. GO HAWKS!

Soft Pretzels

We've made these pretzels for Halloween since my kids were young - always a favorite treat for the season.

Course Snack


  • 2 packages yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup water 115°F
  • 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2/3 cup beer at room temp or slightly warmer (or cider)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 egg beaten with a pinch of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Kosher or coarse sea salt or cinnamon sugar


  1. Dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water, set aside to “proof.” Meanwhile, in food processor, process 2 tablespoons sugar, flour and 1 ½ tablespoons salt to combine. With machine running, add yeast mixture slowly. Then add beer, and oil. Process until ball forms, adding additional water if necessary. Check to see that mixture is soft but not too sticky, adjust with water or flour as necessary. Process 45 seconds to knead, making a very soft dough. Cover and let rise in a greased bowl, about ½ hour, until double. You will know the dough has doubled when you press a finger into it and it does not spring back.
  2. Divide dough in half, then divide each half into 6 pieces. With lightly floured hands, roll each piece in a 20-inch rope with tapered ends. Form into pretzel shape, pressing ends to stick the shape together.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large non-reactive pan, bring 6 cups water to a simmer, stir in baking soda and 2 tablespoons salt. Working with a few at a time, gently lower pretzels into simmering water; cook for 30 seconds, turning once. Remove pretzels to wire rack coated with non-stick spray.
  4. Brush pretzels with egg wash. Bake on ungreased baking sheet 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small skillet. When pretzels are done, dip top side in butter, flip back t rack and sprinkle with salt or cinnamon sugar. Serve warm!

Recipe Notes

Makes 12 pretzels.

Serve with mustard, or dip in white jalapeno sauce.

I used one of the one-twelfth pieces of dough to make pretzel wrapped cocktail wieners, and an additional one-twelfth piece to make Pretzel Halloweeño Poppers! Bake these in the same 400°F oven for about 10 minutes.

Here are a few in process photos to help get the shape you want. 





soft pretzels — 1 Comment

  1. Thanks, Carol, for the pretzels. I’m gonna try them as soon as the weather here gets below 80 (we had a Halloween parade down the street and had to use sunscreen!)…how come you never made these in Italy??? Would have gone well with the wine.

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