These easy soft buttery pretzels are the best homemade pretzels. They are easy to make and full of extra butter. No pretzel is compete without cheese sauce! It is served with spicy nacho cheese sauce. These pretzels are going to taste just like you got them from the mall, except so much better.
Easy Soft Buttery Pretzels
The first time making homemade easy soft buttery pretzels, I was SHOCKED at how amazing they were! Not only did they taste amazing, they were also super easy to make. Dare I say, way better than a pretzel from the mall.
The perfect pretzel should be golden brown in color, and have a distinct pretzel taste. The difference between a bread and a pretzel, is the pretzel is boiled in hot water and baking soda. It’s crazy easy!
These pretzels are loaded with flavor. I put extra melted butter into the batter and used brown sugar instead of regular white granulated sugar. The result, a soft and buttery pretzel. Probably the most buttery pretzel you have had!
Now, no pretzel is complete without cheese sauce. Whenever I go to the mall, I always have to get cheese sauce to dunk my pretzel into. The mall cheese sauce is always so processed.
This spicy nacho cheese sauce is made with extra sharp cheddar cheese and red pepper flakes. This cheese sauce is not like mall cheese sauce. It is full of flavor! If it is too spicy for you, you can leave out the pepper. You are still left with an amazing cheese sauce.
How To Make Pretzel Dough
To make this pretzel dough, I used a stand mixer with a dough hook. You can make this dough by hand, I will explain how to do it later.
One of the most important parts is to make sure the warm water and melted butter aren’t too hot. Hot liquid will cause the yeast to slow and the dough won’t rise at all. The water should be at 110F and the melted butter should rest for 5 minutes before adding to the dry ingredients.
First, mix the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in the mixing bowl. Start with only 4 cups of the flour. The extra 3/4 cup flour is for later when kneading the dough.
Then, add in the water and melted butter. Turn the mixer on low until a dough forms. Then, turn it up to medium for 5 minutes. The dough hook will pull the dough acting as kneading by hand, but much faster.
Halfway through the 5 minutes, add in the extra 3/4 cup if the dough is very sticky. I live in Colorado, and I had to add the extra flour. Depending on where you live, you might not need to. Turn the mixer on low until the flour incorporates, then turn it back to medium.
Once the dough is done, place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Let it rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size. It should get huge.
How To Make The Dough By Hand
If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can definitely make this dough by hand.
Add the water and butter into the dry ingredients and mix it together with your hands. (It gets messy!) Once the dough forms, stick it on a lightly floured surface.
Knead by hand for at least 10 minutes. It needs to be that long, so the gluten gets stretched. If the dough is too sticky, add that 3/4 cup of flour.
Once you are done kneading, follow the rest of the recipe.
Forming The Easy Soft Buttery Pretzels
When I first made soft pretzels, I had to google how to make the pretzel shape. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure it out! After looking it up, it was actually simplest thing! I took pictures to show you guys how to do it.
This recipe makes 12 decently sized pretzels. Use a kitchen scale and divide the dough evenly into 12 dough balls. When I did it, it turned out to be 2.9 oz per ball. It will vary by your location.
Next, take the dough ball and roll it into a long rope. It should be 22-24 inches long. This should be just like playing with play-doh back when you were a kid. Once it is into a long rope, turn it into a U shape. It should be a narrow U. Make sure it is even.
Next twist it up twice at the ends. The 2 twists is what gives it the traditional pretzel look. Then, take the twisted end and flip it towards the bottom. Next, press the ends into the base. This will help secure the pretzel together.
Once you do it, then you will also see how easy and simple it is to do!
Place the completed pretzels on a cookie sheet with silicone baking mats. You can also use parchment paper, but the mats are best.
Boiling The Pretzels
What gives the pretzels the distinct flavor is boiling them in hot water and baking soda. Boiling them makes them grow and expand a lot!
While you make the pretzels, start boiling the water in a big pot with the baking soda. Leave plenty of room at the top, because it will bubble a lot. When I did it, I had a huge tower of bubbles.
Place 2 pretzels in the water at a time, and boil them for 30 seconds. Then, take a slotted utensil and to scoop them out. Place them back on the cookie sheet.
Baking The Easy Soft Buttery Pretzels
Baking these pretzels should be at a high oven temperature of 450F. The high temperature is what gives the pretzels their golden brown color.
Then, bake for 11-14 minutes. Let them cool slightly before serving.
Spicy Nacho Cheese Sauce
This cheese sauce is AMAZING. It is a quality cheese sauce with ground red pepper and pepper flakes, so it has serious flavor. It pairs so well with the pretzels!
To make the cheese sauce, start by melting the butter in a sauce pan. Then, add in the flour and use a whisk and stir continuously for 1-2 minutes. It should be bubbly and thick.
Next, slowly pour in the milk. Slowly pour it in, so the flour mixture doesn’t clump up. Continue to whisk for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes, the sauce will thicken a lot.
Then, add in the shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese. Don’t use the pre-shredded cheese. It won’t melt as well as the cheese in the block. Melt the cheese before adding the seasonings.
I’m not usually a big fan of spicy food, but this cheese sauce has a good kick to it. You may want to add more or less pepper flakes depending on your taste preference.
If you don’t want a spicy sauce, don’t add any red pepper. You will still want to add salt and pepper to give it a little life.
Serve this cheese sauce hot with the pretzels.
Storing The Easy Soft Buttery Pretzels
Okay real talk. The pretzels are the best the day you make them. There are 12 pretzels though. To store them, wrap each pretzel individually with aluminum foil. They will only last about a day.
To reheat them, turn the oven to 425F. Place the pretzels still wrapped in foil on a cookie sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes. They should be hot, with a little crisp. I do not recommend heating them in the microwave.
To store the cheese sauce, place in an Tupperware and store in the fridge. To reheat the sauce, place in the microwave for 1 minute.
Other Recipes To Try
- Gooey cinnamon rolls
- Chocolate chip cinnamon rolls
- Honey buttermilk biscuits
- Chocolate glazed doughnuts
Easy Soft Buttery Pretzels
Soft Buttery Pretzels
- 1 1/4 TBSP Brown sugar packed light or dark
- 2 tsp Salt
- 2 1/4 tsp Instant yeast the whole packet
- 4- 4 3/4 cup All-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup Warm water heated to 110°F
- 1/4 cup Unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup Baking soda for boiling
- 6-8 cups Water for boiling
- Pretzel salt
- 1 Egg yolk
- 1 TBSP Water
Spicy Nacho Cheese Sauce
- 8 oz Sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1/4 cup Unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup All-purpose flour
- 2 cups Milk
- 4 dashes Ground red pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
Soft Buttery Pretzels
- In a microwave safe bowl, heat the butter in the microwave for 1 minute or until melted. Let it sit at room temperature for 5 minutes to cool down. Also, heat the water in the microwave for 40 seconds- 1 minute until 110°F. The water should be warm but not too hot.
- Using a stand mixer with a dough hook, combine flour, brown sugar, yeast, and salt together. Add in the water and melted butter. Mix on low until dough starts to combine.
- Then turn to medium and knead for 5 minutes. Halfway through, if the dough is very sticky add the extra 3/4 cup of flour. Mix on low at first and then turn back to medium. The dough will be slightly sticky. It will become less sticky when it rises.
- Place dough in a slightly greased large mixing bowl (spray with non-stick spray). Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 1 hour until doubled in size.
- Before rolling the dough, boil the hot water with the baking soda. Make sure there is plenty of room at the top of the pot because it bubbles a lot. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- When the dough is ready, divide dough evenly in 12 balls using a kitchen scale. For each ball of dough, roll it out into 22-24 inch rope. It should be even thickness through the entire rope of dough. Make it into a thin U shape. Then twist it twice at the top and fold it over into pretzel shapes. Press the ends firmly into the pretzel. See photos above in post. Place pretzels on the cookie sheet. 6 per cookie sheet.
- Place 2 pretzels at a time into the boiling water. Let it boil for 30 seconds. Take them out with a slotted spoon/spatula. Try to get as much water as you can off of the pretzel. Place the boiled pretzels back on cookie sheet. Continue until all pretzels are done.
- Mix together the egg yolk and water to create an egg wash. Use a pastry brush to brush each pretzel with egg wash. Top with pretzel salt. As much as you desire.
- Bake for 11-14 minutes. The pretzels are done when they are a deep golden color. Let it sit on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Spicy Nacho Cheese Sauce
- While the pretzels are baking, start the cheese sauce. Use a sauce pan and melt the butter on medium. Once melted, add the flour and whisk continuously for 1-2 minutes.
- Slowly add in the milk while whisking continuously. Cook the sauce for 5 minutes while continuing to whisk. It will thicken. Add in the shredded cheese. Mix until cheese is all melted. Then, add in seasoning. Serve the sauce warm.