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4.91 from 11 votes
Homemade German Pretzels
Prep Time
5 hrs 20 mins
Cook Time
24 mins
Total Time
5 hrs 44 mins

Served Fresh and warm from the oven with a soft flavorful inside and a slightly crisp bite, these Homemade German Pretzels are perfect for when you want something a little more than just chips and dip!

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade german pretzels, authentic german pretzels, Oktoberfest food, soft pretzel recipe
Servings: 12
Calories: 163 kcal
Author: Michele Hall
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 oz butter
  • 1/4 oz active dry yeast
  • 1 tbs molasses
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1.5 Tbs salt
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • Pretzel salt/ or flaked salt
  1. Place water in large mixing bowl.
  2. Add molasses to water and mix well.
  3. Add yeast to water, stir a little.
  4. Let yeast bloom for 5-10 minutes. (It will start to activate and look like its bubbly)
  5. Add 1 cup rye flour, 2 1/2 cups AP flour, and salt to bowl with yeast mixture.
  6. Mix well.
  7. Turn dough onto floured parchment papered surface. (You don't have to use parchment paper I just find it makes it easier to clean up afterwards.)
  8. Begin to knead dough adding up to the rest of 1 cup flour remaining.
  9. Push dough with the palms of your hand, then fold back over the top.
  10. Kneed for about 12-15 minutes.
  11. The texture of dough when finished is slightly shiny, but not sticky at all. It stretches easily without ripping apart and is soft and supple.
  12. Once your done kneading roll into a ball and set on parchment paper.
  13. Brush all sides of a large mixing bowl with the butter.

  14. Then place dough ball in the mixing bowl and cover with a towel.
  15. Place bowl in warm area. see note**
  16. Let dough rise about 1 1/2 hours until ball has doubled in size.
  17. Once dough has doubled in size, remove from bowl and cut into 12 pieces for large pretzels or 20 for smaller pretzels.
  18. Roll each piece into long strands, about 16 inches long.
  19. Twist into pretzel shape and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  20. Allow to rise for another 15-20 minutes.
  21. The recipe can be made ahead to this point and freeze them for later use if you'd like. (see note**)
  22. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  23. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  24. A little bit at a time to avoid the water overflowing add the baking soda.
  25. -4 at time, add pretzels to water for 30 secs on each side.
  26. Remove from water and place on baking sheet.

  27. Sprinkle pretzel salt onto pretzels.
  28. Complete 30 sec/side boil of all pretzels and place in 450 degree oven for 15-20 minutes for the large size or 10-15 for the small size.
  29. Best if served while still warm.
  30. Goes well with mustard ;)
Recipe Notes

If you are making these on a cool day, go ahead and turn your oven on to 300 while you are mixing and kneading the dough. Then once the dough is ready to rise turn the oven off. You can set the bowl on top of the oven and the warmth with help with the rising.

I usually double this batch and freeze half. To avoid having them stick together, flash freeze them. To flash freeze them, place on a baking sheet and place in freezer for 15-20 minutes. Then slide them into a zip lock bag. This way they won't stick together.

When you are ready to make them, remove them from the freezer and allow them to come to room temperature before starting back where you boil them for the 30 sec/side. They turn out just fine as long as they are allowed to completely defrost.