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Soft Giant Pretzels


  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water (70° to 80°)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • Coarse salt


  • 1. In bread machine pan, place the first 4 ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough setting (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons water or flour if needed).
  • 2. When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 8 balls. Roll each into a 20-in. rope; form into pretzel shape.
  • 3. Preheat oven to 425°. In a large saucepan, bring water and baking soda to a boil. Drop pretzels into boiling water, 2 at a time; boil for 10-15 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.
  • 4. Place pretzels on greased baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Spritz or lightly brush with water. Sprinkle with salt.

Nutrition Facts

1 pretzel: 193 calories, 1g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 380mg sodium, 41g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.


Average Rating: 4.875
  • Ariadna
    Mar 3, 2020
    Really good, but hubby likes them even softer.
  • redcow
    Feb 6, 2020
    Just made these for the third time today. I took some over to the neighbors for them to enjoy. I followed some of the hints from DoubleStuff. Love these pretzels and will make again.
  • Karen
    Aug 21, 2019
    With the bread machine so easy. Left in soda water long than 2 min on accident but got a bigger fluffier pretty pretzel. Can’t make them fast enough they are a hit.
  • Uwe
    Feb 18, 2019
    Traditionally this is done with food grade lye. You make a 3% lye solution and dip the pretzels into that. Wear gloves and eye protection for this as lye is quite caustic, which I guess is why most pretzel recipes in the US call for baking soda. If you wonder, no, the lye does not stay on the pretzel, it falls apart and just leaves salt. Pretzels belong to a group of baked items called "Laugengebäck" which literally translates to lye-pastries. You need to buy pretzel salt which is hard to find in the US. Pretzel Salt is not large crystals, it's small crystals compressed together to form the large looking crystals. The difference is that they accumulate less moisture from the pretzel thus avoiding wet salt crystals on top. If you eat them right away either large looking salt is fine (I've uses coarse sea salt before I found a supplier for real pretzel salt). If you find a ready to use pizza dough that doesn't have oil in it (or not a lot), you can use that for convenience.
  • DoubleStuff
    Dec 31, 2017

    For the previous reviewer, the 1/2 cup of baking soda is correct. The baking soda is NOT added to the dough, it is added to the water in which you briefly boil the pretzels. In Germany, food grade lye is sometimes used for this process. (Ensure you use a large enough, such as a dutch over, as the water/baking soda mix will fizz & bubble up.)

    I made this recipe this morning for our New Years Eve appetizer. My husband and I already tried one, and they are delicious with a Bavarian mustard.

    I do not have a bread machine, but I did prepare the dough with my stand mixer and a dough hook. I divided the dough and one by one I rolled the rope and formed all the pretzels before I began boiling the pretzels. (I would suggest not making the pretzels too large by rolling the rope too thin. It's harder to handle retrieving it from the boiling soda/water mix. I would also suggest placing the formed pretzel on a lightly floured surface for ease of removal when you're ready to place in the soda/water bath.)

    What I found worked well was to boil one at a time, and I used a slotted spatula rather than a spoon. I lowered the pretzel into the baking soda/water bath, and kept my spatula immediately below the pretzel for ease of retrieving. When I pulled one pretzel out and placed on paper towel, I immediately salted the dough at this point rather than after baking. Once I had boiled and salted all the pretzels, into the oven they went. I checked them after 8 minutes, but ended up leaving in for 10 minutes, and placed them on a wire cooling rack.

    I'll definitely make these again. Now that I've got the first try under my belt, I think these will be easier to make the next time around.

  • Kathryn
    Feb 3, 2017

    I have a question. Is the 1/2 cup of baking soda correct? Other recipes for pretzels I've looked at only call for a few teaspoons of baking soda. Just wanted to find out what the extra baking soda does.

    I am going to give it five stars because I don't want to bring the rating down when I haven't made it yet, but didn't know where else to ask a question. Thanks for any help on this.

  • TMMiles
    Dec 20, 2016

    Wonderful recipe! My family loved them!

  • mikenmarg
    Nov 19, 2016

    They taste great, but "rolling" 20" ropes didn't work too well. Maybe my dough was too stiff. Essentially, I had to squeeze and hand stretch each portion to get anywhere close to 20" long. Still a good recipe though!

  • sandra_bakes_a_party
    Nov 14, 2016

    They were more soft than it looks on a photo but still nice. But they look nothing like on the photo. Doubt that I will be making them again.

  • ErnaEMG
    Nov 14, 2016

    Thank you, ediecz!

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