Soft Pretzels: A Recipe for Bavarian Pretzels

by Brad Smith on May 3, 2008 · 18 comments

Nothing goes better with a cold homebrewed beer than a big soft pretzel fresh from the oven! Today we’re going to set homebrewing aside and look instead at a recipe for large, Bavarian beer pretzels . Below is a recipe I’ve used for years to create delicious pretzels at home:

Soft Pretzel Recipe – makes one dozen large pretzels:

  • 1 packet active dry bread yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter or margarine
  • 2 3/4 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 5 teaspoons baking soda (for glazing)
  • Coarse salt (if desired)


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup warm water and packet of yeast.
  • Mix in 1-1/2 cups of flower, the 2 tblsp margarine, 1/2 tsp salt and tblsp sugar. Beat the entire mixture for 3 minutes to mix well.
  • Slowly mix in the remaining 1-1/4 cups of flour, and knead dough until all of the flour is mixed in and dough loses its stickiness.
  • Set aside in bowl, and let it rise until dough reaches approximately double its original size.
  • Divide dough into twelve approximately equal pieces. Using your palms, roll each piece into 18″ lengths about pencil thickness. Loop and twist the lengths into pretzel shapes and place on a greased baking sheet. Allow pretzels to rise again until they approximately double in girth.
  • Preheat oven to 475 degrees, and ready a boiling solution of 4 cups of water, and the 5 tsp of baking soda in a shallow non-aluminum (note – aluminum may react with baking soda).
  • With a plastic spatula, carefully lift each pretzel from the sheet and lower it into the boiling baking soda solution for 15-20 seconds. This will glaze the pretzels once you bake them.
  • Sprinkle the pretzels with coarse salt (if desired, they’re great without salt as well), and bake approximately 7-10 minutes until browned. Serve warm, topped with mustard or cheese, and a pint of your favorite beer.

There is nothing more wonderful than a fresh hot pretzel with a nice cold homebrew! Thanks again for joining us on the BeerSmith Home Brewing Blog. Have a great day and happy brewing.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Brad Smith May 3, 2008 at 8:36 pm

I forgot to mention that I usually make a double batch of these – it takes a while to roll them all out but they are great. If you pop them in the microwave for about 20 seconds later and put a little mustard on the pretzel you will love it!

wizardofza May 8, 2008 at 8:20 am

Made these over the weekend and they were great!

The wife and I loved them with a couple pints of Hefe I got rolling on tap!

Thanks for the recipe!

Brad Smith May 8, 2008 at 6:14 pm

Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed these.

Robin July 29, 2008 at 12:57 pm

I’ll chime in… This recipe is EXCELLENT! I refuse to make something from a recipe unless I know what it’s supposed to look like when it’s done. Your picture looked delicious, so… last night my 8 yr old and I made these and they turned out perfect! Thanks.

marcelteaching January 5, 2009 at 7:16 pm

We are from Germany originally and have been hunting for this recipe for a LONG TIME. These are fantastic. I usually salt the bottom of the tray to have that ‘all round’ salt taste.

Also when they are done, remove them from the tray immediately and prevent them from sweating – allow all round cooling to occour.

Jeff S September 15, 2011 at 12:24 am

Do you think you could forget the sugar and use 1/2 cup warm water and 1/2 cup wort? Maybe a little extra malt flavor?

Brad Smith September 15, 2011 at 9:22 am

It might work – I’ve never tried wort but it could be interesting!


Zay February 5, 2012 at 1:03 pm

How long does it usually take for the dough to double in size?

Brad Smith February 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm

It usually takes 45 minutes to an hour for the dough to rise.

Dan R November 4, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Not only great and easy pretzels, a little garlic and butter and you have great bread sticks!

Patrick B December 27, 2013 at 9:29 am

Can’t wait to try these. Is all-purpose flour a suitable substitution for bread flour?

Brad Smith January 13, 2014 at 11:29 pm

Yes – regular flour will work just fine.

Mike April 15, 2014 at 3:57 pm

I think that this might be a great use of spent grain flour 😀 I would think that most of the readers of this blog would have easy access to spent grain.

BT October 4, 2016 at 10:13 pm

Making a double batch of these for GABF!

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