Follow/Be a Fan


Honeymoon Ravioli

Nutella Bread for Dessert or for Breakfast!


Learn to Make Fresh Pasta (with a video!)

Easy Italian Pulled Pork

I love to sew - come on over and see what I'm making!

Make Homemade Limoncello


Harvest Grape Bread

Tips for Homemade Marinara Sauce

Breakfast Fruit Walkaway is a family favorite

A Delicious Vegetarian Dish: Pasta alla Norma

Love knitting? Come read my knitting blog, Italian Dish Knits.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Eating Our Way Through the Amalfi Coast

Make Whipped Cream Firm

My Favorite Chocolate Cake Recipe

SUBSCRIBE for free and never miss a post:



or Use Key Words to Search this Site

Cacio e Pepe

Eggplant Lasagna

Lemon Cake from Capri

 Thanks, Mom!


Learn to Make Arancini


Learn How to Make Artisan Bread with no Kneading for Pennies


Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits Require No Baking

Make Pie Dough in 60 Seconds!

Make Your Own Vanilla Extract


Spicy Bucatini all'Amatriciana - a Roman Classic

My Mom's Pork Chops

Chocolate Panna Cotta


My Five Inexpensive Kitchen Essentials

Beet Ravioli with Goat Cheese

« Minestrone Soup with Farro | Main | Italian Pulled Pork »

Homemade Soft Pretzels


I had a neighbor many years ago who made these pretzels one day when our kids were in nursery school.  She made all the letters of the alphabet with them and the kids loved them.  They were so good and I couldn't believe you could make homemade pretzels like that. She gave me the recipe and I have been making them ever since. They're so easy and quick - you don't even have to let them rise.

In this recipe, you simply mix all the ingredients together and then form your shapes, place them on a baking sheet, brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with salt.  They bake up in 15 to 20 minutes without any boiling step. 

You can form them into any shapes you want.  They puff up a little as they bake. You can also make just plain ones with coarse salt or you can add just about anything you like - I've made "Pizza Pretzels" by adding chopped pepperoni and cheese right into the dough.  There's so many possibilities. Have fun with these!


Mary's Homemade Pretzels

for a printable recipe click here

makes 6-8 big pretzels


  • 1.5 cups warm water (but not hot)
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast (fast acting, Rapid Rise, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 cups AP flour
  • 1 egg, beaten with a little bit of water
  • coarse kosher salt for sprinkling


plain pretzels with just coarse salt on top

. . . or sprinkle a variety of seasonings and grated cheese on top


In a large bowl, add first four ingredients in the order listed.  Mix well until it forms a nice dough.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Take pieces of the dough and roll into shapes.  I like to do traditional pretzel twists, but you can also make pretzel rods or any shape you want, like letters.  

Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle liberally with salt.

Bake about 15 -20 minutes at 425 F degrees, until deep golden brown.  


Pizza Pretzels: Add 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese and 3 ounces of chopped pepperoni when mixing the dough, to make pizza pretzels.  Top with salt and any other seasoning you like - cracked black pepper, red chili pepper, oregano, etc.

Seasoned Pretzels:  Add 1 teaspoon each of black pepper, coarse sea salt, dry rosemary and 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder in a small bowl and mix well.  Sprinkle on pretzels after the egg wash.  Grate Parmesan Cheese on top and bake.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (15)

These look great! What would happen if I used regular yeast instead of the instant yeast?

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

These pretzels look great,and easy to make.I will definitely give them a try. Thanks for the many great recipes you list on this site.

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLee

Could I use a little oil or something else you might suggest instead of the egg wash for browning. I'd love to make these for my daughter, but she's vegan.

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJan

I want to make these for my Sunday school class of 2nd to 4th graders!

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

Just made these - couldn't be easier - came out great with a bit of Parmesan, salt and pepper. Used my mixer and dough was ready in 2 minutes.

January 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSharona

I usually use some vegan milk (rice, almond, soy) to substitute the egg wash. To substitute the egg in the dough you can use an egg substitute like soy flour or starch.

January 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLeni

They look really good but are they chewy like a pretzel? Or more like a bread?

January 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSherrie


These look great. But given that the recipe requires to add yeast, do we not need to let the dough rise prior to forming them into different shapes?

January 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLameloise

From The Italian Dish:

Leni: Thanks for the vegan tip!

Sherrie: They are a chewy pretzel.

Lameloise: Nope, you do not need to let the dough rise. That's part of the reason this recipe is so fast!

January 19, 2014 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

Hi, thanks for the recipe! I made this this afternoon and the whole family enjoyed making pretzels in a variety of shapes. I did have to add more flour, though. The dough was very sticky, and I added more flour until we could work with it just dusting our hands with some flour. I live in a very humid place, don't know if that makes a difference. We were very pleased with the result, and I am for sure keeping this recipe to make it again and again. Thanks again!

January 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFlavia

My daughter tried this and we really love it. We enjoyed designing the bread and it really taste good. Thanks for this. Looking forward to learn more of your tips.

February 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaria Luisa

Will try these in a heart shape along with the minestrone for Valentines Day!

February 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie Damascus

These look sooo good! I can't wait to try this recipe:)

February 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea O

I have made these twice already, I love how quickly the dough comes together. Mine was also very sticky, but I just added more flour. What I also did was boil these for 30 seconds in baking soda water and they turned that beautiful pretzel color and were awesome!! I figured I would do the boiling (like regular pretzels) since the dough comes together in 1 minute. Thanks for the recipe!!

February 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPamela

This is great - just what I've been looking for. Can you include metric measurements too?

Hope so. :-)

February 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTiddlywinks

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>