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Apr 25, 2022

Hot Buttered Soft Pretzels

If you have a craving for fresh pretzels, whip up a batch of these easy-to-make hot buttered soft pretzels. 

Hot Buttered Soft Pretzels on plates.

These hot buttered pretzels, brushed with melted butter right after baking, are irresistable. 

This recipe is super easy and fast, so if you have a craving for soft warm pretzels, you can whip these up in less than an hour and a half.... and you can enjoy them (almost) right from of the oven! 

Hot Buttered Soft Pretzels on a platter.

The pretzel dough starts out fairly slack and sticky after mixing, but after the first rise, it becomes pretty easy to handle. The first rise is only 30 minutes and there is no lengthy second rise, so you will pretty much have freshly baked pretzels in about 90 minutes. 

Ingredient List for these Pretzels:

Unbleached bread flour. My favorite brand is King Arthur. 

Instant Yeast. You can substitute active dry yeast if you prefer. 

Sugar. Just a teaspoon to give the yeast some extra oomph. 

Salt for the dough. I used kosher salt, but table salt will do too. If you do use kosher, be sure to use a scale to measure it because the granules are much larger. 

Warm water. I used 100 degree F water. Do not let the water temperature exceed 115 degrees or you might kill your yeast. 

Pretzel salt for topping. Pretzel salt is great because it holds it shape and does not melt while baking or after freezing and thawing. If you don't have pretzel salt, you can use coarse sea salt or kosher salt instead, although it will melt and disappear into the pretzels by the second day. Still, the pretzels will continue to be delicious. 

For the water bath: Boiling water and baking soda. 

Melted butter. For brushing generously over the hot pretzels as they emerge from the oven. This keeps the pretzels soft and adds so much buttery flavor. 

Hot Buttered Soft Pretzels on plates.

To make these pretzels, you will need a half sheet pan (rimmed baking sheet), heavy duty parchment paper, plus a nine inch square cake pan or a similar sized shallow glass casserole.

You'll also need a basting brush for brushing the freshly baked pretzels with melted butter. 

I mixed the dough for these pretzels with a stand mixer but you can also hand knead the dough. 

Hot Buttered Soft Pretzels steps for shaping.

Steps for Shaping these Pretzels:

Once the dough is ready, divide it into eight equal and shape them into logs. Let them rest for about 5 minutes, uncovered, and then roll four of them out into 28 to 30 inch ropes. 

To roll the ropes, very lightly dust your counter with flour and roll the log under your hands back and forth, moving your hands from the center to the edges several times until the rope is long enough. If the dough keeps snapping back, let it rest a bit before continuing. 

Following the photo above, cross the rope over itself as pictured in step 1. 

Next, twist the ends over themselves as in step 2 above. After that, fold the top round over the twist, or fold the twist over the round, as in step 3. 

Finally, place the shaped pretzels in the water bath bath (step 4) before placing them onto the parchment lined baking sheet. 

Hot Buttered Soft Pretzels on plates.

On the first day after baking, these pretzels are tasty, buttery, and tender, and with generous the coating of butter, a lot more like soft warm rolls than the extra chewy pretzels you might buy from a pretzel vendor. The interior is also super fluffy. 

These pretzels warm up wonderfully the next day in the toaster oven (I actually toasted them) and are a bit more chewy, more like the soft pretzels you might expect from a pretzel stand. We had no problem polishing these off very quickly. 

Hot Buttered Soft Pretzels crumb on plates.

Sweeter Soft Pretzel Variations: 

For a sweeter pretzel, sprinkle the shaped dough with Swedish Pearl Sugar instead of the pretzel salt before baking and then skip the butter coating. 

Another option would be to skip the pretzel salt, and then when the pretzels come out of the oven, brush them with the butter and toss them in cinnamon sugar. 

More Pretzel Recipes on Karen's Kitchen Stories:

Ballpark Pretzels

Sourdough Soft Pretzels

Everything Bagel Pretzel Knots

Pretzel Croissants

Stuffed Pretzel Bites

Pretzel Buns

Homemade Pretzel Bites

Pretzel Day logo.

Happy National Pretzel Day, hosted by Jolene's Recipe Journal. We are sharing recipes for pretzels or incorporating pretzels, America's favorite salty snack! 

Buttered Soft Pretzels on plates.

This post and recipe were fully updated April, 2022. First published December, 2013. Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

Hot Buttered Soft Pretzels

Hot Buttered Soft Pretzels
Yield: 8 Pretzels
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 45 MinCook time: 10 MinInactive time: 40 MinTotal time: 1 H & 35 M
If you have a fresh pretzel craving, whip up a batch of hese hot buttered soft pretzels.


  • 298 grams (2 1/2 cups) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 6 grams (1 teaspoons) salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 7 grams (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
  • (198 to 227 grams (7/8 to 1 cup) warm water
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • Pretzel salt for sprinkling
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. Place all of the dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and stir until fully combined. Knead with the dough hook for about 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, heat the oven to 475 degrees F and line a baking sheet with heavy duty parchment paper.
  4. Prepare the water bath by combining the boiling water and baking soda and stirring until the baking soda is dissolved. Allow to cool. Pour into a 9 inch square pan. Set aside.
  5. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and shape the pieces into logs. Let the logs rest for 5 minutes, uncovered.
  6. Roll each piece of the dough into a 28 to 30 inch rope and shape into a pretzel.
  7. Place four pretzels in the water bath for 2 minutes, basting the tops of the pretzels with the water. You can also flip the shaped pretzels a couple of times in the water bath.
  8. Place the pretzels on the baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with the salt.
  9. Repeat with the next four pretzels.
  10. Let the pretzels rest on the baking sheet, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  11. Bake the pretzels for 9 to 10 minutes, until they are golden brown.
  12. Brush immediately with the melted butter. Be sure to use up all of the butter. It will be absorbed into the pretzels.
  13. Serve warm.

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Would you like to comment?

  1. Yum! Your pretzels look so good. I need to make me some pretzels now.

  2. Beautiful! Your pretzels have great colour on them. They were a hit at my house also.

  3. Yum, I want pretzel salt too!

  4. Your pretzels look good. I used coarse salt too.

  5. I used to make pretzels and bagels in college - I need to make some soon!

  6. These definitely wouldn't last long around here! Love the cinnamon sugar variation too.

  7. These sound amazing. I haven't made soft pretzels in a while.....going on my list for the next few weeks!

  8. They turned out gorgeous Karen and the butter really brings it up a notch. I am drooling over your photos.

  9. Thanks Karen. I love pretzels and will give this version a try (and thanks for the links to the other blogs) . But, I'll have to lye dip them - I just can't get that pretzel flavor with the baking soda bath - even if I roast the baking soda to concentrate it.

    1. Let me know how it goes. It's been a while since I've used the lye I have.

  10. These pretzels look amazing. I just want to sink my teeth into one.

  11. Everything's better with butter! Great shaping tutorial!

  12. This looks really good I'm going to make some immediately


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