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Soft Pretzel Knots Recipe

5 stars (54 ratings)

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You’ve probably heard of pizza knots – those soft, buttery, and garlicky knots of dough – but have you heard of Pretzel Knots? These tasty soft pretzel knots are as fun to make as they are delicious to eat! Made with yeast dough and a few culinary tricks, this homemade pretzel knots recipe will be your new favorite for dipping, dunking, or just munching!

A large black bowl filled with salted pretzel knots.

Making Soft Pretzel Knots is Easy!

There are just 5 ingredients in this pretzel dough, and you can make them in a stand mixer or by hand. It is a labor of love, however, because the dough will need time to rise. You should probably allow most of an afternoon for this baking project.

These soft, chewy pretzel knots are irresistible! With a distinctive pretzel flavor and soft, fluffy interior, you’ll be hard-pressed not to gobble them all at once! The good news is that they freeze well, so make a double batch and tuck some away in the freezer for later. See my tips below on how to freeze pretzel knots.

Overhead shot of the ingredients for soft pretzel knots: flour sugar, salt, yeast in water.

What You’ll Need

  • Flour – All-purpose flour works well in this recipe.
  • Kosher Salt – I use same salt in the dough that I use to sprinkle on the top. If you want to use table salt, reduce it to about 1 1/4 teaspoons.
  • Granulated sugar – Sugar feeds the yeast, allowing the dough to rise.
  • Yeast – This recipe is created with instant yeast. To substitute active yeast , you will need to proofed it first.
  • Warm water – The water should be slightly warmer than room temperature, but not hot.
  • Baking soda – The pretzels get a bath in baking soda and water to help create the distinctive flavor and texture of the pretzel knots.
  • Egg white – To get glossy pretzel rolls, we’ll give them an egg white wash.
  • Kosher or sea salt – Love those salty bits on a pretzel? We’ll get the same flavor and crunch by sprinkling the pretzel knots with flaked salt. This is optional.

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How To Make This Soft Pretzel Knots Recipe

Like any recipe with yeast, making pretzel knots is not a quick process, but it’s not all hands on time. Allow yourself some time when making it, but know things will move along quickly once the dough has risen and is ready for the next step.

  • Measure the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the warm water into the middle of the mixture, and using the dough hook attachment, mix at low speed to incorporate. The dough will be shaggy. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, either with the dough hook or by hand. The dough should be smooth and elastic.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a bowl that’s been lightly coated in oil. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and put it in a warm location to rise until the dough has doubled in size. This could take up to 2 hours.
  • Punch down the dough and divide it into 18 equal parts.
  • Shape each smaller section into a ball, and on a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into an 8-inch long rope.  Tie the rope into a simple knot by looping it over itself and tucking in the end.
  • Line them up on your counter – with a bit of space between them – and cover them with a dry kitchen towel so they can rise a second time. You want them to double in size again – about 30 minutes.
  • Butter or grease a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 425-degrees F. Alternatively, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Bring water and baking soda to a boil. Add the pretzel knots to the boiling water using a large slotted spoon or spider strainer. Boil gently for 30-45 seconds, then flip them over. Place them on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Whip the egg white until foamy. Brush egg wash over the tops of the pretzel knots and sprinkle them with coarse salt.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes or until dark golden brown.
  • Season (optional) brush baked knots with melted butter.

Homemade Pretzel Knot Video Instructions

How To Tie A Pretzel Knot

This is the fun part, and the kids can help!

Once the dough has risen and you’ve divided the dough into 18 equal-size portions, roll each into a ball. 

Working one at a time, roll the ball into a rope about 8-inches long. Then, tie it in a knot! Just a simple one-loop knot is all you need. 

Repeat until they’re all tied.

How Do Pretzels Get their Pretzel Flavor?

Pretzels, pretzel rolls, pretzel buns, soft pretzel knots – they all share a distinct flavor and texture that sets them apart from other baked goods.

They get their unique flavor from the combination of yeast dough and a baking soda bath which triggers a Maillard reaction. They are then baked to ensure that the middles are cooked through. 

This is how they get the dark brown malty flavor outside while staying light and fluffy inside.

Tips for Success

  • Space. Make sure you have enough space to work. Once you start rolling the dough balls and forming the knots, you’ll need plenty of room to work.
  • Flour is your friend! Lightly sprinkle your work surface with flour, and keep your hands floured, too, to keep the dough from sticking.
  • Set up a station. Once the knots have risen the second time, set up a space to boil the knots then transfer them to a baking sheet. You don’t want to be walking all over the kitchen with wet, dripping knots, so creating a mise en place station will make it much easier.
An overhead shot of 18 baked pretzel knots on a dark baking sheet.

Serving Suggestions

Eating the freshly baked pretzel knots is the best part! I have a hard time keeping out of them when they’re just out of the oven, but if you can resist the temptation they taste even better when paired with your favorite dipping sauce. Here are a few of my favorite suggestions for dunking your pretzel knots.

  • Mustard or Honey Mustard – A deliciously traditional combination.
  • Nacho Cheese Sauce – A classic, melted cheese and pretzels are always a win.
  • Bacon Beer Cheese – An elevated take on beer cheese and an excellent match for these knots.
  • Garlic Herb Dip – Similar to ranch, it is so good with freshly baked pretzel knots!
  • Spicy Sweet Sriracha Sauce – A tasty balance of sweet and spicy, this sauce goes with everything and really shines with pretzel knots. 
  • Garlic Butter – A simple combination, but it tastes even better when you add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
  • Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce – If sweet is your goal, brush your warm from the oven knots with melted butter, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar then dip them in this sweet caramel-like sauce.
An angle shot of baked pretzel knots fresh from the oven.

How To Store Pretzel Knots

Homemade soft pretzel knots can be stored like most other bread products. Put them in an airtight container and store them at room temperature for 3 – 5 days. If you typically refrigerate your bread, these knots will do just fine in the fridge too.

For longer storage, these pretzel knots freeze nicely. Once fully cooled, place them in a freezer-safe container and freeze them for up to 3 months. Thaw the knots at room temperature.

To rewarm these pretzel knot, place them in a 350º oven for 5 – 7 minutes.

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A large black bowl filled with salted pretzel knots.

Soft Pretzel Knots

Soft pretzel knots have a crackly brown exterior, soft chewy center, and a uniquely pretzel flavor. Serve with your favorite dip for a tasty homemade treat. 
5 stars (54 ratings)
prep: 1 hour
cook: 9 minutes
Rising Time: 2 hours
total: 3 hours 9 minutes
servings: 18 pretzel knots

Ingredients

Soft Pretzel Ingredients

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

Baking Soda Bath Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons baking soda

Egg Wash Ingredients

  • 1 egg white
  • kosher or sea salt (optional)

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, measure out flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Stir to combine, then add the warm water in the center of the flour. Gently stir to incorporate. The dough will be shaggy and loose. Allow to rest 5 – 10 minutes.
  • If mixing by hand: turn rested dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 10 minutes. If using a stand mixer: attach dough hook and knead on lowest setting for 10 minutes.
  • Shape dough into a ball. Place into an oiled bowl turn to coat the dough, then cover with a damp kitchen towel and place in a warm location to rise 1 – 2 hours or until dough has doubled in size.
  • Punch down dough and divide into 18 equal parts. Shape each smaller section into a ball, then roll it out into an 8" log. Tie the log into a simple knot, by looping it over itself and tucking in the end.
  • Line up tied knots with space between them and cover with a dry kitchen towel to rise a second time, until doubled in size, approximately 30 minutes.
  • Butter or grease a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 425º.
  • In a wide pot, bring water and baking soda to a boil. Using a slotted spoon or spider strainer, add the pretzel knots to the baking soda bath. Boil for 30 – 45 seconds then flip them over to boil the other side. Remove knots from the baking soda bath and place on the baking sheet.
  • Separate your egg and whip the egg white until foamy. Brush over the tops of the pretzels and sprinkle immediately with salt, if using. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes in a 425º oven until dark golden brown.
  • Enjoy hot from the oven with your favorite dip.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1Calories: 105kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 3gSodium: 1136mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is for general information purposes only. For the most accurate information, calculate using your select brands and exact measurements.

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About Renee N Gardner

I'm the recipe developer, food photographer, and mastermind behind Renee Nicole's Kitchen, where I help create kitchen confidence to inspire home cooks to become home chefs. No fancy fads here, just high-quality, homemade recipes featuring seasonal ingredients.

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6 Comments on “Soft Pretzel Knots Recipe”

  1. I made these last night and they were the best! Super chewy and shiny. I added garlic and made 24 smaller pretzels. The dough was easy to work with. Keeper recipe!

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    Only thing I would change it to have doubled it so I could have saved some. First time making and turned out perfect!

    Reply
  3. We just made these as is and they are delicious! The dough was easy to work with and I didn’t even need extra flour to roll it out.

    Plus they’re super fluffy inside. We will be making for sure again.

    Reply

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