Homemade Soft Pretzel Recipe (Auntie Anne’s Copycat)

02.17.2019

Perfect Pretzels! This Auntie Anne’s Pretzels Copycat Recipe is a must try recipe! You get a chewy yet fluffy, deliciously tender, beautifully golden brown pretzel that will have you savoring every last flavorful, salty little bite.

Overhead image of seven soft pretzels on a dark baking sheet.

Auntie Anne’s Copycat Soft Pretzel Recipe

Mall pretzels that you can now enjoy in the comfort of your home for a fraction of the price with countless dipping sauce option! They are the perfect party food or snack to impress guests with and they really are easier to make than you’d think.

It’s a similar process to making a bread or roll dough but rather you shape it into a pretzel versus a loaf or roll. The pretzel shaping is actually fun once you get the hang of it.

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These are one of those crave-worthy foods that may take a bit of time and some patience but the end result is so worth it. It’s a great recipe for a weekend “learn how to” baking project then from there it may become a monthly tradition!

Photography credit: Jenn Davis from Two Cups Flour.

Image showing how to make soft pretzels. Shaping dough into pretzel shapes and they're placed on a parchment paper lined baking sheet to bake.

What Ingredients are Needed for Pretzel Dough?

  • Milk (I like to use 2% here)
  • Active dry yeast
  • Brown sugar
  • Butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Fine salt and coarse salt
  • Baking soda

Why is There So Much Baking Soda?

The seemingly excessive amount of baking soda here actually isn’t used as rising agent, rather it gives the pretzels a crisp, nicely browned exterior.

Two pretzels on parchment paper lined baking sheet showing what they should look like after baking with a golden brown color.

How do You Make Baked Soft Pretzels?

  • Warm milk and stir in yeast, let rest pour into stand mixer. Mix in brown sugar, butter, 1 cup flour, fine salt.
  • Add remaining flour and knead using hook attachment on stand mixer. Cover and let rise until doubled.
  • Preheat oven and prepare baking sheets.
  • Punch dough down and divide into 12 pieces. Cover.
  • Working with one piece at a time roll into a thin rope about 32 – 36 inches then form into a pretzel shape.
  • In a shallow bowl whisk together baking soda and water then immerse pretzel into water mixture then transfer to prepared baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle with coarse salt to taste and repeat process with remaining dough.
  • Bake in oven until golden brown then brush with melted butter.

Image of a pile of soft pretzels.

Can I Make Them into Pretzel Bites?

Yes! If you’d rather make them bite size follow the same prep method but rather roll into ropes then cut into 1 -inch pieces instead of shaping into pretzels.

What Sauce Should I Use for Pretzel Dip?

Pretzels on cooling rack.

Enjoy them Warm for Best Results!

How ever you dunk them I recommend you eat them warm, they just aren’t the same cold. Can’t you just see that moment now, where you pull your own batch from the oven and tear off piece by piece and dip it into a rich sauce and you savor every last crumb of it? Heaven!

How do You Reheat Pretzels?

  • Microwave: The quickest method is to reheat on a plate in a microwave for 10 – 15 seconds.
  • Oven or Toaster Oven: preheat to 400 degrees. Wrap pretzel in foil and heat until warmed through, about 3 minutes.

Dipping pretzel into mustard dipping sauce.

Other Delicious Pretzel Recipes to Try:

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Homemade Soft Pretzel Recipe (Auntie Anne's Copycat)

4.88 from 8 votes
This Auntie Anne's Pretzels copycat recipe is one you are going to want to try. You get a chewy yet fluffy, perfectly tender, beautifully golden brown pretzel that will have you savoring every last flavorful, salty little bite.
Servings: 12 Servings
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (470ml) milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast (2 packets)
  • 6 Tbsp (75g) packed light-brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp (56g) butter, at room temperature
  • 4 1/2 cups (635g) all-purpose flour, plus an up to an additional 1/2 cup as needed
  • 2 tsp fine salt
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 3 cups (710ml) warm water
  • coarse salt , to taste
  • 6 Tbsp (56g) butter , melted
  • Dipping sauce for serving , optional*

Instructions

  1. Warm milk in a microwave safe bowl in microwave (or alternately over stove top in a small saucepan) until temperature of milk reaches 110 degrees, about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes on HIGH power.
  2. Pour milk along with yeast into the bowl of an electric stand mixer and whisk together until yeast has dissolved, let rest 5 minutes. Add brown sugar, 4 tbsp softened butter, 1 cup flour and 2 tsp fine sea salt to milk mixture and using the whisk attachment, stir until blended.
  3. Switch attachment to a dough hook, add remaining 3 1/2 cups flour and kneaded mixture on medium low speed until elastic.
  4. Mix in up to an additional 1/2 cup flour, as needed, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper (alternately you could grease them). Punch dough down several times to release any air pockets.
  6. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces* and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
  7. Roll each piece out into a long, thin rope about 32 - 36 inches long**. Form dough rope into a pretzel shape.

  8. In a shallow bowl, whisk together baking soda and warm water then fully immerse pretzel into water mixture, lift and allow excess water to drip off***.

  9. Place on prepared baking sheet, reshape as needed and sprinkle to taste with coarse salt. Repeat this process with remaining dough.
  10. Bake pretzels in preheated oven 7 - 11 minutes until golden brown (note that you will likely only be able to cook 6 at a time among the two baking sheets) Remove from oven and brush top and bottom of pretzels with melted butter.
  11. Serve warm with optional dipping sauce. Reheat in microwave or in a warm oven once they've cooled, if desired.

Recipe Notes

  • *The easiest way to divide into 12 pieces is to divide the dough in half, then divide the halves into halves then those and into thirds.
  • ** I found working on a non-floured to very very lightly floured surface worked best, I began with a lightly floured surface and realized it was much harder to get more stretch, plus it was much faster to roll them out when working on a less-no flour surface.
  • ***I ended up shaping most of them into the pretzel shape once placing on the cookie sheet rather then doing it twice, I would just fold the rope into halves several times then immerse in water mixture then shape them on cookie sheet.
  • Recipe source: adapted from Food Network 
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Soft Pretzel Recipe (Auntie Anne's Copycat)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 302 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 15%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 28mg 9%
Sodium 1409mg 59%
Potassium 127mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 44g 15%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 7g
Protein 6g 12%
Vitamin A 6.7%
Vitamin C 0.1%
Calcium 6.4%
Iron 12.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Snack
Cuisine: German
Keyword: Pretzel
Calories: 302 kcal
Author: Jaclyn
Recipe originally shared Aug. 2012. Photos updated Feb. 2019.

190 comments

  • Roxanna Lapuma: I’m making the recipe right now. I question the six tablespoons of sugar so I only used 4 tablespoons. I’ll let you guys know how they turn out :-) I also wonder why you use milk instead of water? February 15, 2019 at 4:11pm Reply

  • Mike H: Is that accurate 2 packs of yeast? I’ve never heard of using 2. Does it make difference? December 26, 2018 at 3:00am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes it is two packets. And if you look at the amount of flour 2 pkgs isn’t too much :). January 7, 2019 at 11:16pm Reply

  • Ninjacatblue: Just found this recipe and would love to try it, but am I supossed to use salted or un salted butter? Thank you! November 17, 2018 at 8:57am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Unsalted is preferred. November 17, 2018 at 11:56am Reply

  • Liz: I don’t have a dough hook, is this still doable without one? November 8, 2018 at 6:54am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes, you could knead the mixture by hand. November 9, 2018 at 2:24pm Reply

  • Rashida: Is there any way to reduce the sodium without sacrificing the taste? September 16, 2018 at 12:38am Reply

    • Jaclyn: You could probably get away with halving the salt. October 6, 2018 at 1:14am Reply

  • Donna: I am going to try these tonight but I want to know if the recipe would be the same for “glazin’ raisin”. Would I just add raisins to the dough or is there another ingredient such as cinnamon or other spice that I would need to add? September 10, 2018 at 8:42am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry I haven’t had that one so I can’t say for sure. It sounds like a pretzel that’s not coated in salt and like you say add raisins, then Id brush with butter after baking and dip in cinnamon sugar. September 12, 2018 at 11:31pm Reply

  • Dawn: I do this in my bread machine and half the recipe as it will overflow. Put liquids in first, then dry ingredients. Last put bread machine yeast and let the machine do all the kneading. Then put on flour surface and make sticks or pretzel shapes. Recommended that you dip dough in baking soda and water before putting on cookie sheet. It really makes them softer and rise more. Then I put on cookie sheet spread melted butter and kosher salt on top. August 31, 2018 at 5:57am Reply

  • Shirley Kolodziejski: can you freeze leftover dough ? August 30, 2018 at 8:00am Reply

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