Authentic German Pretzel Recipe

With Oktoberfest currently going on, I thought I’d try my hand at German pretzels. Now, the *authentic* German pretzel recipe calls for a dip in a bath of lye. I’m not going to risk my health with a lye bath in order to enjoy pretzels.  The much safer alternative is a baking soda bath.

German pretzel recipe

Authentic German Pretzel Recipe- printable recipe here


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 packet active yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 2 quarts water for bath
  • coarse salt


  1. Add yeast to warm water.  Let it settle for about 5 minutes.  Then add the sugar and salt to the yeast and mix in.
  2. Add the yeast, sugar, and salt mixture to the flour. Mix together. I used the dough hook on my kitchenaid and mixed for about 5 minutes on speed #2.  Let dough rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Cut dough into about 5-6 equal parts. Roll out on a clean surface.  Don’t need to flour the surface, the dough shouldn’t stick.  Roll the dough in a line until it is about 1/2 inch in diameter, and approx. 16 inches in length.  Then, make a U shape, twist the ends at the top one time, and fold over.
  4. Place the baking sheet uncovered in the fridge for approx. 1 hour. This is key. This helps build a skin making it have that nice crust.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  6. Bring 2 quarts of water to boil. SLOWLY add in baking soda into the boiling water little bits at a time. *caution* this creates quite a bubbly reaction for a few seconds so stand back and don’t get burned!  It will eventually simmer down after a few seconds.  Then add more.  You have been warned!
  7. Add the pretzels one at a time into the soda bath.  Let it sit for about 10-20 seconds and then remove. Place on baking sheet.
  8. Sprinkle with coarse salt.  Bake the pretzels for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.  Move to a cooling rack. Grab some honey mustard, nacho cheese, or a slice of cheese and enjoy!
  9. To enjoy the next day, refrigerate and place in the toaster oven. 

hint: I had only rolled out the dough to about 1 inch in diameter and 14-16 inches long and then folded.  As you can see in the pictures, they puffed up quite a bit.  I suggest making it even thinner, maybe about 1/2 inch.  However, they still tasted fantastic!

    German pretzel recipe

    cooling on the rack

Check out my other German pretzel recipes:

German pretzel bites

Cheesy Rosemary pretzel bites
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  1. October 2, 2014 / 12:27 am

    ohhh these German pretzels look so crispy yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  2. October 8, 2014 / 11:24 pm

    These look super yummy! Thanx for sharing at THT!