How to Make Homemade Hot Pretzels and Cheese

National Pretzel Month is upon us and there’s just something irresistible about a soft, hot pretzel, fresh out of the oven. Throw in some cheese for dipping or some mustard or even a sweet sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar and you’re in for a real treat.

Whether you love the hot pretzels you can buy at the local mall or shopping center or if you’ve been lucky enough to enjoy true Philadelphia soft pretzels, these salty and satisfying snacks are well worth the trouble to make them in your own oven.

Hot pretzels and cheeseNo matter if you prefer the twist, the entire pretzel, or pretzel nuggets, use your imagination and your culinary skills to create wonderful pretzel snacks in your own kitchen. Consider these tips and this simple recipe for how you can make homemade hot pretzels right in your own kitchen.


A basic yeast dough or refrigerated pizza dough will suffice, but here are the ingredients for making hot pretzels from scratch.

  • 3 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package dry active yeast
  • 1-¼ cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1-½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or butter
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 4 cups hot water
  • Coarse salt, Kosher salt, or sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter, unsalted (optional )


  1. Add 1 teaspoon sugar to 1-¼ cups of warm water and dissolve yeast in this mixture. Wait 5 or 10 minutes until fluffy.
  2. Combine flour, ½ cup sugar, and salt. (Start with 3 cups of flour and gradually add more until dough is no longer sticky.)
  3. Create a well in the center and pour in the oil and water with yeast. Work into a ball of dough and continue adding a tablespoon of water at a time if too dry.
  4. Hot soft pretzel sticksKnead the dough for about 8 minutes or until smooth.
  5. Coat lightly with oil and wrap in plastic wrap.
  6. Allow to rise for about one hour, until doubled in size.
  7. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Dissolve the baking soda in hot water in a large bowl.
  9. Remove risen dough from plastic wrap and cut or break into a dozen or more pieces. Consider whether you would like to make full-sized pretzels or pretzel twists or pretzel nuggets. Make appropriately sized pieces of dough accordingly.
  10. Grease a cookie sheet for the pretzels.
  11. Shape your pretzel dough into nuggets or ropes. If you make ropes, you can shape them into a full pretzel shape or you can make smaller ones that are just the twist.
  12. After your pretzels or pretzel bites are ready to go, quickly dip them into the baking soda water and then move them onto the cookie sheet.
  13. Sprinkle with salt, if desired.
  14. Bake about 8 minutes or until brown.
  15. Brush with butter, if desired.
  16. Top with shredded cheddar cheese, Asiago, Mozzarella, or your favorite cheese. You may also wish to dip your pretzels in a cheesy cheddar or nacho cheese dip.

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  1. I'm definitely going to try this! Looks so good!