Philly Soft Pretzels


Philly Soft Pretzels are a beloved snack that originated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and have become a staple street food across the United States. These soft, chewy pretzels boast a distinctive flavor and texture, with a crispy exterior and tender interior. Whether enjoyed on-the-go or paired with mustard for dipping, Philly Soft Pretzels offer a delightful combination of salty and savory flavors that appeal to snack lovers of all ages. In this guide, we’ll explore how to make these iconic pretzels at home, featuring key ingredients, preparation techniques, and tips for success.

Video instructions available below 👇


  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110°F to 115°F)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (for brushing)
  • Mustard or cheese sauce, for serving (optional)


  • Activate the Yeast:
  • In a small bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and active dry yeast. Stir gently and let it sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy.
  • Mix the Dough:
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Pour the activated yeast mixture into the bowl and stir until a shaggy dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5-7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  • Rise the Dough:
  • Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  • Shape the Pretzels:
  • Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Punch down the risen dough and divide it into 8 equal portions. Roll each portion into a long rope, about 20 inches in length.
  • Shape each rope into a pretzel by forming a U-shape, then crossing the ends over each other and pressing them down onto the bottom of the U.
  • Boil the Pretzels:
  • In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the baking soda (be cautious as it may bubble up).
  • Carefully place the pretzels, one or two at a time, into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to remove them and place them back on the baking sheet.
  • Bake the Pretzels:
  • Sprinkle the boiled pretzels with coarse sea salt, then bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Remove the pretzels from the oven and brush them with melted butter while still warm.
  • Serve and Enjoy:
  • Let the pretzels cool slightly before serving. Enjoy them warm, plain, or with mustard or cheese sauce for dipping.

Tips for Success

  • Ensure the water temperature for activating the yeast is within the specified range to ensure proper fermentation.
  • Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic to develop the gluten for a chewy texture.
  • Boil the pretzels in the baking soda water briefly to give them their characteristic flavor and brown color.
  • Space the pretzels apart on the baking sheet to allow for even baking.
  • Brush the pretzels with melted butter immediately after baking to enhance their flavor and keep them soft.


Philly Soft Pretzels are a delicious and nostalgic snack that brings the flavors of Philadelphia street food into your own kitchen. With their soft, chewy texture and salty exterior, these pretzels are sure to delight snack lovers of all ages. By following this guide and incorporating the suggested ingredients, instructions, and tips, you can create homemade Philly Soft Pretzels that rival those from your favorite bakery or food truck. So gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and enjoy the satisfaction of baking these iconic treats from scratch!

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