Soft Pretzels with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

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Indulge in Homemade Soft Pretzels with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce – a game-changing snack that outshines any mall pretzel. Crafted with love, these warm, golden pillows of dough are a breeze to whip up, requiring no mixer. Perfect for Super Bowl gatherings, this recipe yields 5 dozen, ensuring there’s plenty to go around!

Close-up of golden brown pretzel bites in a white paper-lined bowl, accompanied by a cup of honey mustard sauce on the side, on a light textured surface.

In this comprehensive recipe guide, I’ve outlined each step to simplify the process and demonstrate just how easy it is. The outcome? Mouthwatering pretzels boasting a gorgeous golden hue and that quintessential pretzel flavor you crave.

  • Begin by adding the yeast to 1 1/2 cups of warm water, allowing it to bloom. Roughly 5–10 minutes.
  • Next, stir in the sea salt, brown sugar, and melted brown butter, gently whisking until fully combined. (Please note, we use brown butter in this step for an added dimension of flavor).
Process photo for making Soft Pretzels, of yeast blooming in warm water, in a glass bowl. Situated against a white marble counter top.

Note: Discover the secret to enhancing flavor with Brown Butter – its nutty caramel essence adds an unparalleled depth of flavor to any dish! Unlock the technique here and explore other ways to elevate your culinary creations.

Process photo for making Soft Pretzels, flour being slowly mixed into water and yeast in a glass bowl. For making pretzel dough.
  • Begin adding the flour a scoop at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon after each addition. The dough will be very sticky at first, keep adding the flour a cup at a time until it is no longer sticky. Touch the dough with your finger and once it bounces back it’s ready to knead.

Adding the flour little by little gives you better control over the quality of the dough, and makes the mixing process easier. You can certainly use a mixer, but it’s not necessary a wooden spoon is our choice for this recipe. 

  • Turn out onto a lightly floured counter top or cutting board and knead for 3 minutes.  Shape into a ball and place in a lightly oiled (olive oil) mixing bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10-minutes. 

Kneading the dough develops the gluten and makes the pretzels light, airy, and chewy. Without the proper development of gluten they would be flat and tough.

Process photo for making Soft Pretzels, the pretzel dough has been cut into individual sections. Sitting on a white marble countertop, with the glimpse of a sharp chef's knife in the upper right-hand corner of the frame.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F /218°C) line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Add the reserved 9 cups of water and 1/2 cup of baking soda to a heavy-bottomed pot, turn on the heat and begin to bring to a boil. 

The Importance of Baking Soda in Boiling Pretzels

Baking soda plays a crucial role when boiling pretzels, contributing to their distinct texture and flavor. As pretzels are briefly boiled in a solution of water and baking soda before baking, the alkalinity of the baking soda raises the pH of the water. This alkaline environment promotes the Maillard reaction, a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that occur at higher pH levels. 

This reaction is responsible for the browning and development of complex flavors on the surface of the pretzels during baking, giving them their characteristic golden color and deliciously crispy crust. Additionally, the alkalinity of the baking soda solution affects the texture of the pretzels, helping to create a chewy interior while maintaining a crisp exterior. Overall, the use of baking soda in the boiling process is essential for achieving the iconic taste and texture of traditional pretzels.

Alkaline Water Gives Pretzels Their Distinct Color and Flavor!

When crafting pretzels, the goal isn’t to leaven the dough, but rather to enhance alkalinity on the exterior. Boiling the dough in alkaline water is key, as it imparts the pretzels with their signature color, texture, and flavor post-baking. The oven triggers the Maillard Reaction, facilitated by the presence of water and specific amino acids, further intensified in an alkaline setting.

  • Meanwhile, turn the dough out of the bowl back onto your work surface, stretch the dough out slightly into a rectangular shape.
Process photo for making Soft Pretzels, pretzel dough in a disk, sprinkled with flour, on a white marble countertop. Ready to be rolled out.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut into 6 portions.
Process photo for making Soft Pretzels, the pretzel dough has been cut into individual sections. Sitting on a white marble countertop, with the glimpse of a sharp chef's knife in the upper right-hand corner of the frame.
  • Roll each portion of dough into ropes approximately 20-inches (50.8 centimeters) in length.
Process photo for making Soft Pretzels, the pretzel dough that has been rolled out into longs strands for cutting into pretzel bites.

As the dough remains in a line, it almost resembles pizza bites when cut vertically. Slice the ropes into 1.5-inch pieces to form your pretzel bites.

Process photo for making Soft Pretzels, the pretzel dough that has been rolled out is cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Now that your water has come to a boil, begin dropping in pretzel bites 10-15 at a time and boil for 20-30 seconds. Don’t boil any longer as a metal taste can develop. 

This brief immersion in alkaline water is crucial for achieving that delightful pretzel flavor, as explained earlier.

Process photo for making Soft Pretzels, the pretzel dough bites are boiling in alkaline water (water with baking soda) showing the step before baking.
  • Remove the pretzels from the boiling water and transfer them to the lined baking sheet, ensuring they are spaced apart adequately. Use a slotted spoon or kitchen spider to make the process easier.

  • Beat the egg and brush it over the tops of the pretzel bites, then sprinkle with coarse ground Kosher sea salt.

Process photo for making Soft Pretzels, pretzel dough bites on parchment paper after boiling, brushed with an egg wash and sprinkled with coarse sea salt.

The beaten egg contributes to further enhancing the color, while the coarse Kosher salt adds depth of flavor.

Process photo for making Soft Pretzels, pretzel dough bites on parchment paper after boiling, brushed with an egg wash and sprinkled with coarse sea salt.
  • Place in the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown. 

Soft Pretzel Bites after baking in the oven, golden brown. Situated on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Close-up of golden brown pretzel bites in a white paper-lined bowl, accompanied by a cup of honey mustard sauce on the side, on a light textured surface.

If you love a great cheese sauce with your pretzels, then be sure to check out our Triple Cheese Beer Dip! This is the same pretzel recipe too, just roll and shape! 

Pretel being dipped in hot beer cheese
Hot Triple Cheese Beer Dip

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Close-up of golden brown pretzel bites in a white paper-lined bowl, accompanied by a cup of honey mustard sauce on the side, on a light textured surface.

How to Make Soft Pretzels

Close-up of golden brown pretzel bites in a white paper-lined bowl, accompanied by a cup of honey mustard sauce on the side, on a light textured surface.

Soft Pretzels with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Oh yes, Soft Pretzels with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce. The pretzel stores in the mall can't hold a candle to these warm pillowy bites! 
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 5 dozen
Author: Mean Green Chef

Ingredients

Pretzels

  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) warm water, plus 9 cups for boiling
  • 1 packet yeast, active dry
  • 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt or Kosher sea salt, finely ground
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar, light brown
  • 1 Tablespoon brown butter, or sub regular butter
  • 4 1/4 cups (530 grams) all-purpose flour, + extra for dusting counter
  • 1/2 cup (90 grams) baking soda, for boiling water
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Kosher sea salt, coarse for sprinkling

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup (110 grams) mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 Tablespoon lemon fresh lemon juice

Instructions

Pretzels

  • Add the yeast and 1 1/2 cups of warm water to a bowl, whisk and set aside for 5 minutes. Stir in the sea salt, brown sugar, and melted brown butter, whisk gently until combined. 
    Process photo for making Soft Pretzels, of yeast blooming in warm water, in a glass bowl. Situated against a white marble counter top.
  • Begin adding the flour a scoop at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon after each addition. The dough will be very sticky at first, keep adding the flour a cup at a time until it is no longer sticky. Touch the dough with your finger and once it bounces back it's ready to knead.
    Process photo for making Soft Pretzels, flour being slowly mixed into water and yeast in a glass bowl. For making pretzel dough.
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured counter top or cutting board and knead for 3 minutes.  Shape into a ball and place in a lightly oiled (olive oil) mixing bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for  10 minutes. 
    Process photo for making Soft Pretzels, pretzel dough in a disk, sprinkled with flour, on a white marble countertop. Ready to be rolled out.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F /218°C) line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Add the reserved 9 cups of water and 1/2 cup of baking soda to a heavy-bottomed pot, turn on the heat and begin to bring to a boil. 
  • Meanwhile, turn the dough out of the bowl back onto your work surface, and cut into 6 portions. 
    Process photo for making Soft Pretzels, the pretzel dough has been cut into individual sections. Sitting on a white marble countertop, with the glimpse of a sharp chef's knife in the upper right-hand corner of the frame.
  • Roll each of the dough balls into approximately 20-inch ropes.
    Process photo for making Soft Pretzels, the pretzel dough that has been rolled out into longs strands for cutting into pretzel bites.
  • Cut the ropes into 1.5-inch pieces to make your pretzel bites.
    Process photo for making Soft Pretzels, the pretzel dough that has been rolled out is cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Now that your water has come to a boil, begin dropping in pretzel bites 10-15 at a time and boil for 20-30 seconds. No longer as a metal taste can develop. 
    Pretzel Bites, boiling in alkaline water before baking.
  • Lift the bites out of the boiling water and place onto the prepared baking sheet, making sure they all have a little elbow room.
    Process photo for making Soft Pretzels, pretzel dough bites on parchment paper after boiling, brushed with an egg wash and sprinkled with coarse sea salt.
  • Now beat the egg and brush over the tops of the pretzel bites, sprinkle with coarse ground Kosher sea salt. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. 
    Soft Pretzel Bites after baking in the oven, golden brown. Situated on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

  • Add mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, yellow mustard, honey, and fresh lemon juice to a bowl. 
    Ingredients for making Honey Mustard Dipping sauce in a metal bowl, just prior to mixing. Situated on a a white marble countertop.
  • Whish until thoroughly combined
    Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce whisked together in a metal bowl that is situated on a white marble countertop.

Notes

  • Prep time is approximate.
  • Best eaten the same day. 
  • Soft Pretzels can be stored at room temperature up to 2 days. 
  • To freeze, wrap in plastic wrap and then heavy-duty foil up to 1 month. 
  • To reheat, preheat oven to 275°F/135°C and bake for 5-10 minutes.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Creative Recipe Inspiration

Indulge in our Triple Cheese Beer Dip, a creamy and flavorful concoction perfect for any gathering or game day feast. 

Savor the vibrant flavors of our Roasted Salsa Verde, a zesty and aromatic blend of roasted tomatillos, jalapeños, onions, and cilantro.  

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Send Questions 🕊️

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    Join the Conversation

    1. Those look absolutely delish! I will have to give it a try.

      1. Hi Laurie! Thank you so much for stopping by to check out our Soft Pretzel Recipe, it’s super easy and so good, too. Please be sure to tag us @meangreenchef or #meangreenchef so we can check out your results!

    2. These look so good. It’s a lot easier than what I would think it would be!! I love mall pretzels…

      1. Hi Meagan! Thanks so much, and trust me if you love mall pretzels then you’ll flip for these! And they are so easy to make too.

    3. I can’t wait to make these! I am going to try them this weekend!! Thank you!!

      1. Great, Holly, I’m so happy to hear that you’re going to make them! I promise they are so easy and so worth the time making them, totally fun and delish!

    4. Tricia Snow says:

      Okay, I am a bit of a pretzel snob! Being from Philly, I was raised on the pretzels in the nation. But I have to say these look amazing!

      1. Well I take that as a compliment Tricia, so thank you! It’s great when you can whip up a batch at home. Thanks so much for checking out our recipe!

    5. Looks really yummy! My family would love that

      1. Thanks so much, Anna, your family would totally dig this snack, it’s the perfect food for a movie night!

    6. Oh my gosh, these look so yummy. I definitely want to try making these!! Thank you!

      1. Hi Tracy! Can’t wait to see how they turn out for you, I promise they are surprisingly easy to make and so worth the effort. Just read the steps through a couple of times and have everything in place, and you’ll jam them out.

    7. These, as always, look amazing!!! I think I’ll try these!

      1. Awww, thank you, Jen! 🙂 If you do make them I promise you’ll love them!

    8. Yum! I’m going to make these for Superbowl this weekend!

      1. Yay, I can’t wait to hear how you all like them, Kim!

    9. These look amazing, and I love how the dipping sauce calls for honey instead of white sugar. Do you think they would work with gluten free flour?

      1. Hi, Ramae! Thank you, the sauce is really tasty too. I will be honest and tell you I don’t have much experience with gluten-free flour. However, I know that GF flour can be used with xanthan gum to create a similar texture.

    10. These look amazing – I cannot wait to try them!!!!

      1. Thank you, Cameron, I can’t wait to hear how they turn out!

    11. What a great snack recipe! I’m always up for pretzels, and I love that these are bite-sized. They’d be great for the kids too!

      1. Thanks so much, Kristi! They’re a great snack especially warm and soft from the oven, perfect for the kids, and they can help roll the dough too!

    12. These pretzels look so amazing! Yum! I love pretzels but have never made them from scratch. I can’t wait to try the dipping sauce.

      1. Hi Jennifer, thanks so much! You’ll be surprised how easy they are to make and totally worth the effort!

    13. I love soft pretzels! Great recipe.

      1. Hi Leigh Ann, we do too! Thanks so much for checking out our recipe! 🙂

    14. Hi Angela – I am also from NY! I love your site. My husband loves to cook and we are always looking for new recipes! We are going to Italy this summer – He insists we have to take a cooking class.

      1. Hi Lori, NY rocks! Thank you so much. Yes, take a cooking class, you’ll love it!

    15. These look so good. A perfect snack for super bowl!

      1. Thanks so much, Junell, they’re a great snack for the big game!

    16. I NEVER KNEW PRETZELS WERE BOILED! Mind blown, seriously. I love the science explination with it all, I never understood the whole process, and now I feel like I not only know the steps, but WHY. This is awesome!

      1. So glad that you like the science aspect behind what we’re doing! Exactly what I was hoping to impart, so thank you for letting me know.

    17. These look amazing! I used to love mall pretzels! I’m gluten free now, for improved health, but thanks for a great recipe.

      1. Hi Cindy, I did a little research for another reader regarding GF pretzels. We use King Arthur products, and they have a GF flour; GF flour can be used with xanthan gum to create a similar texture.

    18. We love homemade pretzels, but it’s been years and years since we’ve made them. These sound delicious, especially when dipped in the honey mustard. Perfect for tailgating!

      1. They are the perfect snack for tailgating Melanie!

    19. Didn’t know the science behind baking soda or the boiling. I’ll have to try and make some gluten free ones!

      1. Hi Amber, I did a little research for another reader regarding GF pretzels. We use King Arthur products, and they have a GF flour; GF flour can be used with xanthan gum to create a similar texture.

    20. Omg, my mouth was watering the entire time I was reading. What a great snack idea for a cold winter weekend. Thanks!

      1. Thanks so much, Tiffany! They are a super snack on a cold day, really appreciate you checking out our recipe.

    21. Pauline Reynolds says:

      Now I’m hungry!!! I have never made soft pretzels. I love your tips Angela and thoughtful.

      1. Hi Pauline, thank you so much, glad that you liked the tips!

    22. These look phenomenal! I can’t wait to try them!

      1. Hi Michele, thanks so much! 🙂

    23. These look so yummy. I never thought of making pretzels.

      1. Hi Sandi, we love how easy these are to make, and they taste amazing too! A fun treat to have at home, thanks so much for checking out our recipe!

    24. Great timing for super bowl parties!! Looks so good!

      1. Thanks so much for checking them out, Brittany!

    25. Pretzels AND honey mustard sauce? Sign me the heck up! I love it!

      1. It’s a great classic flavor combination, Kathryn! Thank you!

    26. Pauline Reynolds says:

      These were delicious Angela. Thanks for the recipe!!!

      1. So glad that you liked them, Pauline! 🙂

    27. I’ve never made pretzels before. These look delicious!! Love honey mustard!!

      1. Hi, Dennis! Thanks so much for stopping by to check out our pretzel recipe, we love honey mustard too!

    28. These pretzels look so good! I LOVE the “food nerd alerts”!

      1. Hi Nicki, thanks so much!

    29. Oh, these look amazing – and I’m honestly not just saying that! I love pretzel bites and honey mustard dipping sauce is the perfect complement! Yum!

      1. Hi Tina, thank you, it’s a classic flavor combination!

    30. I’ve always wanted to make pretzels. You make it sound easy. I’m going to make these for a birthday party this weekend. I do have 1 question….is it necessarily to use a glass bowl when making bread dough or is metal or plastic ok? Thanks for this wonderful recipe and great step by step instructions.

      1. Hi Shirley, great I’m excited to hear that you’re going to make these just follow the steps, and they’re easy! This dough is very forgiving and fun to work with, you can certainly use a metal bowl. I would avoid using plastic bowls altogether, let me know if you have any other questions, and I’ll be happy to help through the process! Thank you!

    31. I am a Philly girl! This recipe is right up my alley! Can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing it!

      1. Hi Laura from Philly, can’t wait to hear how the recipe turns out for you!

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