Pennsylvania Dutch Soft Pretzel Recipe
Today I am sharing the best Amish pretzel recipe!
Amish soft pretzels are one of the most delicious snacks and are perfect for any occasion. These homemade buttery soft pretzels are simply irresistible, especially when they're freshly baked and warm. They're soft and chewy in the middle, golden brown on the outside, and have a delightful pretzel flavor.
Dutch Country Soft Pretzels Are Similar to Auntie Anne's
Have you ever walked into the mall and had an amazing smell greet you? Our local mall has an Auntie Anne's pretzel stand right inside the main entrance. And every time I walk in there, the smell of fresh warm soft pretzels tickles my senses. The smell is so delightful, and I already know that the taste is equally as delightful. So it beckons me to indulge in a fresh pretzel.
But, the good news here is that you don't have to go to the mall or PA Dutch country to enjoy a soft pretzel. They are actually quite easy to make at home and are very similar to Auntie Anne's pretzels.
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How to Make Amish Pretzels
I hope you don't get intimidated by looking at this recipe, and thinking that you won't be able to do this. Because trust me, Amish pretzels are easy to make!
They are especially easy to make if you have a Kitchen Aid or any stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. But you can easily mix these by hand as well. They don't require as much kneading as making homemade bread.
Add the lukewarm water, active dry yeast, and brown sugar to a mixing bowl. Mix and let it rest for about five minutes until it looks frothy.
Add the oil or lukewarm melted butter and salt to the yeast mixture, and mix.
Then add three cups of flour and knead for a couple of minutes. In your mixer, let the dough hook do the work for you. Start on low speed until the flour is mixed in a bit, then knead on speed 2 until the dough is springy. I normally knead the dough for about 3 - 4 minutes. Add more flour as needed until the sides of the bowl are cleaned.
Drizzle a bit of oil into the side of the bowl. Allow the mixer to spread the oil. Cover the bowl with a dry dish towel and let the dough rest in a warm place for 30 - 45 minutes.
Shaping Amish Soft Pretzels
After the dough has risen, knead it with your hands for a minute. Then divide the dough into approximately 15 equal pieces (you can divide it into fewer pieces if you want larger pretzels).
Roll each piece into a long thin rope (about 18 -22"). I do this by shaping each piece into a long rectangle, placing it onto a clean countertop, and using both hands to roll the dough back and forth across the countertop, applying light pressure as I roll outward (the same way you create a snake with playdough 🙂 lol).
Now you'll want to create a twist and bring the ends down to create a traditional pretzel shape. (My kids have always enjoyed helping me make these, and they have created all kinds of fun shapes, initials, etc.) So, you can create any shape you want, just make sure you allow a bit of room for the dough to rise and expand.
Grab the pretzel at the two points where it's connected and dip it into the baking soda solution. Submerge completely, then place it onto a parchment paper-lined or greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with a bit of coarse pretzel salt or kosher salt. I don't use a lot, just a few sprinkles over the top are good.
Bake until the pretzels are golden brown. Then brush the tops with melted butter, or you can melt butter in a skillet and give the pretzels a quick dip.
Dip for Soft Pretzels
Soft pretzels are good on their own. But they are AMAZING with dip!
Cheese sauce with soft pretzels is our family favorite, and this easy recipe for homemade cheese spread (Amish shmear cheese) works great as a dip.
For a quick option, you can also melt some cheese in the microwave. Put about a half cup of milk in a glass bowl, add 1 Tbs. butter and about 10 slices of American or Velveeta cheese. Microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring in between until the cheese is melted and creamy.
Soft pretzels are also yummy with honey mustard. Ken's Honey Mustard is one of my favorites.
Cinnamon Soft Pretzels
These Amish homemade soft pretzels are also very tasty as a dessert pretzel. Make them the same way as the regular pretzels, only don't bother sprinkling them with coarse salt.
Mix sugar and cinnamon. After basting the pretzels with butter, immediately dip them into your cinnamon/sugar mixture bowl, covering completely.
Whenever I make a batch of these pretzels, I make about three-fourths of them into regular pretzels to serve with dip, and then I make some cinnamon sugar sweet pretzels as well. They are so yummy!!
Easy Pretzel Dogs Recipe
Another treat that you can make with this Amish pretzel recipe is Pretzel Dogs. These are a great idea for lunch.
Simply roll the dough into thin ropes and wrap them around hot dogs. Proceed to dip them into the soda solution, sprinkle with coarse salt, and place on greased trays with the ends of the dough tucked underneath. Bake them at 475 degrees for 10 - 13 minutes. They need to be baked a bit longer than regular pretzels since the dough is wrapped around a moist hot dog.
Brush the tops with butter, if desired. Serve the pretzel dogs with cheese dip, honey mustard, ketchup, or barbecue sauce.
Homemade pretzel buns are also amazing! Make the dough the same as you would for making pretzels, but shape it into buns instead of pretzels. You can make them oblong for hot dog buns or round. Make them smaller than you want the finished buns because they will rise.
Bake the buns at 400 degrees until nicely browned.
I baked some of these savory pretzels the other day to use for chicken sandwiches. I shaped them into hot dog buns, baked them, and sliced the tops open. Then I filled them with cooked chicken breast, topped them with slices of cheese, and baked the sandwiches until the cheese was melted. It was so good! (I added sauce to the chicken breast. Made some with BBQ sauce, some with honey mustard, and some with buffalo sauce.)
Pretzel buns would also be great to use for Philly cheesesteak sandwiches.
More Amish Recipes
If you enjoy these Amish Pretzels, you may want to try more of my Amish Recipes...
If you get to try these classic Amish homemade pretzels, I'd love it if you left a comment and star rating below.
Amish Soft Pretzels Recipe
- 1 1/4 c. warm water (about 110°)
- 1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
- 1/4 c. brown sugar, loosely filled
- 1 Tbsp. oil or melted butter
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 2 c. bread flour
- 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
- coarse pretzel salt
Baking Soda Solution:
- 2 c. warm water
- 2 Tbsp. baking soda
For brushing over the top of Pretzels:
- 3 - 4 Tbsp. melted butter
Optional - only if you want to make sweet cinnamon pretzels:
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
- Add water, yeast, and brown sugar to a mixing bowl. Mix to combine and let it rest for about 5 minutes.1 1/4 c. warm water (about 110°), 1 Tbsp. active dry yeast, 1/4 c. brown sugar, loosely filled
- Add oil and salt. Mix.3/4 tsp. salt, 1 Tbsp. oil or melted butter
- Add 2 c. of bread flour and 1 c. all-purpose flour and knead for a couple of minutes, slowly adding more flour as needed until the sides of the bowl are cleaned, or it's no longer sticking to your hands (if kneading by hand).2 c. bread flour, 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
- Place the dough into a greased bowl and let it rise for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 475°.
- Remove the dough and knead with your hands to remove air bubbles. Divide the dough into 15 pieces.
- Roll each piece into a long thin rope (approx. 18" long). This doesn't have to be exact. It's ok if the pretzels are not all the same size.
- Twist each rope into a pretzel shape.
- Mix the baking soda and warm water until the soda is dissolved. Dip each pretzel into the soda solution and place them (at least an inch apart) onto a well-greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.2 c. warm water, 2 Tbsp. baking soda
- Sprinkle the tops with a bit of coarse salt and let them rest for a couple of minutes.coarse pretzel salt
- Bake for 8 - 10 minutes or until nicely browned.
- Remove from the oven and generously brush the tops with melted butter.3 - 4 Tbsp. melted butter
- Serve with warm cheese dip or honey mustard.
- If you want sweet pretzels: mix the sugar and cinnamon then dip the freshly butter-basted pretzels into the sweet mixture until well coated.1/2 c. sugar, 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
- These are the very best when freshly baked and still warm from the oven. But to enjoy them as leftovers, you can store them in an air-tight container and warm them for about 15 seconds in the microwave.