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Pretzel Bread Recipe

This Pretzel Bread recipe is delicious and easy to make! It's got a nice crispy outside with a bit of salty goodness on top. And just look at how beautiful it is!

With all the flavor and texture of a soft pretzel in a big glorious loaf, this bread is perfect for dips or serving with a bowl of soup. 

Pretzel Bread is served on a wooden serving board.

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This pretzel bread is like a soft pretzel but in loaf form. The outside has that perfect crispy texture, thanks to a little dip in an alkaline bath and a generous sprinkle of coarse salt. 

The inside is the perfect balance of firm and slightly sticky – you can't get enough!

What I love most is its versatility. I mean, it's fantastic on its own, but pair it with some cheesy dip or honey mustard, and you're in for a treat. And here's a pro-tip: scoop out the middle and turn it into a bread bowl for dips or soups!

Best of all, you can prep the dough ahead, so it's ready to go when you need it. Soft, chewy pretzel bread is in your future!

Ingredient Notes

See the printable recipe card below for all ingredients, specific measurements, and complete instructions.

Ingredients to make Pretzel Bread set out on the counter.
  • Flour: Forms the base of the bread, giving it structure and texture.
  • Salt: Enhances the overall flavor, balancing the sweetness.
  • Granulated Sugar: Adds a touch of sweetness to the pretzel bread recipe for the perfect contrast with the salty exterior.
  • Yeast: Makes the bread rise and become airy, giving it that perfect lightness.
  • Milk: Warm milk adds richness to the dough, giving it a soft and slightly sticky texture.
  • Butter: Melted butter provides moisture and a buttery flavor to the bread, making it extra delicious.
  • Coarse Salt: Sprinkled on top for that classic pretzel taste and a bit of crunch.
  • Baking Soda: Goes in the alkaline bath to give the bread its distinctive pretzel crust during the boiling process.

How To Make This Pretzel Bread Recipe

Flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a stand mixer bowl.
Warm water, warm milk, and melted butter are added to yeast mixture in stand mixer bowl.

First, mix together the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in your stand mixer. Once that's all combined, add in the warm water, warm milk, and melted butter. Mix until it all comes together – might need to scrape the sides a bit.

Pretzel dough brushed with oil in a large bowl.
Pretzel dough in a large bowl doubled in size.

Now, knead the dough for 2-3 minutes until it's firm but a bit sticky. Take off the dough hook and shape the dough into a nice ball. Give it a quick spray or brush with oil, cover it up, and let it rise for about an hour until it doubles in size.

While that's happening, preheat your oven to 400º. Once the dough has risen, bring some water to a boil in a big pot. Add baking soda a little at a time – watch out for bubbles to avoid a boil-over!

Pretzel Bread dough in boiling water in a large stock pot.
Pretzel Bread Dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Shape the dough into an 8-inch-wide dome and gently lower it into the boiling soda water. Let it simmer for 60 seconds on each side. Then, toss it on a baking sheet, sprinkle with coarse salt, and cut a small x on top.

Pop it in the oven for 25 minutes, and here's a little trick – take it off the baking sheet for the last 5 minutes. That makes the bottom super crispy!

Baked Pretzel Bread on parchment paper on a wire rack.

Pretzel Bread Variations

  • Make it cheesy. Add shredded cheese to the dough for a cheesy twist. Cheddar, mozzarella, or a blend can work well.
  • Add herbs. Mix dried herbs like rosemary, thyme, or oregano into the dough for a flavorful herb-infused bread.
  • Use whole wheat flour. Substitute some or all of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour for a heartier, nuttier flavor.
  • Give it an “everything” flavor. Create an "everything" version by adding a mix of sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garlic flakes, and onion flakes on top.

Can I skip the alkaline bath step?

Technically, you can, but the alkaline bath is what gives the Pretzel Bread its distinct pretzel-like crust. It's recommended not to skip this step for the authentic texture and flavor.

Can I make smaller individual pretzel rolls instead of one large loaf?

Sure! That would make a great pretzel sandwich bread or pretzel bun for burgers. Adjust the size and shape of the dough before boiling and baking to create smaller individual pretzel rolls. Just be mindful of adjusting the baking time accordingly.

Make-Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

Make Ahead: For advanced preparation, you can make the Pretzel Bread dough up to the point of shaping it into a ball. After kneading and letting it rise, cover the dough and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to bake it, remove the dough from the refrigerator, shape it, and proceed with the baking instructions.

Store: Leftover bread can be stored at room temperature for a day or two in an airtight container. For longer storage, refrigerate the bread, ensuring it's well-wrapped to maintain freshness. When refrigerated, the Pretzel Bread can be stored for up to 4-5 days. Reheat in the oven for a few minutes to restore the texture.

Freeze: If you want to freeze the Pretzel Bread, do so after it has cooled completely. Wrap the loaf tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn. It will keep in the freezer for 2-3 months. Frozen bread can be reheated in the oven straight from the freezer, allowing it to thaw and crisp up.

Three slices of pretzel bread on the counter.

Here are a few more delicious bread recipes!

I love this Pretzel Bread recipe because it's crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and perfect with any dip. I can’t wait for you to try it!

Pretzel Bread on parchment paper on a wood serving board.

Pretzel Bread Recipe

Author: Judy Wilson
This delicious Pretzel Bread recipe is easy to make with all the flavor and texture of a soft pretzel in a big glorious loaf. This bread is perfect for dips or serving with a bowl of soup. 
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Inactive Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 242 kcal


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • teaspoon yeast (one packet)
  • ¾ cup warm water (110ºF)
  • cup warm milk (110ºF)
  • ¼ cup butter melted
  • Coarse salt

Alkaline Bath

  • 3 quarts water
  • ½ cup baking soda


  • Combine flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  • Then add water, milk, and butter.
  • Mix until the dough comes together. You may need to scrape the sides of your mixer a few times.
  • Knead for 2-3 minutes until a firm but slightly sticky dough forms.
  • Remove the dough hook from the stand mixer, and work the dough into a nice ball.
  • Spray or brush the dough with oil, cover, and let rise until doubled in size - about an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  • When the dough has risen, heat water (at least 4 inches deep) to boiling in a large pot.
  • Add baking soda, a little at a time, letting bubbles subside between each addition to avoid boiling over.
  • Work the dough into a domed shape, about 8 inches across, and gently (to avoid splashes) lower into boiling soda water.
  • Simmer for 60 seconds, flip over, and simmer for an additional 60 seconds.
  • Remove and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle with coarse salt, and cut a small, shallow x into the top.
  • Bake in the center of the oven for 25 minutes.
  • Remove from baking sheet, and place directly on oven rack.
  • Bake an additional 5 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.


Removing the loaf from the baking sheet for the last 5 minutes ensures the bottom crust crisps up.


Calories: 242kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 6gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 2412mgPotassium: 76mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 194IUVitamin C: 0.003mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 2mg
The nutritional information provided is approximate and should only be used as a general guideline. It is an estimate that will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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