Vegan Soft Pretzels

Diary free soft pretzels recipe

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Rising Time: 60 mins
Total: 102 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
77 Calories
2g Fat
14g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 77
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 5073mg 221%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 1g
Calcium 48mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Making your own soft pretzels at home is not as difficult as you might think. A simple yeast dough is made and left to rise, then rolled into "ropes" and formed into twisted pretzel shapes. A quick dunk in a mixture of boiling water and baking soda, just 12 minutes in the oven, and you have soft, warm pretzels that are also dairy free.

This recipe is a vegan snacking staple for kids and adults, great for movie nights and after-school snacks, and the perfect appetizer. Feel free to sprinkle your pretzels with spices, sugar, or nutritional yeast for different flavor variations.

Ingredients

  • For the Dough:
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more if needed)
  • For Cooking the Pretzels:
  • 7 cups water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt (or Hawaiian sea salt; to taste)
  • Optional: mustard for dipping

Steps to Make It

Make the Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for dairy-free soft pretzels
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast, warm water, sugar, and salt, stirring until the yeast is dissolved.

    Combine yeast, warm water, and sugar
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  3. Let stand for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbly.

  4. Gradually add the flour until a soft dough forms that is neither sticky nor dry, adding extra flour if necessary.

    Gradually add flour until dough forms
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack 
  5. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead until elastic and smooth, about 3 to 4 minutes.

    Kneading the dough
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  6. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a lint-free kitchen towel. Let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

    Place dough in lightly oiled bowl
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Form the Pretzels

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet and set aside. Bring the 7 cups of water and baking soda to a rolling boil in a medium-large saucepan over medium-high heat.

    Bring water and baking soda to a boil
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a clean work surface.

    Punch down dough
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  3. Separate the dough into 8 roughly equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a rope about 1/2-inch thick.

    Roll out into cords
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  4. Twist the ropes into pretzel shapes: Make a U-shape with the rope of dough and bring the 2 ends together, crossing one over the other. Gently press where they cross to adhere to one another.

    Twist dough ropes
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  5. Flip the twisted part over so the ends of the rope are touching the bottoms of the U. Gently press again to secure the rope ends to the base of the pretzel.

    Pressing twisted dough ends to the bottom of the pretzel
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Cook the Pretzels

  1. Drop 1 pretzel at a time into the boiling water and boil for about 30 seconds.

    Putting pretzels into boiling water
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. Remove it using a slotted spoon and transfer the pretzel to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat this until all of the pretzels have been boiled.

    Removing boiled pretzels to a baking sheet
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  3. Sprinkle with the coarse salt and bake until golden brown, about 11 to 12 minutes.

    Baked pretzels sprinkled with salt
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  4. Allow the pretzels to cool slightly before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature with mustard for dipping, if you like, and enjoy.

    Allow pretzels to cool and serve at room temperature
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

What Does the Baking Soda Do?

An authentic soft pretzel recipe adds lye to the water, which contributes flavor and gives the pretzel its dark, chewy crust. Since lye is dangerous to work with and is not something every home cook has in their kitchen, baking soda is substituted. This common pantry item will create a similar exterior and taste.

Tips

  • During shaping, if the ends don't stick, use your finger to dab a bit of water on the pretzel.
  • For a crispier bottom, use a parchment-lined baking sheet rather than an oil-sprayed pan.
  • If you prefer, cut the ropes into small pieces to make pretzel bites.
  • These pretzels are best served warm from the oven, but if you have to make them ahead of time, you can loosely wrap the pretzels in foil and place them in a slow cooker on warm; add a little water to the bottom of the crock pot to keep them from drying out.
  • You can store the pretzels in zip-top bags for a day or two in the refrigerator or in the freezer for longer storage. To reheat, brush with a little water and heat in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds. If you have frozen them, place the pretzels on a lined baking sheet and bake at 450 F for 5 to 8 minutes.
  • In addition to sprinkling the tops of these pretzels with different flavors, you can serve them with a variety of dips. Warm, soft pretzels go perfectly with spicy mustard, but you can also offer a vegan cheese dip, dairy-free ranch dip, or even a vegan garlic aioli.

Are All Soft Pretzels Vegan?

Generally speaking, soft pretzels should be vegan as a traditional recipe doesn't include any dairy. However, there are some versions that contain butter, especially those that are copycats of the mall kiosk varieties.