Vegan Soft Baked Pretzels

Vegan Soft Baked Pretzels are a fun homemade appetizer or game day snack! Made with under 10 ingredients, they're cute & delicious dipped in mustard.

Vegan Soft Baked Pretzels

Jack here with my second recipe on the Love and Lemons blog. This recipe is one near and dear to my heart – big, doughy, German-style pretzels!

Now, while Germans tend to dip their Laugenbrezel in butter, that’s not how I do it. I dip them in spicy brown mustard. And when we started working with Sir Kensington’s, the first thing I said when I opened up the sample package of Ketchup and Mayonnaise was “Where is the mustard?” Sir Kensington himself has heard my call, and here is the mustard. And its best friend – pretzels.

Vegan Soft Baked Pretzels on a baking sheet Vegan Soft Baked Pretzels and spicy brown mustard

The traditional recipe for Laugenbrezel is nothing short of terrifying. Why? Because they make the dough, twirl it up and dip it in lye. As in, the stuff that soap used to be made of. As in, the stuff you wear rubber gloves and eyewear to handle. We will not be doing that. But one thing we will be doing – and what does NOT terrify me – is making dough.

Dough has become one of my favorite things to work with. Many of you may not know this, but I’m a software engineer by trade, and I like things to be… measured. When I’m cooking with Jeanine, it’s always “a pinch of this, a splash of that.” Also, Jeanine has a fairly well documented problem with waiting in lines. Well, working with dough is full of exact measurements, and waiting for it to rise may as well be waiting in line to her. So I’ve found my “thing” for the blog now, and my thing is dough.

These pretzels are wonderful and simple, because you’re essentially making fairly standard dough, using baking soda and boiling water to smooth out the outside, then baking it. That’s really about it. The hardest part, probably, is twirling the pretzel. My main modifications from Laugenbrezel are to use maple syrup instead of barley malt syrup, oil instead of butter, and baking soda instead of severe burns and lawsuits (lye).

Sir Kensington's Mustard

And of course, serve these wonderful vegan pretzels with your favorite spicy brown mustard. Might we suggest Sir Kensington’s?

4.9 from 54 reviews

Vegan Soft Baked Pretzels

Serves: makes 4-6 pretzels
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ package (1/2 tablespoon) active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup water (1/4 cup for proofing, ½ cup for dough)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda (this is for the boiling water NOT the dough)
  • 6 cups water, in a pot (for boiling)
  • Coarse salt (for sprinkling)
  1. Proof the yeast: Put ¼ cup warm water, maple syrup, and yeast into a small cup and stir until yeast dissolves. If yeast does not foam, try again with another yeast packet.
  2. Make the dough: If you have a mixer with a dough hook, put the flour, salt, oil, proofed yeast mixture, and an additional ½ cup of water (for a total of ¾ cups water) into the mixer. Run on medium low for about 5-6 minutes (until the dough pulls away from the bowl). If you don’t have a dough hook, mix and knead dough ingredients for about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Brush the inside of a large glass bowl with a little bit of oil. Form the dough into a ball and put it in the bowl. Cover and allow the dough to rise for about 40 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.
  4. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
  5. Uncover your dough and punch it down few times. Really let it have it.
  6. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper on it. Set aside.
  7. Prepare an oiled work surface. Cut the dough into 4 or 6 equal sections (depending on the size you want your pretzels), and roll each out to an approx. 18-24 inches long rope.
  8. Grab the ends of each dough rope to make a U shape, then form into a pretzel shape.
  9. Put 6 cups of water into a pot and dissolve the 2 tablespoons of baking soda into the water and bring to a rolling boil.
  10. Drop pretzels, one at a time, into the pot (get close so it doesn’t splash!). Each should sink a little then rise up. Wait 30 seconds, then lift out using a slotted spoon and place each onto the cookie sheet. While still wet, sprinkle liberally with coarse salt. Take a sharp knife and cut a 4-6 inch slit along the bottom of the pretzel. (This slit will open up during baking).
  11. Bake for about 14 minutes. Watch them like a hawk – when they’re golden brown, they’re done.


This recipe is built up of some research of multiple recipes, but is mostly based on this recipe from Saveur.

This post is sponsored by Sir Kensington’s. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep us cooking!


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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Sherri

    Can I use instant yeast for this recipe, and if so, would I leave out the 1/4 cup of water?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Sherri, yes, instant yeast should be fine here. Still use the 1/4 cup water. Without it, the dough will be dry. Hope you enjoy!

  2. Nici

    Mine turned out squishy. I would love them crunchy on the outside. How can i change that? Did i leave them in the water too long? I love them anyway.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Nici, I’m glad you enjoyed the pretzels! They are soft pretzels, so they’re supposed to be chewy, not crunchy. If you want crunchy pretzels, I recommend looking for a recipe that’s designed to come out that way. Hope this helps!

  3. Erin

    Can you make this recipe with sourdough starter rather than active dry yeast? If so, how would you adjust the recipe?

    • Phoebe Moore

      Hi Erin, we haven’t tried this recipe with sourdough starter, so we can’t say for sure. I’d recommend looking for a recipe that specifically calls for starter.

  4. Mya

    OMG THESE ARE SO GOOD!!!! They got nice and crispy on the outside but stayed nice and fluffy and soft on the inside these sre the best pretzels I’ve made

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  5. Candace

    Do you know if you would be able to boil then freeze these before baking them? I am looking for a good recipe for our brewery for the occasional vegan request and would love to have some on hand to just throw in the oven and bake to order.

  6. Katie

    These are amazing!!! Turned out so good.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  7. Tiffany

    Love the recipe but I found it difficult to follow.

  8. Freddi

    Don’t you mean make a slit on the TOP?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Freddi, on the lower part of the pretzel on top, yes.

  9. Kim

    Such a good recipe! First time attempting to make soft pretzels and they turned out excellent!

  10. jb

    Hi. Would bread flour or a mix of AP flour and bread flour work? What kind of results would that yield?

  11. Iva

    Wow! They are sooo delicous! I have a new favourite Pretzel recipe 😉
    Just one question. If I want to double or tripple the recipe, do I need to put more baking soda into the water? And how much cups of water should I use. Do I need to double or tripple it? Thanks very much in advance?

    • Jack Mathews

      You shouldn’t need to change the amount of water or baking soda. The amount of water is plenty for a lot more pretzels (it doesn’t really get absorbed) and the baking soda is really just there to change the pH level.

      Also, if you’re doubling the recipe but still putting everything into one mixer, you don’t need to double the amount of yeast. One packet will do. Tripling the recipe in one mixer will probably be an issue – six cups of flour in a stand mixer would probably be a mess.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      HI Iva, you can probably use the same pot of water for the additional pretezels.

  12. Sie

    I tried this recipe and found it hard to follow . Pretzels didn’t work out ;(

  13. Nancy

    I tripled the recipe and made enough to share with my sister. Total yield was 12 very beautiful and delicious pretzels. Thanks for an amazing recipe.

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.