Instant Pot Soft Pretzels—soft pretzels are easier to make than you think! Use your Instant Pot to speed up the proofing process and to boil the pretzels. These taste as good as Pretzel Maker or Auntie Anne’s! Serve with nacho cheese sauce or a cinnamon cream cheese sauce to bring the pretzels to a whole new level.
Instant Pot Soft Pretzels
Warm soft pretzels right out of the oven! What could be better?! These Instant Pot pretzels are worth the bit of effort it takes to make them. The Instant Pot cuts the proofing time in half and can also be used for the 30 second boiling process the pretzels need. You can make these pretzels without the Instant Pot but it is a handy tool to make it faster and easier.
How to use Instant Pot to proof dough
If you have a yogurt function on your Instant Pot you can use your IP to proof dough (raise dough) faster. It works so well. All you do is oil the pot so that the dough doesn’t stick. Place the dough in the bottom of your pot. Then select the yogurt button. Use the adjust button to cycle through until the light is on the “less.” My pot says 24 hours on the display. Then cover the pot with a glass lid or a plate. DO NOT use the normal Instant Pot lid. If you do the dough might raise so high that it pushes the valve up and indicates to the pot that there is pressure. You won’t be able to open the pot and the lid will be stuck. Let the dough double in size (or follow the instructions in your recipe). My dough only took 30 minutes to raise as opposed to the normal hour it would have taken sitting on the counter.
Why boil the pretzels
Dropping each pretzel into boiling water for about 30 seconds makes the interior of the pretzel quickly puff up and begins the crust formation. If you don’t boil, you’ll lose out on the chewiness you’d expect from a pretzel.
Why the baking soda
The baking soda is what gives the pretzels their brown and shiny crust and their distinctive flavor. When I opened my oven I oohed and aahed at the amazing brown color. Because of the basic/alkaline solution, the browning reaction can happen more rapidly. You only cook these pretzels for 10-15 minutes and they look amazing!
How to serve the pretzels
For a savory twist (pun intended) serve these soft pretzels dipped in mustard or in nacho cheese sauce.
For a sweet twist serve the pretzels without the coarse salt on top and dip them in a cinnamon cream cheese dipping sauce (YUM!). The recipe for the dipping sauce is listed in the recipe card below.
You can get creative with other pretzel dipping ideas! Try hummus, ranch, french onion dip, chocolate, caramel, spinach artichoke dip, honey mustard, etc.
Pretzels taste best warm but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and served cold too. You can also pop a leftover pretzel into the oven for 10 seconds.
In the mood for bread? Try these other recipes…
What equipment do I need?
- Instant Pot: I used my 6 quart Instant Pot* but you can also use the 3 or 8 quart pot.
- Slotted Spoon or Spatula*
- Baking sheet: I love this USA pan* so much I want to marry it. No parchment or baking sprays are required and the pretzels just slide off.
Soft pretzels are easier to make than you think! Use your Instant Pot to speed up the proofing process and to boil the pretzels. These taste as good as Pretzel Maker or Auntie Anne’s! Serve with nacho cheese sauce or a cinnamon cream cheese sauce to bring the pretzels to a whole new level.
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry or instant yeast
- 4 cups flour
- 3 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil, divided
- 2/3 cup baking soda (yes it’s actually 2/3 cup!)
- 1 egg, beaten
- coarse salt (optional)
- In a large mixing bowl mix the water, salt and sugar. Add yeast and let rest 5 minutes until yeast starts to foam (if using active dry yeast, if using instant yeast you don’t need to let rest).
- Add flour and 2 Tbsp oil and mix with a wooden spoon until dough forms.
- Add the remaining 1 Tbsp of oil into Instant Pot liner and swirl around. Place the dough into the Instant Pot liner. Cover Instant Pot with a glass lid or a plate and set the YOGURT button to LESS. Click adjust until it says less and the time should read 24 hours on the display. After 30 minutes remove the dough from the Instant Pot and set aside.
- Fill Instant Pot with about 8 cups of water and add in the baking soda. Turn Instant Pot to the saute setting (“more”).
- Heat oven to 450° F.
- While the water is heating up cut the dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into thin ropes. With the dough length, form a U-shape. Then, cross the ends of the U. Cross the ends over each other again, with an end in each hand. With an end in each hand, flip the ends down to the curve of the U-shape. The ends should overlap the dough just a little bit. To set the pretzel shape, press down where the ends of the dough cross.
- Drop a pretzel into the (now boiling) water for 30 seconds. The baking soda solution gives pretzels their signature brown color. Don’t leave in the water for longer than that or the pretzels will develop a metallic taste. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pretzel and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pretzels.
- Use a pastry brush to brush each of the pretzels with the beaten egg.
- If desired, sprinkle the pretzels with coarse salt.
- Bake the pretzels for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with mustard, nacho cheese sauce or cinnamon cream cheese dipping sauce (recipe below).
For cinnamon cream cheese dipping sauce:
For a sweet treat don’t sprinkle the pretzels with salt. Then make this cinnamon cream cheese dipping sauce to go with your pretzels.
- 4 oz cream cheese , softened
- 2 Tbsp butter , softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp milk
In a mixing bowl using an electric mixer, whip cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy. Stir in powdered sugar, cinnamon and vanilla and mix until combined. Add milk and whip until fluffy, about 2 minutes longer. Store leftovers in refrigerator in an airtight container.
- Category: Bread
- Method: Instant Pot/Oven
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.