How to Make Ballpark Pretzels

Making a delicious, easy to make snack for the whole family is as simple as combining your ingredients with some baking soda. It’s time to get creative and put these pretzels in action!

“The ball park pretzels cooks country” is a recipe that is easy to make, and tastes great. This recipe can be made in 30 minutes or less.

Poster by Art of Manliness about making Ballpark Pretzels.

With the arrival of spring and the start of baseball season, my thoughts are going to pleasant afternoons spent at the ballpark with a cool beverage in one hand and a huge pretzel — with a soft interior and a crunchy brown exterior — in the other. 

Happily, this lovely image does not have to be reenacted just on game days: delectable stadium pretzels can be made directly at home. 

These are obviously a little time-consuming, so they’re not a good undertaking for a beginner baker. Soft pretzels, on the other hand, are a terrific way to step up your abilities if you have a few hours to spend on a weekend afternoon, even whether you’re a seasoned expert or if all you’ve ever produced are basic loaves of bread.


  • 3 3/4 cup flour for bread (450 grams if using a scale) 
  • 4 teaspoons salt (Add another 2 tsp for dusting the pretzels before baking.) On top of the pretzels, you’ll want to use a salt with a larger flake/”grain” that will stick to the crust; if it’s too fine, like plain table salt, it’ll simply seep into the dough. I used Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt for both the dough and the topping, and it worked perfectly; special pretzel salt may also be used.) 
  • 2 tsp yeast (instant) 
  • 1 1/2 cups room temperature water 
  • 2 tbsp oil (vegetable) 
  • brown sugar, 2 tbsp 
  • a quarter cup of baking soda 

It would be simpler if you have a stand mixer, but it is not required. 


Step 1: Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl. 

Combine flour, salt, and yeast in a mixing dish. Whisk together the water, oil, and brown sugar in a large measuring cup.

Whisking flour, salt, and yeast together in a bowl.

 until the sugar is completely dissolved 

Water, oil and brown sugar mixed in a cup.

Step 2: Combine the wet and dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Slowly pour in the wet ingredients with the dough hook on low speed (if using a stand mixer), raising the speed to medium until a cohesive and elastic dough develops and clears the edges of the bowl. It should just take a few moments. 

Dough displayed in a bowl.

Step 3: Knead the dough and allow it to rise.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured worktop (or baking mat) until it forms a smooth ball. It should just take a minute or two. Place in a lightly oiled basin, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until doubled in size. 

Dough displayed in a baking mat.

Smooth dough spread in a baking mat.

The yeast’s magic!

Step 4: Roll the dough out flat and cut it into strips.

Transfer the dough on the surface or a baking mat after it has doubled in size. Deflate the balloon and shape it into a huge rectangle measuring 12 x 6 inches. Cut the dough into 12 one-inch strips using a pizza cutter. 

Flattened dough displayed.

A baking mat not only protects your surface and makes cleaning a joy, but it also helps you measure.

Dough cut into strips.

Step 5: Make Pretzels Out Of Dough “Ropes”

It’s time to start shaping the pretzels. Start by rolling/stretching one strip of dough at a time into a long rope, approximately 20 inches long (it doesn’t have to be precise). Simply for the purpose of nicely formed pretzels, getting the rope to be as consistent in thickness as possible would be beneficial. 


Forming Dough "Ropes" Into pretzels.

Form a huge U with the rope at the bottom, approximately 2 inches wide. 

Dough transformed into large U-shape structure.

Cross the right side over the left, then the right side over the left again. 

Dough transformed into round rope like structure.

Bring the top section of the pretzel down and push the ends into the bottom to make the characteristic pretzel shape. 

Dough transformed into classic pretzel shape.

Place them on two baking pans that have been buttered (or on one, and working in 2 batches). Allow for a 15-minute rise time, or until puffy. 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees as the pretzels rise.

Classic pretzel shaped dough ready to bake.

Step 6: Bring the Pretzels to a boil

In a large Dutch oven (or big saucepan), dissolve the baking soda in 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. This “bath” is what gives the pretzel its rich brown color and crisp external “skin.” 

Transfer 2-3 risen pretzels, knot side down, to the boiling water with a spatula. Cook for 15 seconds on one side, then turn and cook for another 15 seconds. They don’t have to be precise, but they should be near. Then place them on a cooling rack for 5 minutes to cool. Continue until all pretzels have been made. (If you have a slotted spatula, use it for this stage — sometimes known as a fish turner, it’s worth its weight in gold and is used all the time in our home.)

Boiling the pretzels.

Pretzels after boiling.

Pretzels are salted and baked in step 7.

Grease the baking sheet(s) and sprinkle a teaspoon of salt on top. Place 6 pretzels on a baking sheet and sprinkle the tops with a teaspoon of salt. 

Preheat oven to 350°F and bake pretzels for 15 minutes, or until rich golden brown. They can be baked together if you use two baking sheets, but I made mine in two batches. Transfer to a cooling rack and set aside for approximately 15 minutes. 

Baked pretzels with salt topping.

Step 8: Have fun!

Serve immediately with warmed cheese (or another favorite dip) and enjoy!  

Pretzels served with warm cheese.



The “pretzel making video” is a helpful video that shows how to make ballpark pretzels. The video also includes some tips on how to handle the dough.

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