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Air Fryer Soft Pretzels

Air Fryer Soft Pretzels are a wonderful snack to make in the Air Fryer. Perfect for your next party or family get-together. I’ll give you the keys to success to make sure your Air Fryer Soft Pretzels are a raving hit!

Prep Time - 30 mins
Cook Time - 12 mins
Rising Time - 1 hr
Total Time - 42 mins

Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pretzels
Servings: 12 pretzels
Author: Jennifer

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water 110 to 115 degrees F
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 pkg active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 oz melted butter
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 Tbsp water
  • pretzel salt
  1. Combine water, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook. Sprinkle yeast on top and allow to sit 5 minutes.
  2. Add flour and butter. Mix on low speed until combined. Increase to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of bowl, approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Place dough in well-greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and sit in warm place for 50-60 minutes until the dough has doubled in size.
  4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray. Preheat Air Fryer at 400 degrees F.
  5. In large stock pot or roasting pan, combine 10 cups of water and the baking soda and bring to a boil. 
  6. Place pretzel dough onto an oiled work surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into an 18-inch rope. Twist into pretzel shape (see notes in blog post). 
  7. One-by-one, place each pretzel into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove from water and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. 
  8. Brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with pretzel salt. Place 3-4 pretzels directly into Air Fryer basket and cook 6 minutes at 400 degrees F. Turn soft pretzels over and cook another 6 minutes until dark golden brown. 
Key to Success #1 – Use a Stand Mixer, if you can
I have a Kitchenaid stand mixer and it works great to mix up this pretzel dough. This pretzel dough is really soft and easy to work with. I knead it with my Kitchenaid for about 5 minutes and it’s ready to rise.

I actually let my dough rise in the bowl of my stand mixer too. Try preheating your oven to 250 degrees then turn the oven off and place your bowl of dough inside. The dough will rise much quicker.

If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can still make these pretzels! You can knead the dough by hand and they will still be perfect.

Key to Success #2 – Make the Pretzel Twists
Forming the pretzel twists is much easier than you may think. You start by rolling each portion of dough into a rope-like shape. From there, it’s just a simple three-step process.

1) Lay the dough rope on the counter in an upside down U shape

2) Grab the loose ends and twist them around each other two times

3) Grab the two loose ends and bring them up to top of your pretzel and press them firmly.
It’s really that simple. They turn out great every time.

Key to Success #3 – Give The Pretzels a Hot Soda Bath
Pretzels are traditionally put into a lye bath, but we’re going to go the easier – and safer – way and use baking soda. The baking soda bath will make the outside firm and smooth while the inside is still tender.

You’ll need a large pot or roasting pan for your soda bath – big enough to hold 10 cups of water comfortably. Add your baking soda then bring the mixture to a boil.

One or two at a time, dip the pretzels into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Use a large slotted spoon to remove them from the water and place them on the baking sheet to rest.

Key to Success #4 – Don’t Crowd The Air Fryer
I have a Cozyna XL 5.8 Qt Air Fryer and I can easily fit 3 soft pretzels into my Air Fryer basket at one time. Any more than that and the hot air wouldn’t be able to circulate around the pretzels easily.

Since we’re trying to brown the Air Fryer Soft Pretzels, they need plenty of room to cook. In my Air Fryer, 12 total minutes of cook time was perfect, but you can add another 2-3 minutes if you like your pretzels a deeper brown.

Air Fryer Soft Pretzels are great served with mustard or cheese sauce, My favorite cheese sauce for Air Fryer Soft Pretzels is Cheez Whiz but you can also use Velveeta + a little milk in a pinch.

What’s your favorite dip for pretzels?

Please don’t be intimidated by these Air Fryer Soft Pretzels. They really turn out great and are not as difficult as they might seem.

Don’t forget to Pin This Image so that you can find the recipe later. 


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