Football Shaped Pretzels

Homemade Football Shaped Soft Pretzels

I think we can all admit that the best part about Super Bowl Sunday is the food. It’s a day to hang out with friends and family and enjoy some of the best appetizers all day long. These Homemade Soft Pretzels are the PERFECT Super Bowl appetizer and are so easy to make.

Football Shaped Pretzels

How To Make Homemade Soft Pretzels

Making Homemade Soft Pretzels are so much easier to make than you may think. Not to mention, so delicious! Throughout this blog, I’ll take you through every important piece of information you need before diving into the baking process.

Making Soft Pretzel Dough

Making the Homemade Soft Pretzel Dough requires using and feeding yeast. What this means is simply that our yeast mixes with the warm water, sugar, salt, and butter and feeds off of the sugar, and releases CO2. Since yeast produces enzymes that react with sugar, it results in the fermentation process which in turn gives us a spongey, airy, and soft result.

Mixing The Dough

Allowing our yeast to feed for at least one minute will bring us to the next step which is mixing on low speed with the dough hook while adding in our flour. You can scrape down the sides of the bowl as you mix to ensure an even dough but the mixture will do most of the work. We want to knead, or continue to use the dough hook with our dough for 5-8 minutes or until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be soft and form a smooth ball – thus you’ve created a successful Homemade Soft Pretzel Dough!

Football Shaped Pretzels

How To Shape Homemade Soft Pretzels

In this recipe, we are making our Homemade Soft Pretzels into festive little Footballs just in time for Super Bowl Sunday. This means that these are not the most traditional-looking pretzel twist in appearance but boy oh boy do taste like and have the flavor of the deliciously soft, chewy, perfectly salty soft pretzels that we all know and love so much!

Football Shaped Pretzels

Creating The Football Shape

Once our dough has had enough time to rest, use a knife or bench scraper to slice the dough into even pieces until you have about 25-30 pieces of dough. To do this, I cut the dough in half, then in half again, then again, and so forth until the pieces are about 2″ x 1″ in size.

The next step is to take each little piece of dough and pinch the edges to create the pointed ends of the football. Don’t overwork the dough, just try to gently form the football shape with as little molding as possible.

Football Shaped Pretzels

Take a small pairing knife and create two curved lines on each side of the pretzel with the “U” shape lines facing outward. Next, make a small slightly curved line in the center starting at one of the “U” shapes on the side to the other.

Football Shaped Pretzels
Football Shaped Pretzels

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What Is A Baking Soda Bath?

The baking soda bath is an important step for making Homemade Soft Pretzels and should never be skipped. The baking soda bath gelatinizes the outside of the pretzel and prevents the pretzels from fully spreading and springing in the oven as most breads do. This ensures a chewy texture, a deep brown outer layer, and that signature chewy crust we all know and love.

Watch Me Make Homemade Soft Pretzels Step By Step, Here!

Homemade Soft Pretzels For Super Bowl

5.0 from 1 vote
Recipe by Maddison Koutrouba –


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  • 1 Tbsp. sugar

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • 2 tsp. active dry yeast

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cups warm water (105 – 115 degrees F)

  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

  • 8 cups water (for baking soda bath)

  • 1/4 cup baking soda

  • 2 egg yolks (egg wash)

  • 1 Tbsp. water (egg wash)

  • coarse salt (for sprinkling)


  • Prepare two cookie sheets by lining them with parchment paper then set aside.
  • In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the dough hook attachment, combine the sugar, salt, yeast, warm water, and butter. Give this mixture a small stir then allow to sit for one minute.
  • After one minute, turn the mixer on low speed and gradually add the flour. Allow the dough to mix for 5-8 minutes while occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl until a nice, soft cohesive dough forms and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough seems too dry you can add a few small drops of water. And vice versa if the dough is too wet, add a sprinkle of flour.
  • Once the dough is finished mixing, transfer it to a lightly floured countertop then cover with a kitchen rag to allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F then begin to slice your dough once it’s rested. Begin by slicing the dough in half, then in half again, and so forth until you have small 2″ x 1″ pieces (about 25-30 pieces).
  • Bring the 8 cups of water and baking soda to a soft boil over medium heat while we shape our pretzels.
  • Once you have all of your pieces cut and they are roughly the same size, one at a time gently pinch the edges of each piece to create the pointed ends of the football. Gently tap the top of the dough to flatten and shape the football to the best of your ability. The key is to work the dough as little as possible. Repeat this step for each one.
  • Once each piece of dough is shaped into a football, use a small pairing knife to add the details. Create two curved lines on the sides of the football the one in the center. You do not need to cut through the entire pretzel, just enough to show the lines on top of each one. Use the pictures above as guides to help you determine what the cut should look like.
  • Once the pretzels have been shaped and cut to show football line details, gently dip 4-5 pretzels in the baking soda bath one at a time and allow to soak for 20-30 seconds then remove them and place them onto the prepared baking sheet fit with parchment paper. Keep the baking soda bath boiling or at a soft simmer the entire time.
  • Brush the pretzels with the egg wash mixture of 2 egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of water. Then sprinkle coarse salt on top.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes or until they’ve reached a deep golden brown color.
  • Enjoy with mustard, queso, beer cheese dip, or whatever you wish!


  • To store Homemade Soft Pretzels, keep them in an air-tight or ziplock bag and store them at room temperature for up to 5 days. They are best kept frozen if you wish to preserve them longer. They can be made ahead and stored in the freezer for up to one month.

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    1. Hi Ann – thanks so much!! This recipe can absolutely be used to make the traditional shaped Soft Pretzels 🙂 You will follow the same exact process for preparing the dough and then of course create the classic twist or nugget shapes. You may need to adjust the bake time depending on the size difference. I hope you enjoy!