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Soft Pretzels at Home - Skip the Trip to the Food Court

Updated on January 9, 2016
5 stars from 1 rating of Warm Chewy Soft Pretzel Recipe

I love soft pretzels. The big doughy treats warm fresh out of the oven. Give me mine heavy on the salt and a side of spicy mustard and cheese to dip it in. Yes. Both. I am a glutton, what can I say. I love walking through the mall and strolling past the food court and getting a whiff of the freshly baked pretzels at Auntie Anne's or one of the other chains. We were out to dinner the other night and my wife ordered soft pretzel sticks with beer cheese dipping sauce. It was delicious. As I sat there and ate most of her appetizer, I thought, 'I can do this.' A thought that sometimes has mixed outcomes for me.

The first thing I had to do was learn how to cook, and fast! Just kidding. I know my way around a kitchen. I needed a recipe to start with. I scrounged the internet and found a smattering of recipes for soft pretzels. I took what I liked from some and left out the stuff I thought didn't belong. Here is what I came up with:

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour 30 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 1 hour 45 min
Yields: 8 Big Soft Pretzels

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 TBS Brown Sugar
  • 1 pkg Dry Active Yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups White (All Purpose) Flour
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 2 Quarts water
  • 1 Large Egg Yolk
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Pretzel salt
  • Cooking spray or vegetable oil for the pan

Instructions

  1. Pour the 1 1/2 cups warm water into a bowl. Stir in the brown sugar and tsp of salt. Sprinkle the packet of dry yeast over the top. Allow to sit until bubbles start to form. Usually about 5 minutes.
  2. Gradually stir in the flour. If you are using a stand mixer do this with the dough hook. Knead the dough until smooth. Again, with a stand mixer, this is about 5 minutes. It will take longer by hand. Cover bowl and allow it to sit in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets wit parchment. Lightly coat with cooking spray
  4. Bring 2 qts of water and baking soda to a boil in a large saucepan.
  5. Turn dough out onto lightly floured prep surface. Divide the ball into 8 equal parts. Roll out each piece of dough into long strands 18-24 inches. Cut each strand into 3 or four pieces if you are doing sticks, or form into shape of a pretzel.
  6. Dip each piece of dough into the boiling water solution for about 30 seconds. Retrieve from the water with a flat spatula and place on parchment.
  7. Beat egg yolk with 1 Tbs of water. Coat the pretzels with the egg yolk mixture and sprinkle with pretzel salt. or cinnamon and sugar.
  8. Place in the oven until deep brown. Approximately 13- 15 minutes depending on your stove. Let rest for 5 minutes before eating. They will be very hot.

Step by Step Photo Instructions

Mix the warm water, brown sugar and salt together in the bottom of a mixing bowl. Sprinkle the packet of yeast over the surface.
Mix the warm water, brown sugar and salt together in the bottom of a mixing bowl. Sprinkle the packet of yeast over the surface.
Allow the mixture to sit for 5-10 minutes. The yeast will start to work and bubbles will become visible
Allow the mixture to sit for 5-10 minutes. The yeast will start to work and bubbles will become visible
Allow the flour to mix in before adding more.
Allow the flour to mix in before adding more.
Add Flour to the mixture slowly one cup at a time.
Add Flour to the mixture slowly one cup at a time.
Mix the dough in your stand mixer for about 5 minutes or until the dough has become smooth.
Mix the dough in your stand mixer for about 5 minutes or until the dough has become smooth.
Cover and let stand in a warm spot for approximately 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size
Cover and let stand in a warm spot for approximately 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size

The Waiting

So, While we are waiting for the dough to rise, Let me tell you how much I love my stand mixer. Ok. It is my wife's stand mixer, But I love to use it. When she bought it 10 years ago for $299 I thought 'What in the living hell!? a $300 mixer?!' But let me tell you right now. It was worth every freaking penny! If you don't have one, and you do any kind of baking, get one. Guys, if you want to make her life easier and your life tastier, it makes a great birthday, Christmas or anniversary gift. I use mine...um my wife's for everything from meatloaf and meatballs to these pretzels and cookies.

Let's go check on that dough.

Place Water and baking soda in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil
Place Water and baking soda in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
Separate the dough into eight equal size balls
Separate the dough into eight equal size balls
Roll a ball of dough into an 18" to 24" long Snake or rope on the counter
Roll a ball of dough into an 18" to 24" long Snake or rope on the counter
Shape the rope into a "U"
Shape the rope into a "U"
Twist the ends of the "U" over each other
Twist the ends of the "U" over each other
And then fold the Loop end of the "U" down over the twist to form the traditional pretzel shape
And then fold the Loop end of the "U" down over the twist to form the traditional pretzel shape
When the water and baking soda has reached a rolling boil drop the formed pretzels into the water for 30 seconds each. The baking soda solution gives the pretzel it's crispy outer shell and the boiling gives it a chewy middle almost like a bagel
When the water and baking soda has reached a rolling boil drop the formed pretzels into the water for 30 seconds each. The baking soda solution gives the pretzel it's crispy outer shell and the boiling gives it a chewy middle almost like a bagel
Scoop the pretzels from the water with a large flat spatula. The pretzels will have grown in size.
Scoop the pretzels from the water with a large flat spatula. The pretzels will have grown in size.
Place the boiled pretzels on a cookie sheet. I usually use parchment paper, but was out of it today, so I made due with a lightly greased pizza pan. Coat the pretzels with a wash made from beating 1 large egg yolk and 1 tbs of water.
Place the boiled pretzels on a cookie sheet. I usually use parchment paper, but was out of it today, so I made due with a lightly greased pizza pan. Coat the pretzels with a wash made from beating 1 large egg yolk and 1 tbs of water.
Place the pretzels in the oven for 13-15 minutes or until deep and golden brown.
Place the pretzels in the oven for 13-15 minutes or until deep and golden brown.
Allow the pretzels to sit for about 5 minutes before attempting to eat them. Trust me. They taste much better if you don't scald your mouth on the first bite.
Allow the pretzels to sit for about 5 minutes before attempting to eat them. Trust me. They taste much better if you don't scald your mouth on the first bite.
Now that your house is filled with the heavenly aroma of fresh baked soft pretzels, Sit down and enjoy.
Now that your house is filled with the heavenly aroma of fresh baked soft pretzels, Sit down and enjoy.
Soft pretzel roll. Perfect for burgers.
Soft pretzel roll. Perfect for burgers.

While I was making these pretzels today, I made half the batch into pretzels rolls. They are perfect for burgers and add a bit of texture to any sandwich. I sliced an "x" into the top of each roll before submerging them in the baking soda bath. This produced the sliced effect you see in the picture.

I hope you give this recipe a shot. If you do, please rate it above and comment here. I would love to hear some feedback from you if you tried it, if you did something differently, or if you have ideas to improve the process of making these delicious pretzels. Thanks for readint!

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    • Eric Hatchitz profile image
      Author

      Eric Hatchitz 19 months ago

      Yes. 1 packet is .25 ounces or 7 grams.

      Thanks for the question. Be sure to let me know if you try them!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 19 months ago from Home Sweet Home

      how much is 1 pkt of yeast? 7g?