I love soft pretzels.
Like obsession-level love.
Like I pass a soft pretzel stand on my way to work and have to actively resist purchasing and devouring a huge pretzel at 7:30AM.
Since I love them more than anything, I decided that I needed to learn how to make my own soft pretzels at home. And now that I have finally cracked the code, I want to make them EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
(I wasn’t kidding about my love of soft pretzels)
And who knew that they are so easy to make?
Soft pretzel dough is basically glorified bread dough. Which means that you have all the ingredients hanging around your pantry.
Which means that you can make homemade pretzels right now.
It starts with yeast.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine active dry yeast, warm water, sugar, and some salt and allow the yeast to bloom and become foamy.
Then add in bread flour, sugar, salt, and vegetable oil. Then mix! I use the dough hook attachment because I feel it kneads the dough much more effectively than the paddle attachment. After 5 minutes, a soft ball of dough should form. I kept a little bowl of warm water next to me and added a little bit to help the soft dough form – you may not need it, but it’s always good to have the water on stand-by just in case. Pull the dough out of the bowl so you can add in a little vegetable oil into the bowl, then toss the dough back into the oiled bowl – then your dough won’t stick to the bowl as it proofs! Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a clean tea towel and place the bowl in a warm place for 1-2 hours.
Now it’s time to make the pretzels.
To prep COOKING the pretzels, place your two oven racks in the two middle positions of your oven. Then preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Then grab a large pot and add in 10 cups of water and 2/3 cup of baking soda. Bring the water/baking soda mixture to a boil.
While you wait for everything to heat/boil, form the pretzels. Lightly oil your counters and then turn the dough out onto the counter.
Cut the dough into 12 even pieces. Then roll each piece into a 18-20 inch long rope.
To make the traditional twist, take the two end of the rope, line them up next to one another (so you have two parallel lines of dough), twist them three times and then take the end of the twist and attach it to the bottom “U” of the pretzel.
It seems hard at first but after you do a couple, you develop a rhythm. We also tried out Just A Taste’s pretzel twist methods too, which also turned out nicely! (and I may like it better than the traditional twist…) When all the pretzels are formed and the water is boiling, dunk the pretzels for about 30 seconds in the boiling water-baking soda mixture.
Please use a slotted spoon!! The water is extremely hot.
Drain the pretzels on a clean tea towel to remove any extra moisture. Then place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet where the parchment was lightly sprayed with cooking spray.
Then brush them with some egg wash (one egg mixed with a tablespoon of water) and sprinkle them with sea salt. All that’s left is to pop them into the oven and bake for about 12-15 minutes until they are golden brown and divine.
Then all that’s left is to serve them up with some spicy brown mustard. They are a perfect addition to your bread basket, football viewing party, or as a morning snack (because soft pretzels are acceptable at 9AM, right?).
So, kiddos, do you love homemade pretzels as much as I do?
Your pretzel obsessed friend,
- 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1½ cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 cups bread flour
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 10 cups water
- ⅔ cup baking soda
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- Sea salt
- Cooking spray
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast, water, sugar and salt. Let the yeast bloom for 5 minutes until foamy.
- When the yeast is bloomed, add in the bread flour, vegetable oil, sugar, salt. Mix, using the dough hook attachment, for 5 minutes until a soft dough forms - have a small bowl of warm water on stand-by in case your dough is too dry and needs a little extra water to form a soft dough. Remove the dough from the bowl and add in some vegetable oil and then return the dough to the oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a clean towel and then set the bowl in a warm, quiet place for 1-2 hours to let the dough double in size.
- Place your two oven racks in the middle positions in your oven. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray the paper with cooking spray. In a large pot, combine water and baking soda and bring to a boil.
- While the oven is preheating and the water is coming to a boil, form the pretzels. Lightly grease your countertops with vegetable oil to prevent the dough from sticking to the counters. Turn the dough out onto the counter and divide into 12 even portions. Roll each dough portion into a 18-20 inch rope. To form the traditional pretzel shape, take the two ends and twist together and then attach the twisted end to the bottom "U" of the pretzel.
- When the water has come to a boil and the pretzels are formed, carefully dunk the pretzels one at a time into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove the pretzels from the water and let it drain on a tea towel to remove some of the moisture. Place the pretzel onto the baking sheets.
- Before baking, whip up an egg wash (egg with water beaten together) and brush the surface of the pretzels. Sprinkle over sea salt.
- Bake the pretzels for 12-15 minutes until golden brown and delicious!
- Serve alongside spicy brown mustard as desired.