10 July 2010

How to Make Soft Pretzels

I have been experimenting with different pretzel recipes to try and get a pretzel that tastes like the kind we get in the mall and the following recipe seems to come pretty close. Although a majority of the recipe comes from Alton Brown, I did do a little tweaking to the salt and sugar ingredients (just click Alton's name to view the recipe as he wrote it). As you can see from the photo, I still need some practice folding the little guys.

photo of my pretzels

What you need
  • Active dry yeast...3tsp.
  • Water...1 ½ cups (110° to 115° F)
  • Brown sugar...1 Tbsp. (this substitution made all the difference)
  • Salt...2 tsp.
  • All-purpose flour...3 - 3 ½ cups
  • Butter...4 Tbs unsalted, melted
  • Water...10 cups (enough water to fill a big pot to be used to boil the pretzels)
  • Baking soda...2/3 cup (no, this is not a typo: it's cup)
  • Egg yolk...1 large, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Pretzel salt (if you don't have pretzel salt, use any coarse salt you have on hand: Kosher or sea salt)

Putting it together
  1. In a mixing bowl add the yeast, brown sugar, and water. Let the yeast swim around and have fun for about 5 minutes. When it is foamy, they are ready to go
  2. Add a cup of flour, the melted butter, and salt. Stir to combine
  3. While mixing, begin adding the flour one cup at a time. This is a stiff dough, so when you test it, the dough will not stick to your fingers. Once you reach this desired consistency, continue kneading by hand until the dough is shiny (I don't want to risk over-mixing the dough with the machine)
  4. Place dough in a large, oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Leave in a warm location until doubled in size (about an hour)
  5. Once doubled, grab a large pot and fill with water (this is where the 8-10 cups of water come in)
  6. Add the baking soda and bring to a boil
  7. While the water is coming to a boil, remove the dough from the bowl and separate into 8 equal pieces
  8. Roll each piece into a ball and set aside
  9. On a floured surface, take one ball and roll it into a 18-20 inch long rope
  10. Taking each end, make into a U shape and loop one end around the other
  11. Place both ends in the middle of the U and press well to seal
    1. Better yet, avoid my badly worded instructions and view this great step-by-step instructional photo gallery at...The Kitchen You see, once again I didn't have the foresight to take my own pictures
  12. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough
  13. Pre-heat oven to 450°
  14. Once the water comes to a boil, place 1-2 pretzels (you don't want them touching each other) in the water and boil for 30 seconds
  15. Remove and place on a drying rack and repeat until all pretzels have had their bath
  16. Take your egg yolk solution and brush each pretzel
  17. Place pretzels on a parchment-lined baking sheet (or oiled baking sheet) and sprinkle with the Pretzel salt
  18. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until nicely browned (I check after 12 minutes and then recheck every minute or so)
  19. Remove and let cool for at least 5 minutes
  20. Enjoy

I have been asked by A Beautiful Mess to participate in my first Blog Hop. I hope you enjoy hopping around to these fine sites...


  1. Must. Not. Look.

    Sniffie and the Florida Furkids

  2. Delicious looking thanks for sharing this recipe!!

  3. That could be a very dangerous recipe to have! Those sound really good!

  4. These look awesome Tim! Just like the ones I used to bring home when I worked at Hot Sam's in the mall! Oh, I love these, hot, with a little mustard! Yummm, must try!!

  5. Furkidsmom: Lol :)

    Brandy: Thank you and you are very welcome.

    BeadedTail: They really are. The recipe I have here takes some things from another recipe and the result is very good.

    CredLady: I remember them, which is basically how I came to make these. I think that you will be happy with how these turn out :)

  6. Yum! And I think they'd be fun with the kids. I'd love for you to link them to my tasty tuesdays meme this week.

  7. I'll bet they sure smell good too!

  8. alicia: I think they would have fun forming the pretzels. My youngest did the one on the lower right in the photo...very good for a first time.
    That would be great, but you'll need to tell me how to do it.

    Brain: They smell really good!

  9. My first job ever was working at Hot Sams when I was 13. We were allowed to eat all the pretzels we wanted for free. I've been a fan of soft pretzels ever since then.
    If I ever stop being so lazy I may have to try and make these :)

  10. Oh, my goodness! How delicious. I could never in a million years make that recipe but if you decide to sell them, I'll be your best customer. They look so wonderful Tim.

  11. Ann: That is too funny, because that was the first job my sister had, too! These taste great, especially fresh out of the oven.

    Mountain Woman: These are actually very easy to make...the mixer does most of the work. If I do, you will be the first to get some :)

  12. Thank you! I tried making soft pretzels this weekend, but my improvised recipe turned out, um, not like that! They were good rolls, though. :)

  13. Firefly@fireflyblog.org: I find that they are actually kind of fun to make :)

    Melissa: You're welcome. You should have seen my first attempt at these...more like big pretzel balls :) They still tasted good, though.

  14. Thanks so much for linkin up with Tasty Tuesdays. So glad you grabbed the linky. I think I'll keep it a bloghop next week too and see how it goes. Your photo is fine btw. Can't wait to try these with the kids.

  15. alicia: Thanks again for asking me :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Google Analytics