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A close up of a soft pretzel on a cooling rack
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Soft Pretzel Recipe

How to make the best soft pretzels at home! Don't forget to check out my step by step photos and tips above!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Proving time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 8 pretzels
Calories 261kcal

Ingredients

For the Pretzels

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (360mL) at 110F
  • 1 packet active dry or instant yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted and slightly cool
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling on counter (480g)
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling flaked or coarse

For the Boiling:

  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 10 cups water

Instructions

  • Combine warm water, sugar and yeast in a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix together and set aside for 4 minutes or until it begins to bubble.
  • Add, salt, melted butter, and two cups of flour a cup at a time mixing with a spatula or wooden spoon in between.
  • Attach dough hook to your stand mixer (or electric hand mixer). Add the remaining flour a cup at a time while mixing on a medium speed. Mix for about 3 minutes or until the dough comes together and bounces back when pressed lightly with your clean finger. If your dough is still quite sticky you can mix in a ¼ cup of flour.
  • Transfer to a lightly floured counter and knead for about 4 minutes or until smooth and bouncy.
  • Important note - See my tips section below on how to do the windowpane test if you are unsure whether your dough has been kneaded enough or not.
  • Transfer dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl then cover with plastic and place in a warm place to rise for 40 minutes or until roughly doubled in size.
  • Divide dough into 8 pieces then roll into 20-24 inch ropes. Form a U shape with the dough then twist the two ends together at the top leaving about an inch and a half free. Loop the twisted portion down to form a pretzel shape. Repeat for the remaining ropes.
  • Preheat oven to 450F
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Bring 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil then add the pretzels in one at a time for 30 seconds, remove with a slotted spoon, and place on your lined baking sheet.
  • Brush with the beaten egg and a teaspoon of water then sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Video

Notes

  • Instead of shaping these into traditional pretzel shapes, you can cut them into small pieces to make soft pretzel bites!
  • Use warm water to help activate the yeast, the dough will also prove much quicker this way. Make sure your water is warm and not hot though or it'll do the opposite!
  • Let the dough prove in a warm place, again make sure it's not too hot or in direct sunlight.
  • For that Auntie Annie's flavor, I recommend brushing melted butter on the pretzels before and after baking.
  • To reheat the pretzels and serve them warm you can reheat them in a hot oven for a few minutes or pop them into a microwave.
  • Do the windowpane test - a great way to know if your dough is kneaded enough is to do the windowpane test, here's how you do it. Remove a small piece of dough about the size of a golf ball and gently stretch it to create a thin membrane-like pane or windowpane, it should be thin enough to see light through it. If the dough breaks it means the gluten hasn't developed properly and you need to knead it for a little longer.
  • When it comes to baking recipes I always recommend weighing the flour with a kitchen scale because it's the only way to ensure accurate results every time but if you are using cups, fluff the flour in a bowl or container with a fork before spooning it into the cups. This way you have far less chance of overpacking the cup.
  • Since this makes 12 pretzels you'll need to boil them in batches.
  • Storing and freezing - raw or baked pretzels can be frozen for up to 3 months. Baked pretzels will keep well in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 3046mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 87IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 3mg