Everyone loves an Auntie Anne's pretzel. The second you walk into the mall, you can't help but smell them—and crave them. It's hard to resist the crunchy, chewy, buttery goodness of these pretzels.
This recipe allows you to make these wonderfully addictive pretzels yourself, plus have the amazing smell wafting through your own home. Easy to make, they require a simple dough and a little rise time. Twisting the pretzels is easy to do, and it's so much fun to do in a group or with kids.
You can easily double this recipe if you need an extra-large batch of pretzels. They freeze well—just toast them up when you're ready to serve. You can serve them with mustard, nacho cheese sauce, or any savory or sweet dip.
- For the Dough:
- 2 cups milk
- 4 tablespoons butter (salted)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 5 cups/745 grams all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- For the Topping:
- 2 cups water (warm)
- 1/3 cup baking soda
- 4 tablespoons butter (melted)
- Pretzel salt (to taste)
Gather your ingredients.
Scald the milk in a small pot. Do not boil; just heat the milk until it is hot all of the way through.
Add the butter and sugar to the hot milk. Stir until the butter melts and the sugar has dissolved. Set it aside and cool until just a bit warmer than room temperature. If the milk is too hot, the yeast will die; too cold, and it won't rise as quickly (around 100 F is ideal).
Add the yeast to the top of the milk mixture and allow it to soften for a few minutes.
Using the bread hook attachment on your stand mixer, add in the flour and salt and stir with the hook attachment until completely combined and a smooth ball forms.
Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and allow it to rise for 1 hour or until the dough doubles in size. Then punch down the dough in the bowl.
Turn the ball of dough out onto a cutting board. Cut the dough into 10 equal pieces. If you are looking to make smaller pretzels, cut the dough into smaller pieces. This will give you smaller pretzels. You need a decent size piece of dough to make the large, skinny pretzels that are Auntie Anne's signature.
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Roll a piece of the dough into a long and very skinny "rope," about 36 inches long.
Loop the dough in half and then twist the ends together 2 or 3 times.
Pull the ends back over the loop to make the classic pretzel shape, pressing the ends to make them stick.
Whisk together 2 cups of warm water and the baking soda in a shallow dish. Dip the pretzels into the baking soda bath. Flip and dip the other side.
Place the dipped pretzels onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. You should be able to fit 2 or 3 onto each baking sheet.
Bake the pretzels for 7 to 8 minutes or until golden brown.
Brush the pretzels with melted butter.
Sprinkle them with coarse pretzel salt.
Dig in immediately. They are best when they are eaten hot and fresh out of the oven.
How to Store and Freeze
- You can refrigerate the dough for up to 24 hours as it rises.
- You can also freeze the dough for three months. Move to the fridge to defrost overnight and proceed with the recipe.
- Pretzel salt looks and tastes the best in the recipe, but you can also use a regular coarse salt like kosher salt.
- You can substitute the milk with water and non-dairy butter for the butter if you are looking to cut out dairy.
What Makes Auntie Anne Pretzels so Good?
Auntie Anne Pretzels are somehow more delicious than your average pretzel. A healthy dose of sugar makes for a tasty dough, and a topping of melted butter and salt makes them positively addictive. Another reason the popular pretzels are so good is they are made and served fresh and warm.