|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 4g||5%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||3%|
|Total Carbohydrate 29g||10%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|Total Sugars 1g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Soft pretzels are a favorite snack for eaters of all ages, whether they're enjoyed after school or served with a mug of beer. A great soft pretzel has a lovely brown exterior studded with flaky salt and a soft, bready interior, perfect for dipping in mustard. This recipe ticks every box and is totally doable at home.
Homemade soft pretzels are so much better than store-bought and they're fun to make. The dough comes together easily in a stand mixer, but it can also be kneaded by hand. After an hour rise, divide into portions, roll out to make ropes, and make the signature pretzel shape. Quickly boil in a baking soda-water solution (to achieve a brown exterior), sprinkle with salt, and bake. Try making them as a baking project and enlist kids and family members ro form and twist the pretzels.
Serve the pretzels with your favorite whole grain or gourmet mustard or, for a touch of sweet and savory, try honey mustard. You can also mix things up by serving a cheese sauce or caramel sauce alongside.
Gather the ingredients. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let the mixture stand for about 15 minutes, or until slightly foamy.
Mix in the olive oil, flour, and salt.
Using the dough hook, knead on medium-low speed for about 10 minutes. The dough will be stiff, but add small amounts of water, about 1/2 teaspoon at a time, if too dry.
Gather the dough up into a ball and place in a large oiled bowl. Turn the dough to coat thoroughly with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until doubled.
Just before the dough is finished rising, fill a large, deep pan with the water (a large Dutch oven or deep 4- to 6-quart sauté pan work well). Stir in the baking soda. and bring to a boil.
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and flatten slightly. Cut into 12 uniform pieces, roughly 2 to 2 1/4 ounces each.
Roll each piece into a long rope about 18 to 20 inches in length.
Grasping both ends, bring them up slightly and towards each other, forming an oval, then cross one end over the other.
Press the ends together at the bottom of the oval shape, forming a pretzel. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
Place the pretzels on the parchment-lined baking sheets.
Carefully drop three pretzels into the boiling water. Boil for 45 seconds, turning once with a large slotted spoon.
Carefully remove them from the water, drain, and place them back on the parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining pretzels.
Sprinkle each pretzel with coarse salt.
Bake the pretzels for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until they are a rich golden brown, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.
Cool slightly and serve.
How to Store and Freeze
- The dough can be prepared and baked the next day. Before proofing, cover with plastic wrap and stick the mixing bowl in the fridge. Store for up to 24 hours before cutting and forming the dough.
- While better fresh, leftover pretzels can be stored for up to three days in an airtight container. You can reheat them slightly in the microwave or oven.
- Baked, cooled pretzels can be frozen for up to two months. Stash in a zip-top freezer bag and defrost in the fridge overnight before enjoying.
- Make sure your water is warm but not hot before adding the yeast and sugar. Hot water can kill the yeast and the bread will not rise.
- If you don't have a stand mixer, you can knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- You can also bake the pretzels as pretzel sticks or bites instead of shaping them into the traditional twisted shape. Form the dough into ropes and cut into desired lengths before boiling and baking.
- For a richer flavor, brush with melted butter before sprinkling salt and baking.
- For a sweet variation, skip the flaky salt and toss the pretzels in a cinnamon-sugar mixture instead.
Do You Have To Boil Pretzels Before Baking?
While you can make homemade pretzels and skip boiling them in a baking soda solution, they won't have the same flavor, look, and texture as professionally-made pretzels. However, they will successfully bake—add a minute or so to the bake time.
What Does the Baking Soda Do for Pretzels?
Boiling homemade pretzels in a baking soda solution gives them their signature brown outer crust while keeping the interior soft and bready. They also add a bit of flavor that's unique to soft pretzels.