Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Soft Pretzels

The boy has been asking me to make soft pretzels for ages. My prior experience of soft pretzels was from those carts in New York and they never lived up to the expectation created by the smell. I found this amazing "pigs in a pretzel blanket" recipe that was more my speed, but the boy really wanted regular ol' pretzels. So I went along with that plan and these were a happy, happy surprise. They are anything but regular ol' and I will happily make them again and again. They were super t-a-s-t-y! Perfect for superbowling — or any weekend afternoon, really.

Soft Pretzels
Adapted from From Away
1 1/2 cups warm water (110-115º F)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
vegetable oil/cooking spray
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
coarse salt

Combine water, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle yeast on top and wait until mixture starts to foam, about 5 minutes.

Add flour and butter and begin to mix with dough hook attachment on low speed, until ingredients are combined. Turn up the mixer to medium speed and work until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, approximately 4-5 minutes. 

Remove the dough, lightly coat the bowl with vegetable oil, return the dough, cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm spot in your kitchen until it doubles in size, about one hour.

Preheat oven to 450º F. Lightly oil two cookie sheets. In a deep skillet or roasting pan, combine the water and baking soda. In a small bowl, beat egg and water. Have your salt on hand. Bring the water to a boil.

On a lightly oiled work surface, divide the dough into eight pieces. Roll each piece into a long, thin rope. Twist into pretzel shape.

Gently drop pretzel into boiling water, one at a time if necessary, and cook for 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon or flat spatula, let drain over skillet and place on oiled cookie sheet. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle generously with coarse salt. 

Bake for 12-15 minutes until a deep, golden brown is achieved. Remove to rack to cool slightly before serving.


  1. i have really gotten into baking lately. these look great!! they seem fun to make.

  2. They are really fun to make, Megan. You could get a little extra fancy with the pretzel shapes, too — I think I may try that next time. Let me know if you make them!