Homemade Soft Pretzels

Homemade soft pretzels

Homemade soft pretzels have been on my cooking and baking bucket list for what seems like ages.  I made plans again and again to set aside some time out of my weekend to make them, but something always came up or got in the way.  I kept pushing them back further and further, which was disappointing but what can you do?  I was lucky enough to have a long three-day weekend from work recently and finally got to make my homemade pretzels.  I was so happy that they came out just as good as I had hoped.

Homemade soft pretzels

Yes, these pretzels do take a little bit of extra time, but the result is absolutely worth it.  They are perfectly chewy but still soft on the inside.  They have that faint yet wonderful hint of butter with just an extra touch of sea salt sprinkled on top.  I had originally planned to make a cheese sauce to go along with these, but to be honest they are perfect completely plain.  I felt like a sauce would ruin them – which is crazy!  But true : )  Maybe next time I’ll give a dipping sauce a chance.  I have a feeling I’ll be making these again sooner rather than later, especially considering they disappeared a little too quickly for my liking… I blame my husband for that.

Homemade soft pretzels

Homemade Soft Pretzels
 
Yield: 12 pretzels
Ingredients
  • 1 cup warm water (approx. 110 degrees)
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the warm water. Sprinkle in the yeast and then add the honey and salt. Mix for a few seconds on low speed to combine. Next add in the bread flour. Mix on low speed until the dough forms a cohesive mass. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed for about 5 to 7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  2. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large lightly oiled bowl. Turn the dough once to coat and then cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 to 1 ½ hours. Gently press down on the dough to deflate then cover again with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise again until nearly doubled in size, about 30 to 40 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Add the 6 cups water to a large 12-inch skillet. Stir in the baking soda and then cover with lid. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.
  4. Meanwhile, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 12 equal sized pieces (a kitchen scale is helpful here - each should be about 2 ounces). Working one at a time, roll each piece into a 20-inch rope that is about ½ inch wide. Holding the two ends of the rope, make a U shape. Then cross the two ends over each other, twist one turn, then press them onto the bottom of the U shape to form a pretzel. Place each on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. When the water is boiling, gently place 3 pretzels at a time into the water, top-side down. Boil for 30 seconds and then use tongs or a wire skimmer to gently flip the pretzels over. Boil for another 30 seconds then remove with a skimmer, drain well and place back on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pretzels.
  6. Generously brush the tops of the pretzels with the melted butter. Sprinkle with the sea salt. Bake for 12 to 16 minutes, until the pretzels are well browned, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking. Remove the pretzels to a wire rack to cool.

Source:
Slightly adapted from Baking Illustrated.

 

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Comments

  1. I checked soft pretzels off my bucket list a few weeks ago! Such a great feeling, isn’t it! Yours look delish and make me want to make some more!

  2. These are totally on my bucket list too!!! they turned out so pretty!

    • Ashley @ Cookie Monster Cooking says:

      Thanks Aimee! Only problem is now that I made them I want to make more and more… and more lol.

  3. These look delicious, Ashley! We are soft pretzel lovers in this house and will definitely be giving this recipe a try. Thanks! Have you ever eaten at a pizza chain called Mellow Mushroom? If not, and you ever get a chance, go there. They make the most wonderful soft pretzels out of their pizza dough. They are my son’s all time favorite food and I would love to be able to make some but can’t find a similar recipe anywhere. Unfortunately we don’t have Mellow Mushroom in the midwest :(

    • Ashley @ Cookie Monster Cooking says:

      I ate there once a very very long time ago while visiting Charleston : ) But I don’t remember a thing about the food we had!

  4. When I was in Jr. High, I took a home ec class and we learned how to make pretzels and I would just keep making them at home. It’s been so long, but I really need to make them again!

  5. Okay, I think you’ve sold me on these. The description and photos got me. I have a strange aversion to crunchy bagged pretzels (always have, but only recently found out that my grandma hates them too – genetic perhaps?) As a result, I avoid soft pretzels too, but my husband is constantly saying we should try to make them ourselves. I love bagels and bread….so no chance I won’t like these, right?!

  6. I’ve been dying to give homemade pretzels a try too. It looks like yours came out perfect. You could give those pretzels in the mall a run for their money!

  7. i freaking LOVE soft pretzels and yours are gorgeous!! I just made them myself last month and swear by the recipe. butttttttt I think I need to try your version next. :) They look AWESOME.

    • Ashley @ Cookie Monster Cooking says:

      haha I haven’t had soft pretzels in years but now that I made them at home I’m completely obsessed… must make some again soon!

  8. I love homemade pretzels and these look great!

    • Ashley @ Cookie Monster Cooking says:

      Thanks Jessica! I’m so glad I finally got around to making them and discovered how awesome they are : )

  9. I’ve always wanted to make pretzels! But I always get so intimidated. I’m glad you can finally cross them off your bucket list – they look delicious :D

    • Ashley @ Cookie Monster Cooking says:

      They’re not as hard as I thought they would be : ) Definitely worth giving them a try!

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