This soft pretzel recipe may even be better than that mall kiosk. Soft, chewy, easy homemade pretzels in 45 minutes, start to finish.
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Good Monday, friends!
I’m going to pull an Oprah here and say it: I. LOVE. BREAD.
And I especially love my snack breads, like soft pretzels. For a while, pretzel bites were all we were munching on. But then my 3 year old, Greyson, realized as we were at the mall playground, that a certain kiosk makes pretzels in the ‘pretzel’ shape. So I got bombarded with, “I want weal pretzels, Mommy. The weal ones!”
Oi. Okay, Mommy is on it. Thankfully, the ‘real’ pretzels’ shape isn’t as hard as I thought to create.
Did you know the shape of a pretzel is supposed to look like little kids in prayer? Apparently they were invented by a priest to give to the kids who sang their prayers correctly.
At least, that’s what I’ve found from some research.
So this morning I was testing this soft pretzel recipe and the smell woke Greyson up, who wobbled out of his room yelling, “Mommy, what cooking? I’m hungry; want bweakfast.”
Does anyone else have such a demanding toddler? I’ve been trying to be firm about it, but he’s so darn cute! This is how bad habits are formed, haha.
These pretzels are so easy and quick, with only a couple of essential pantry ingredients: water, yeast, brown sugar, salt, butter, flour. And an egg wash, but that’s optional. I do love how it gives a glossiness to the pretzels, though.
The knead on these is easy, a couple of minutes, just until the dough is no longer sticky. Which is great, because I hate kneading by hand. It’s why all my bread recipes so far are little to no knead. Having dough gunk up into my nails is not the business, honey!
To make the pretzel shape, which I explain in the recipe but I’ll go a little deeper here, after rolling out a pretty thin-ish log of dough, make a circle and twist the ends (as far from the middle as possible!) about two or three times. Then pinch the ends to the pretzel pretty darn well together. This helps ensure the pretzel doesn’t twist apart while in the baking soda bath. Don’t be scared of the bath, it’s no different than poaching eggs. They go in, you scoop ’em out. Don’t be scurred.
Then brush with egg wash, sprinkle some pretzel salt (or flaky sea salt or kosher salt, those work great as well) and set into the oven.
Isn’t pretzel making easy? Makes you want to start your own mall kiosk business.
Make sure you serve it with some molten, creamy cheddar cheese sauce. It is divine!
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- 1 package, 21/4 tbsp dry active yeast
- 1 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp water, milk, or cream
- Kosher, Sea, or Pretzel salt for decoration
- BAKING SODA BATH:
- 9 cups water
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together yeast and warm water and let bloom for 5 minutes. After yeast is activated, add butter, salt, and sugar and whisk together well. Then stir in 3 cups of flour using a wooden spoon, one cup at a time, until dough comes together well. Add in another 1/2 cup of flour and mix until dough is only slightly sticky.
- Flour work surface and turn dough out onto the floured surface. Knead for 3-5 minutes, until dough is no longer sticking to hands. Oil a large bowl and place dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let rise for 20 minutes in a warm, draft-free area.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Bring large pot of water and baking soda to a boil. Take dough and cut about a small fist's worth of dough, then roll it into a thin 20-22 inch log.
- Turn log into a circle, then twist the ends two or three times and fold over to ideal pretzel shape. Pinch the ends to the pretzel. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Place pretzels into the baking soda bath for 25-30 seconds, then scoop out using a slotted spatula and place onto baking sheet. Repeat until all pretzels are bathed and placed on baking sheet.
- Beat egg and tablespoon of preferred liquid together then brush egg wash onto the pretzels. Sprinkle on salt, then bake in oven for 14-15 minutes until golden brown.
- Serve with Cheese Sauce.
Make an easy cheese sauce to go with these pretzels or cover them in cinnamon and sugar for a sweet treat!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 189
See you in the next post!
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.