Soft Pretzels

Soft Pretzels

Photo by Karin T.

  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water

  • 1

    tablespoon sugar

  • 2

    teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1

    package active dry yeast

  • 22

    ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4½ cups

  • 2

    ounces unsalted butter, melted

  • Vegetable oil, for pan

  • 10

    cups water

  • cup baking soda

  • 1

    large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water

  • Pretzel salt


Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside. Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan. Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving. Tip From Pretzel Time Worker: I worked at Pretzel Time for several years in high school – you can save yourself the boiling water step/egg yolk step by taking a semi-shallow dish, putting in a couple cups of warm water and a couple tablespoons of baking soda. Stir in the soda and the whole pan of water should be a cloudy color. Then just dip the whole pretzel in that, lay on a pan for the oven, sprinkle with salt and bake. It is much easier than what you are doing, I promise! And the dipping takes all of 2 seconds per pretzel, and really, you can do multiple in one dip. And if you really want to be critiqued… your pretzel needs one more turn in the middle to be a true pretzel. :) Tips from a Pretzel Maker Worker: As a former employee and expert pretzel maker I have a couple of comments… 1- Baking soda bath does need to be pretty warm in order to completly dissolve the baking soda and its good to give it a stir prior to dipping as well. We used a coffee machine to heat our baking soda water to perfect tempature. Make sure to dip completely and let go of the pretzel to avoid finger marks. 2- The pretzel dog is made with “nathan’s” hot dogs and the dogs are boiled for roughly 5-7 minutes prior to rolling and baking. 3- The almond topping is just chopped almonds. It tastes so delicious because after its baked its dipped in melted butter. As for pretzels getting chewy- you may not know this but Auntie Anne’s makes your pretzels fresh every 30 minutes at the longest… if you’ve had and old pretzel you will notice it is chewy also. Popping your old pretzel into the toaster over or microwave should bring it back to its wonderful delicious self though!


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