Monday, February 20, 2012

Homemade Soft Pretzels

It was a rainy, dreary afternoon at home so I decided to bake something.  I saved Alton Brown's recipe for "Homemade Pretzels" about a month ago and never got around to make them.  This afternoon was perfect. You start by making a yeast dough, letting it rise, rolling it into a long rope, shaping the pretzels, and plunging them in boiling water for 30 seconds. After removing the pretzels from the boiling water,  you brush the tops with a beaten egg yolk and water.  Sprinkle with some pretzel salt and bake.  The result is a fabulous tasting pretzel.  They  have the perfect pretzel texture - not too soft, not too hard.  The family ate the pretzels plain, dipped in melted cheese, or  sliced and used them as "bread" for their sandwiches.  These pretzels go great with soup, too.
Alton Brown's recipe was well written and the pretzels were not difficult to make.  Best of all, the pretzels tasted great.

Homemade Soft Pretzels
Alton Brown Food Network, 2007

1 1/2 cups warm (110-115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt


1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and them oil it well with vegetable oil.
4. 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.
5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil.  Set aside.
6.  Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
7. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces.
8. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope.
9. 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.
10. Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1 for 30 seconds.
Boiling The Pretzel
11.  Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula.
12.  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.
Brushed With Egg Yolk, Water and Sprinkled With Pretzel Salt
13.  Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 pretzels

Finished Pretzel


  1. You did an excellent job on these. Getting them shaped just right and having a perfect browning is not easy. I have tried them before and mine certainly did not look like this. These look like they came from a bakery and I do love soft pretzels-yum!

  2. Thank you for stopping by my blog. Your pretzels looks crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Reminds me of those in New York stands... I love it warm and freshly baked especially on a cold winter day like today!

  3. Geri, I have always wanted to make my own pretzels! These look so grandkids would love them! Thanks for inspiring me!