Homemade Pretzels Recipe - Joyofbaking.com *Video Recipe* (2024)

Homemade Soft Pretzels: In a small measuring cup stir the yeast and white sugar into lukewarm water. Let stand until foamy (about 5-10 minutes).

Inthe bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the dough hook, combine the flours, brown sugar, and salt. Gradually pour the yeast mixtureinto the flour mixture, with the mixer on low speed.Addthe melted butter, then knead this mixture on medium speed until youhave a soft dough that is smooth and elastic, and just a little sticky (this will take about 3 to 5 minutes). Shapethe dough into a ball and place into a lightly oiled large bowl, turning once so the top of the dough has a light coating of oil (this prevents a crust from forming on the top of the dough).Cover withplastic wrap and let rise in a warmplace until doubled (approximately 1 hour).Then gently press the dough to release the air and let rest about five to ten minutes.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Have ready a baking sheet that is lined with aluminum foil. Thoroughly spray the foil with a vegetable spray or brush with a flavorless oil.

In a large skillet or Dutch oven mix 1/3 cup (90 grams) baking soda into 8 cups (2 liters) water. Cover and bring the water to a boil over high heat.

Meanwhile, divide the dough into six equal portions (each portion should weigh about 105 grams) and cover them with a clean dish towel. Working with one portion of dough at a time roll the dough back and forth, using both hands with even pressure (working from the center outwards), until you have a 24 inch (60 cm) long rope. Lift the rope periodically as you roll to make sure it's not sticking to the counter. Then form the rope into a U shape with the two ends pointing away from you. Take the two ends and cross them, left over right, about 2 - 3 inches (5 - 7 cm) from the ends. Then cross the ends again, right over left. Lightly moisten the two ends with water and fold the two ends down and press them into the bottom of the U at the 5 and 7 o'clock positions. This will give you that classic "pretzel" shape. Place the pretzel onto your prepared baking sheet. Cover your baking sheet with a clean towel and continue rolling and forming the other five portions of dough into pretzels.

Next, using a slotted spoon or wire skimmer, gently place one pretzel into the boiling water, top of the pretzel facing down (I like to place two pretzels into the boiling water at a time). Boil for 30 seconds, then turn the pretzels over and boil for an additional 30 seconds. Remove the pretzels from the water using your slotted spoon, drain, and place the pretzels back onto your prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pretzels. You should be able to fit all six pretzels on one baking sheet as the pretzels don't really rise in the oven.

In a small bowl whisk the egg yolk with the cream. With a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of the pretzels with the egg wash. If desired, sprinkle the pretzels with a little pretzel salt, sesame seeds, or poppy seeds.

Bake the pretzels for about 10 - 15 minutes or until golden brown. Half way through baking, turn your baking sheet front to back. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Homemade pretzels are at their best the day they're made. But they can be covered and stored at room temperature for a day or two.

Makes six large (4.5 inch) (11.5 cm) pretzels.

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Homemade Pretzels Recipe - Joyofbaking.com *Video Recipe* (1)

Pretzel Dough:

1 cup (240 ml) lukewarm water

Scant 2 teaspoons (6 grams) active dry yeast

1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated white sugar

1 3/4 cups (225 grams) all-purpose flour

1 cup (130 grams) bread flour

1 tablespoon (15 grams) light brown sugar

2 tablespoons (25 grams) butter, melted

1 teaspoon (5 grams) salt

8 cups (2 liters) water

1/3 cup (90 grams) baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)


1 large egg yolk (about 17 grams)

1 tablespoon cream

Pretzel Salt, Sesame Seeds, and/or Poppy Seeds

Homemade Pretzels Recipe - Joyofbaking.com *Video Recipe* (2024)


What is the secret ingredient which makes a pretzel taste like a pretzel? ›

But it's the distinctive "pretzel" flavor that makes this bread extraordinary. That comes from dipping the shaped dough in an alkaline solution — traditionally a small amount of food-grade lye dissolved in water — before baking.

What is the best flour for pretzels? ›

I really recommend that you use bread flour rather than all purpose when making soft pretzels. Bread flour has a higher gluten content, which in this case yields softer and chewier soft pretzels than you could expect with all purpose flour.

What is the secret to making pretzels? ›

Refrigerated dough can be shaped into pretzels while still cold, but allow some extra time, about 1 hour, for the pretzels to puff up before the baking soda bath and baking. Baking Soda Bath (Step 6): The baking soda bath is strongly recommended because it helps create that chewy texture and distinctive pretzel flavor.

How do you keep homemade pretzels from getting soggy? ›

Cool Before Storage: Let pretzels cool completely to avoid moisture build-up. Individually Wrapped: Wrap each pretzel in plastic wrap to protect against dry air. Room Temperature for Short-Term: Store them in an airtight container at room temperature if enjoying within a couple of days.

What is the lie for making pretzels? ›

Lye is primarily used to make pretzels, and it's the reason for their unmistakable shiny, mahogany color. To prepare, shaped pretzels are dipped in a lye bath, then baked in the oven. This method can also be used with rolls or buns. Once lye-dipped pretzels are baked, they're totally safe (and delicious!) to eat.

What gives pretzel dough its flavor? ›

What Gives Pretzels Their Pretzel Flavor? You have baking soda to thank for that distinct pretzel flavor. Baking soda is highly alkaline and imparts that subtly metallic taste onto the dough before your pretzels go into the oven. Some recipes call for a lye bath, which does the same thing.

Do you put baking soda or baking powder in pretzels? ›

As noted above, baking soda is a staple ingredient for making homemade pretzels. Dunking your pretzels in a baking soda bath prior to baking is what enables them to develop their distinctive color and crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside texture.

Can I use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour for pretzels? ›

Bread flour provides more structure

The more protein there is, the more gluten that can develop. Gluten helps provide structure, allowing a baked good to have more body and sturdiness. As a result, bread flour will make it easier for a pretzel to hold its shape.

Is lye or baking soda better for pretzels? ›

Lye has a pH of around 13 whereas baking soda has a pH of around 8. This extra alkalinity accelerates the Maillard reaction, allowing that caramelization to develop on the exterior of the pretzels. That ultra-deep color and slightly crispy, crunchy exterior crust is only made possible with lye.

Why do you boil pretzels before baking? ›

Like bagels, pretzels are made in boiling water prior to baking to give them their snappy outsides and chewy insides (messy!). Soft pretzels must be boiled, or dipped in a baking soda bath (or lye if you're gusty and strict with your pretzel traditions). THEN, they can be baked.

What is the purpose of putting an egg wash on the pretzel? ›

Egg Wash – The egg wash on the pretzels gives them a little shine, and I find it softens the exterior a bit. For a more traditional taste, omit the egg wash and just use salt when the pretzels come out of the water bath.

Why are my homemade pretzels so dense? ›

Try not to over-flour the dough because it will make the pretzels denser and tougher. If you're not using a stand mixer, stir to combine with a wooden spoon and then knead with your hands for 5 minutes and until a smooth dough forms.

How long do homemade pretzels last? ›

Enjoy your pretzels within 3-4 days. Refrigerator: Once cooled, store pretzels in a resealable bag or container. If you're stacking them, put a piece of parchment paper between each pretzel. To heat, follow the instructions down below.

Why did my pretzels come out hard? ›

Soft pretzels have a shorter baking time

Soft pretzels can usually be baked in 15 minutes; hard pretzels, meanwhile, must be baked for up to an hour. The longer baking time further dries out the pretzel. And, as we have discussed, the lack of moisture is what gives the hard pretzel its brittle texture.

What makes pretzels taste unique? ›

Lye. The dough is simple; take a basic yeast-risen dough that can be readied in an afternoon. But the trick to great pretzels is dipping the pretzels in a liquid wash before baking — and not just any wash, but a combination of water and lye. That's what gives pretzels their terrific color, texture and flavor.

Why do my pretzels not taste like pretzels? ›

Bake longer

If you're not baking your pretzels long enough, they'll come out pale and dull. It's important to bake them until they're a deep golden brown. Likewise, the dough inside is cooked through and won't taste raw or doughy when you bite into it.

What is the secret solution for Auntie Anne's pretzels? ›

Brown Sugar- brown sugar is what Auntie Anne's pretzels, use for their pretzel dough. Salt- use good quality sea salt. Baking powder- works as a dough conditioner for these soft homemade pretzels. Basic Alkaline wash- is a simple baking soda and water solution made for dipping pretzels in.

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