How to Make Soft and Delicious Pretzels at Home
A Pretzel Challenge
As the fall season approaches, I'm excited to start baking again. Last year, I made many of my favorite holiday treats, and my family loved them all. This year, I have a few new ideas—including pretzels. I'd never made pretzels before, but I knew I was up for a challenge.
Preparing the Dough
To make pretzels, all you need are some basic ingredients, including flour, yeast, milk, salt, brown sugar, and some butter. When I prepared the dough for the first time, I noticed there was a similarity between bread dough and pretzel dough. For example, when making pretzel dough, you must begin by preparing a yeast mixture. For this recipe, I recommend using an active dry yeast because it worked tremendously well for me. However, you are welcome to use instant yeast instead. I also decided to use a stand mixer to get the ideal doughy texture.
By the way, since this was my first attempt at making pretzels, I decided to make a small batch. Nevertheless, you are welcome to double the recipe if you are baking for a crowd.
Plain vs. Toppings
I love pretzels that have a simple topping. You can decide if you'd like to make pretzels that are plain or have toppings. It's easy to make both kinds at once, however, which is exactly what I did.
All you have to do is to divide the recipe into two batches. When I took the finished pretzels out of the oven, I brushed the top with melted butter and dipped a few into a cinnamon brown sugar mixture. The others I simply left plain.
You can easily save plain pretzels in a freezer bag, which will allow you to have warm pretzels again whenever you want! Reheat the pretzels in the oven for 1–2 minutes before enjoying them again.
How to Make Homemade Pretzels
My experience is that it takes a bit of practice to get the best result. Making the recipe does require a bit of time, so I'd recommend following the instructions to achieve the best result. I enjoyed every bit of this process. This could be a great family activity at home with the kids! I will certainly be making this recipe again soon.
- 1 cup whole warm milk
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar (or light)
- 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus up to additional 1/2 cup as needed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup baking soda
- 3 cups warm water
- 5 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Cinnamon and brown sugar mixture for topping (or any other flavor you want)
- Pour the warm milk along with yeast into the stand mixer bowl and whisk together until the yeast has dissolved. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Combine brown sugar, butter, flour, and salt to the yeast mixture and mix until blended.
- Combine the remaining flour and knead mixture on medium speed until elastic and forms a dough.
- Transfer the dough into a bowl, cover with a cling wrap and let it rest for 1 hour in a warm place.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet or parchment paper on a baking tray. Poke the dough to release any air pockets.
- Divide dough into equal-sized balls and cover loosely with plastic wrap or cloth.
- Roll each ball into a long, thin rope about 32 inches long. Form a dough rope into a pretzel shape (refer to the photo below).
- In a large bowl, whisk together baking soda and warm water. Set aside.
- Take the pretzel and soak into the baking soda water mixture for a few seconds, lift, and allow excess water to drip off.
- Place the pretzel onto the baking tray, and reshape as needed. Repeat the process with remaining dough until finished.
- Bake pretzels for 11–12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush the top with melted butter and honey mixture.
- Sprinkle pretzels with cinnamon and brown sugar mixture.
- Repeat the same process for all pretzels.
- Enjoy the pretzels while they are warm. Yummy!
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© 2019 Liza