How to Make Soft and Delicious Pretzels at Home

Updated on August 28, 2019
lizmalay profile image

I love baking of all types: cakes, biscuits, donuts, cookies, pies, bread, scones, muffins, and much more!

These pretzels were so yummy! I enjoyed making them at home.
These pretzels were so yummy! I enjoyed making them 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.

My Experience Making 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.

Ingredients

  • 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)

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. Combine brown sugar, butter, flour, and salt to the yeast mixture and mix until blended.
  3. Combine the remaining flour and knead mixture on medium speed until elastic and forms a dough.
  4. Transfer the dough into a bowl, cover with a cling wrap and let it rest for 1 hour in a warm place.
  5. 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.
  6. Divide dough into equal-sized balls and cover loosely with plastic wrap or cloth.
  7. 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).
  8. In a large bowl, whisk together baking soda and warm water. Set aside.
  9. Take the pretzel and soak into the baking soda water mixture for a few seconds, lift and allow excess water to drip off.
  10. Place the pretzel onto the baking tray, and reshape as needed. Repeat the process with remaining dough until finished.
  11. Bake pretzels for 11-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush the top with melted butter and honey mixture.
  12. Sprinkle pretzels with cinnamon and brown sugar mixture.
  13. Repeat the same process all pretzels.
  14. Enjoy the pretzels while they are warm. Yummy!

Photo Tutorial

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Combine the brown sugar into the yeast mixture.Add the butter. Combine the flour into the mixture. Use a hook attachment to mix all ingredients. Rest the dough for about an hour in a warm place. Poke the dough with your finger to let the air out. Divide the dough into a small equal-sized balls. Rolling the ball into a rope. Shaping the rope into a pretzel shape. Pinch the bottom of the rope. Prepare the baking soda bath in a large bowl. Soak the pretzel for a few seconds. Transfer the pretzels on the prepared baking pan. The remaining dough. The finished pretzels fresh out from the oven. Brush with melted butter and honey on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon brown sugar mixture. The bite-sized pretzels!
Combine the brown sugar into the yeast mixture.
Combine the brown sugar into the yeast mixture.
Add the butter.
Add the butter.
Combine the flour into the mixture.
Combine the flour into the mixture.
Use a hook attachment to mix all ingredients.
Use a hook attachment to mix all ingredients.
Rest the dough for about an hour in a warm place.
Rest the dough for about an hour in a warm place.
Poke the dough with your finger to let the air out.
Poke the dough with your finger to let the air out.
Divide the dough into a small equal-sized balls.
Divide the dough into a small equal-sized balls.
Rolling the ball into a rope.
Rolling the ball into a rope.
Shaping the rope into a pretzel shape.
Shaping the rope into a pretzel shape.
Pinch the bottom of the rope.
Pinch the bottom of the rope.
Prepare the baking soda bath in a large bowl.
Prepare the baking soda bath in a large bowl.
Soak the pretzel for a few seconds.
Soak the pretzel for a few seconds.
Transfer the pretzels on the prepared baking pan.
Transfer the pretzels on the prepared baking pan.
The remaining dough.
The remaining dough.
The finished pretzels fresh out from the oven.
The finished pretzels fresh out from the oven.
Brush with melted butter and honey on top.
Brush with melted butter and honey on top.
Sprinkle with cinnamon brown sugar mixture.
Sprinkle with cinnamon brown sugar mixture.
The bite-sized pretzels!
The bite-sized pretzels!

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Liza

    Comments

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      • lizmalay profile imageAUTHOR

        Liza 

        2 months ago from UT,USA

        Thank you, Linda, for your lovely comment. I hope the photo helps people who want to try to make the pretzels :)

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

        I love the fact that you always include great photos with your recipes. As usual, the food in this article looks and sounds delicious.

      • lizmalay profile imageAUTHOR

        Liza 

        2 months ago from UT,USA

        Thank you, Liz. I had a great time making these delicious pretzels at home. They were so perfect with an iced coffee :)

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        2 months ago from UK

        Skilfully done and beautifully illustrated.

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