Real Homemade Soft Pretzels

READY IN: 2hrs 15mins
Recipe by Wildflour

These are just like the ones you get at the fair! Most recipes leave out the very important step of boiling before baking. You must do this to achieve the right results. *Prep time includes rising time.

Top Review by Andrew P.

I've been baking pretzels for years, and I'm always looking for a new recipe, in search of the perfect pretzel. This one is very easy to make, but misses out on a couple of the important steps that make pretzels, well, pretzels. For starters, you're making them too small. Cut the dough into 8 pieces, and roll the ropes out 30-36" long. That gives you a "mall sized" pretzel. Usually 3-4 minutes kneading is enough; you don't want to dry out the dough or make it tough by over doing it. Do it by hand, it's more effort cleaning your mixer or food processor than the little bit of effort made in 150 kneads. Next, they absolutely HAVE to get an alkaline bath to get that Maillard reaction going, not just a boiling. This means either (or even both) a 30 sec dunk in 8c simmering water with 1/2c baking soda, or 15 seconds in a lye dip. Lye is the real way to go, but it's smart to wear rubber gloves and to very very gently stir to dissolve 30gm food grade lye powder in 1 litre of cool water. Malt syrup instead of white sugar or brown sugar gives a more robust pretzel taste too. Many recipes call for freezing the formed pretzel before they get dipped. This makes them easier to handle and they hold their shape in the dips. If you use the lye dip you don't need the egg wash; they get majestically brown all by themselves. I use a cooler oven for a bit longer, 425F for 21 minutes is about right. So I'd call this a "first time" recipe, which is fine. But a more advanced method will make a much better pretzel.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. In large bowl, stir yeast, sugar and warm water.
  2. Let rest til yeast is dissolved and is a little foamy.
  3. Stir in 1 cup flour. Then rest of flour mixed with the 1 Tbl salt.
  4. Knead on lightly floured surface til smooth.
  5. Place in oiled bowl, rolling around til all oiled. Cover and let rise till doubled in size.
  6. Remove and knead again just a little bit, gently.
  7. Cut into 16 pcs., roll each pc.into 14" ropes, shape into pretzels and place on greased cookie sheet.
  8. Cover and let rise 15 minutes.
  9. Drop each, one or 2 at a time into a small pot of boiling water, boiling each 1 minute, and replace back onto greased cookie sheet.
  10. Brush each with eggwash (1 egg beaten with 1 Tbl. water), sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake in preheated 450º oven for 12-15 minutes! This is the best recipe to make real soft pretzels!

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