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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Soft Pretzels

This is an adaptation of an Alton Brown recipe.  Mine is different because I just use my ultra-versatile French Bread dough.  But I did follow his directions for boiling and baking.  You can click the link for directions for the dough.  If you are comfortable with yeast dough and just need the ingredients, here is the list:

3 1/2 cups flour - mix in 2 teaspoons salt

1 1/3 cups warm water  - dissolve 1 teaspoon yeast in this


I like to use my Cuisinart to mix.  For food processors you add the dry ingredients first and then drizzle in the liquid.  Pulse for about 30 seconds.  If you prefer a Kitchenaid, start with the liquid and then add the dry ingredients.  Knead for about 10 minutes.

The last time I made these, I made the dough the evening before.  I let it rise for 2 to 3 hours and then refrigerated it overnight.  The next morning I set it out to come to room temperature and proceeded to shape and bake.

Preheat oven to 450°F.  Begin shaping the pretzels.  I think I made 16 last time.  Cut the dough into equal chunks.  Roll each chunk into a long rope-shaped piece.  Bring the ends up in a U shape.  Cross the ends twice and then bring them back down.  Set aside.

At some point, bring 10 cups of water to boil, with 2/3 cup baking soda added.  When it reaches the boiling point, boil each pretzel for 30 seconds, one at a time.  Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to retrieve them.  Place the pretzels on a baking sheet and brush with egg yolk mixture (1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water).  Sprinkle with pretzel salt (I used Morton Kosher Salt).

Bake 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden brown (mine took longer, but I use baking stones).



  1. Does it really only take 1 tsp of yeast? I guess you don't want them to rise too much.

  2. Yes, I like a slow rise. That way the bread develops better texture and flavor. If you're in a hurry, just use more yeast.

  3. I made these today and they turned out great! I oversalted a bit, but I'd rather oversalt pretzels than undersalt (in contrast to my general rule with everything else.) We were brushing some of the salt off, but otherwise they were completely delicious! I will definitely make them again. Thanks so much!

  4. You're welcome! We made a batch today, too. We were in more of a hurry and so made the dough today--used 2 tsp yeast. I noticed a slight difference, and both the kids did, too. I will be making the dough the day before from now on. It just makes a better texture, nice and chewy, and more flavorful pretzel. :)