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Soft Pretzels

2012 May 31
tags: ,
by admin

When summer rolls around the Omnivore inevitably asks me to make soft pretzels.


Why, dear husband, do you want these only in summer?  Don’t you know they require standing over a boiling cauldron of water?  Haven’t you noticed the oven preheating to 500 degrees to achieve that perfect pretzel?


Who am I kidding?  It is all so worth it.  Forget Auntie Annie’s – take Auntie Branny’s!  We discovered that the pretzels make especially fabulous egg sandwiches…


Soft Pretzels (from Alton Brown)


1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt


  1. Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top.
  2. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam.
  3. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined.
  4. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Place dough in a well oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  6. Allow bowl to sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  7. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  8. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
  9. Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan. When you dump in the baking soda, beware of foamy overflow!
  10. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces (for large pretzels).
  11. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.
  12. Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula.
  13. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt.
  14. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.
  15. *And if you aren’t eating these babies the day you bake them, I highly recommend reheating each pretzel in a toaster oven for about 5 minutes.

Preparation time: 2 hour(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

  • USA Kiwi (Kylee)

    Ohhhhhhhhhh. I want one right NOW!

  • Heather

    These look amazing! I absolutely love soft pretzels but have yet to make them at home–perhaps it is because I know my lack of self -control! :)

    I feel like that egg sandwich is calling my name…yumm!

  • Anonymous
  • Nicole, RD

    You’re such a good wife :) I’d tell hubby that he’s gotta stand over that boiling water in the summer heat if he wants soft pretzels. But they are sooooooooooo good :)

  • Kate

    These are SO perfectly browned!

  • Chrystal Oates

    Looks great! I have used the same recipe and I love it.

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  • Beth

    I am in the process of making these for our NYE get together… let’s just say everyone else will be lucky if any actually make it to the party!

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