Soft Pretzels


Soft Pretzels

Farmer's Almanac
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Breads
Cuisine German
Servings 6 servings
Calories 232 kcal


Yeast proofing

  • 1-1/4 cups water 105-115º F
  • 2-1/4 tsp active dry yeast or 1 packet


  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour unbleached
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Pre-baking wash

  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp kosher salt

After-baking wash

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter melted


Yeast proofing

  • Pour warm water into large bowl and sprinkle the yeast in and stir.
  • Set aside for 5 minutes or until foamy.


  • Add the brown sugar, salt, and 2 cups of the flour and stir until batter-like.
  • Set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in enough of the remaining flour 1/3 cup at a time to make a firm dough.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 6-7 minutes or until smooth, supple, and elastic.
  • Clean the large bowl, then coat with oil to coat the bowl surface.
  • Add the dough and rotate to coat the surface of the dough with oil.
  • Cover the bowl and set aside in a warm, draft-free spot until the dough doubles in size. Can take from 45 minutes to a few hours.


  • Preheat the oven to 425º F.
  • Lightly coat two baking sheets with shortening or oil (not butter).
  • Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface and de-gas the dough.
  • Knead the dough for 2 minutes.
  • Divide the dough in half and put one half back in the bowl and cover it. Set aside.

Forming the pretzels

  • Divide the remaining half into 3 equal pieces.
  • Shape each piece into balls and let rest for 2-3 minutes.
  • Working one piece at a time, roll the dough to make a rope 30 inches long.
  • Shape the rope into a large horseshoe, with the ends pointed away. Holding the ends, cross them about 4 inches from each end, forming a large circle. Twist the ends together once (as you would twist a bread tie), pull them toward you and drape them over the opposite sides of the circle to form the classic pretzel shape.
  • Place the pretzel on the baking sheet.
  • Repeat fro the other two dough balls, leaving plenty of space between them on the baking sheet.

Pre-baking wash

  • Combine the hot water and sugar in a small bowl and stir.
  • Lightly brush wash on the pretzels.
  • Sprinkle with kosher salt.
  • Let rest for 10 minutes.


  • Bake the first batch for 18-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • While the first batch is baking, form the pretzels for the 2nd batch and allow to rest.
  • Melt the butter for the post-baking wash.


  • Transfer the pretzels to a cooling rack and immediately brush with the melted butter several times.
  • Bake the second batch.
  • Best served warm, but can be re-heated in the microwave for about 20 second each.


Calories: 232kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 3gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 3685mgPotassium: 42mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 233IUCalcium: 12mgIron: 2mg
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