My family grew up making soft pretzels on Sunday nights with this old recipe from my grandpa. They are the perfect social comfort food! Making them is half the fun, and then you can gather round a board game and watch them disappear. Homemade pretzels might sound intimidating, but they’re actually pretty forgiving and deceptively simple to mix up. Just make sure to thoroughly dunk in the soda solution for maximum color development and that wonderful lye flavor.
You can use a wide range of flour for these, but a high-gluten flour like hard white is recommended for the best texture. Pretzels made with sprouted flour may be less heavy, but a bit more fragile and perhaps better suited for pretzel sticks.
- 5-6 cups sprouted or natural hard white wheat flour
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. yeast
- 2 cups warm water
Mix at medium speed until dough starts to bind. Turn mixer on high speed until dough is firm and smooth. If mixing by hand, knead until it is as firm as playdough. Cover with a damp towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
Prepare soda solution by dissolving 2 large tbsp baking soda into 1.5 cups warm water. Brown 1/2 cup butter on stovetop and keep warm.
After dough has risen, roll into ropes and form into pretzels or sticks. Dip in soda solution, place on greased baking sheets, and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake at 500 degrees for 7-8 minutes until medium brown. Dip pretzels in brown butter and place in cake pan to cool slightly. Serve warm with cheese sauce, marinara, honey mustard, or enjoy plain!
Variations: Substitute 1-2 cups hard white flour for red fife or hard red flour for added flavor. For sweet pretzels, omit coarse salt from tops and coat with cinnamon sugar after dipping in the brown butter.
Soft Pretzel Lore
Did you know that soft pretzels actually predate hard pretzels by many centuries? According to legend, hard pretzels came to be rather recently, when a Pennsylvania baker accidentally left a pan of soft pretzels in his warm oven too long!
- 1/3 c. honey
- 3 T. yeast
- 1/3 c. coconut oil
- 4 T. wheat gluten (optional)
- 5 c. hot water
- 14-15 c. sprouted hard white wheat flour
Mix by hand or in stand mixer 1-2 cups flour and all ingredients except yeast. Add 2 more cups flour and yeast. Continue adding flour until dough pulls away from side of mixer bowl. Knead for 10 minutes. Let rise until double, or 1 hour. Form into 4 loaves and put into bread pans. Let rise again until double. Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
- 2 – 2 ¼ cups of sprouted hard white wheat flour, plus extra for kneading
- 1 cup warm water (Approximately 110 degrees)
- 1 ½ teaspoons yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon water
Combine the yeast and water in a large bowl, let sit for 5 minutes or until foamy. Stir in the honey and salt. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until a soft dough forms, adding another ¼ cup of flour if necessary. Turn out onto a floured board and knead until dough is elastic.
Grease a large bowl and put dough inside. Cover with a towel and let rise 60-90 minutes or until doubled.
Grease a 9” round cake pan.
Punch down dough and knead slightly. Break off 6 evenly sized pieces of dough and roll between palms. Place one roll in the center of the cake pan and evenly space the other 5 around the edge. Cover with towel and let rise about 30 minutes or until doubled.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix seeds in a small bowl. In another small bowl whisk together the egg and water until combined. Brush the egg wash over the rolls and then sprinkle evenly with the seeds.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped with knuckle. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
- 2 cups sprouted hard white wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened applesauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners or grease.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract beating until creamy. Add the applesauce and beat until thoroughly combined.
Fold the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing until completely uniform.
Pour the batter into prepared muffin tin filling almost full. Bake in preheated oven 15-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Frost as desired – cream cheese frosting is quite nice but use any favorite flavor.