Soft, hot and buttery, Homemade Pretzels are all that!
I don’t know what it is, but making my own breads is completely therapeutic for me. Between working with the dough to baking it so that the perfume of fresh baked bread fills the house, basically equates to a spa day in my world!
I’ve made my fair share of breads, and enjoy them all, but making homemade pretzels stretched my fidgety patience a bit. Its one of those recipes that in order to achieve the traditional flavor of pretzels, you have to dunk these little guys in an alkaline base of simmering water (water with baking soda). It’s not a hard step, just an extra step and it is a must, so don’t skip it.
When you “baptize” the pretzel dough in the simmering baking soda water bath, it will “seal” the outside of the dough so that during the baking it won’t fully rise, plus it’s the key to that traditional pretzel flavor and chewy crust. If you ignore this step, then it will basically taste like regular sandwich bread.
I’ve made the traditional pretzel knot, but you can also create your own pretzel rolls, sticks or whatever you please. If you make the sticks, after the the alkaline water bath, just reshape on the baking sheet and you’re good to go. To make pretzel bites, just cut each rope, about 1 – 2 inch pieces.
This recipe makes about 6 – 8 homemade pretzels, so if you need to make more, I find it better to make the recipe separate rather than doubling the ingredients. You can also freeze the homemade pretzels after you’ve baked your batches and allowed them to cool. Once ready to enjoy, simply thaw to room temperature and reheat in a 350°F oven for about 8 -10 minutes.
Serve these warm with your favorite mustard or this Beer Bacon Cheese Dip that I also love and serve with the Fried Cheese Grits – deary me, all of it is so good!
- 1 1/2 lukewarm Water (between 95 - 115°F)
- 2 1/4 tsp Dry Active Yeast
- 1 Tbsp Sugar
- 3 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 Egg, beaten
- 2 Tbsp Water
- 1 Tbsp coarsely ground Salt
- 8 cups Water
- 1/4 cup Baking Soda
- 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar, optional
- In a large bowl, add the warm Water and Sugar, then sprinkle the Yeast into the water mixture, give it a quick stir to mix. Allow to rest for about 5 - 10 minutes or until there are bubbles and it is thick.
- Add in the Flour, 1 cup at a time, Salt and Egg, using a wooden spoon or dough hook attachment on your stand mixer, mix until well combined and dough forms a ball (by hand about 5 minutes; using a stand mixer about 1 minute).
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured dusted bowl, cover and allow to rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
- Lightly flour a work surface, turn out dough and divide dough into 6 - 8 equal pieces.
- Working with one piece at a time, roll into a long skinny rope, about 20 - 22 inches long. Take both ends and cross over each other for a total 2 twist, making a circle shape, then fold the two ends down into the center of the circle to make a pretzel shape. Press down the ends to the seal. Set the finished shaped pretzels on a parchment lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.
- Loosely cover the shaped pretzels and allow to rest for about 30 - 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450°F, situate the rack in the lower third of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix together the beaten Egg and 2 Tbsp Water, set aside
- In a large stock pot, bring 8 cups to a light boil, add in the Brown Sugar (if using) and carefully add in the Baking Soda. ***Make sure that your pot is only half full, as the baking soda will cause the water to quickly bubble up***
- Reduce the water bath to a gentle simmer, carefully place the shaped pretzels into the water bath and cook for about 30 seconds. Gently remove and place back onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with all pretzels. I usually add 2 - 3 at a time to the water bath.
- Brush the Pretzels with the Egg wash, sprinkle with the course Salt.
- Bake in the 450°F preheated oven for about 12 - 15 minutes or until a nice golden brown in the lower third of the oven.
- Allow to cool, serve and enjoy!
Stacey is a Southern girl with a taste for travel, thriving on the discovery of the world through food. After spending many years traveling and living overseas, she’s now back home in her beloved deep south enjoying life with her three little ones and loving the adventure. She’s a food stylist and food photographer, as well as, the creative behind Little Figgy Food, where she loves to inspire others to try new flavors and foodie techniques.