Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I love hot pretzels, especially nice big puffy ones. This recipe is not hard at all, but it does have a few pesky steps. The pretzels are deliciously chewy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside and you can top them with just about any seed or seasoning you prefer. I made these with toasted sesame seeds and a light sprinkle of coarse ground salt. This recipe makes 8 large pretzels.

1  and 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 generous tablespoon of dry yeast
4 cups all purpose flour (divided)
2 tablespoons canola oil

In your stand mixer, mix two cups of the flour, sugar, yeast and kosher salt. Pour the warm water and oil over the top and mix with wooden spoon until all ingredients are wet. Let this stand for about 10 minutes.

Attach the dough hook to your mixer and gradually beat in the additional 2 cups of flour (1/2 cup at a time). If dough is still sticky after you get the 4 cups of flour mixed in, had a little more flour (tablespoon at a time) until the dough pulls cleanly away from the inside walls of your mixing bowl. Once it does that, knead on low for about five minutes (see note).

Remove the dough from your mixing bowl and spray the inside of the bowl with vegetable spray; return the dough to the bowl and spritz the top of the dough with vegetable spray; cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let dough sit for an hour or until it doubles in size.

Preheat your oven to 450. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and spritz the paper with vegetable spray then rub a paper towel over the parchment paper to remove excess spray. Set aside.

Punch down the dough and cut it into 8 pieces. Roll out each piece into a 24" rope and twist it into a pretzel shape (pinching ends together tightly). Place pretzels on the prepared parchment paper.

In a large (wide bottomed sauce pan), bring 10 cups of water + 2/3 cup baking soda to a rolling boil (it will really bubble). Gently place one of your pretzels onto a slotted FLAT spatula and gently lower the spatula (with pretzel) into the boiling water. Shake the spatula very gently and the pretzel will float off into the water. COOK ONLY ONE PRETZEL AT A TIME.

Boil each pretzel for 30 seconds then gently lift it back out of the water and (before you put it BACK on the parchment paper) rest the slotted spatula/pretzel gently on a kitchen towel (for a couple of seconds) so that it will absorb any water drips......THEN put it back on the parchment paper. Repeat this process for each pretzel.

When all pretzels have been through the water bath, gently brush the tops of them with egg wash (1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water) and sprinkle with salt and/or seeds.

Bake in 450 oven for 12 minutes or until they are dark golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for five minutes before serving.

 Not the best for you, I'm sure, but the cheese dip recipe that is on the back of the Velveeta box is still my favorite: 1 pound of Velveeta (cubed) + 8 ounce jar of your favorite salsa. Mix and microwave on high until cheese is really melted (about 4 or 5 minutes...stir once in a while). When it's completely melted, add 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro. Yum!

This evening, hubby had sweet chicken wings for dinner (not my favorite) so I sliced one of the big pretzels and made an egg salad sandwich with it. Oh man, what a sandwich!

 NOTE: I have not tried it, but I do not see why the initial dough mixing and kneading couldn't be done with a bread machine.

NOTE: Be very gentle with the pretzels when you transfer them from the boiling water back to the parchment paper lined baking sheet.


Talita said...

Your pretzels look gorgeous! I have no doubt those are delicious!

Leslie said...

I adore soft pretzels. But have never made them. Sooooo yum

Jeff said...

Love soft pretzels!! One of my favorite things in the world and I like to fold in some pickled jalapenos into mine too. I will take mine with some spicy cheese dip too please :-)

Wandering Coyote said...

I love these! I have been known to make them from time to time (in cooler weather) and they are sooooo good!

girlichef said...

Wow!! I am thanking you in advance for these...they look amazing :D Love the pretzel sammie!!!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Each October I have an Oktoberfest at my home, to celebrate my mom's life-- who was from Bavaria (Southern Germany). I've been wanting to make pretzels. Your recipe looks like the one to try. I think I can do this! Once again, thanks, Coleen!

Cristine said...

I love homemade pretzels! Yours look amazing!

Peggy Clyde. said...

I have always wanted to make big soft pretzels and now I can. Thanks for all your great recipes.

Mommy's Kitchen said...

Great Job Coleen. I made them and what a chore but i love them so. I might try your recipe next time.

Monica H said...

I adore soft chewy pretzels, topped with coarse salt and dipped in mustard. oh man!

and that sandwich! I'd make the pretzels just so I could have a sandwich- yummy!

Katy ~ said...

These look more beautiful than any street vendor pretzels I have ever seen anywhere! Coleen, you would put them all out of business!

Kerstin said...

Yum, these look great! I love that you made a sandwich with them too!

teresa said...

my daughter and i have been doing some cooking lately, this looks like it would be such a fun project to try with her!

Ingrid said...

Darn! In scrolling thru your blog I see that you've been very busy! I hate when I'm away. Everyone always seems to go on a blogging rampage and here I am missing out. :(

Take these soft pretzels-YUM! And how about that lush banana cream pie and we say delicious? Yup, I've missed a lot. :( I won't comment on all your past posts but please know I drooled over 'em!

oneordinaryday said...

These look so delicious. Nice job!

NikiTheo said...

Try one of these pretzels as the roll for a burger! they look like they'd do the trick, no problem!

Erin said...

Hey Coleen! Thanks for the different pretzel recipe. I've tried the one posted on The Sisters Cafe lots of times, so I'd love to try a new one. This looks great!

Nancy said...

Hi Coleen! My 10 year old daughter is making up a batch of these pretzels. She followed the directions but then asked me, "What is the 2T of vegetable oil for?" I read and reread the directions and don't see where you actually use it. Hope it wasn't for the dough o_O. Oh well, if they come out a little dry then we can add more dip when they are done.

Coleen said...

Yes, the oil goes in the dough, sorry about that.