There are a few thing I usually stray away from making in my own kitchen. Like bread, for example. Baking bread is an art and each step must be followed accordingly. I figured making homemade pretzels would be just as complicated and timely as making foccacia or artisan french bread, but it was surprisingly so super easy! I can’t wait to make these again.
Homemade pretzels outweigh store bought or anything you could buy from Auntie Ann’s. Sorry, but it’s true. This pretzel recipe brought me back to my childhood days when we would go to Germany to visit my mom’s family and eat German pretzels every day with our morning cup of coffee. That’s what so great about food, it takes you back to certain times in your life that you will always remember. You will love this recipe!!
For this recipe you will need:
3/4 cup warm water (110 – 115 degrees), plus more as needed
2 tsp. honey
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tsp granulated salt
1/3 cup baking soda
2 Tbsp. olive or vegetable oil for greasing
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Begin making your pretzel dough by combing the warm water and honey in a small bowl. Sprinkle the dry active yeast on top of the water and let stand until it is foamy, about 5 minutes.
Sift together both flours and 1 Tbsp salt. Using a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, add the dry ingredients to the bowl followed by the yeast mixture, mixing on a low speed until the dough is soft and begins to appear smooth, about 5 minutes. If the dough is too dry and not combining very well, add 1 Tbsp warm water at a time until the dough starts to come together.
Transfer the dough to a clean countertop with a small amount of flour sprinkled onto the counter. *Too much flour will cause the dough to become too tough.* Knead and roll the dough until it comes together, about 2 minutes. Place the ball of dough into a bowl that has been greased with 1 or 2 Tbsp. olive or vegetable oil. Cover with a damp towel and set aside for 45-60 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a sauce pot over medium high heat, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Remove from the heat and add 1/3 cup baking soda to the water and whisk until the baking soda is completely dissolved. Pour into a shallow 9-inch square pan or baking dish and let cool to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased workspace and divide into 6 equal parts. Using your fingertips, roll the dough pieces into thin ropes until they are evenly and consistently the same diameter from end to end, about 30″ long. Make a horseshoe shape with the dough before criss-crossing both ends two times, making the classic pretzel shape. Place the pretzel into the baking soda water for 2 minutes, spooning water over the top of the pretzels if they aren’t completely submerged. *You will notice that the pretzels will begin to puff up. This is a very important step in pretzel-making and shouldn’t be skipped.*
Transfer the pretzels to a heavily greased baking sheet, sprinkle with coarse sea salt or pretzel salt, and let rest for 10 minutes. Bake the pretzels until golden brown, 8 to 9 minutes. Using a pastry brush, brush the hot pretzels with melted butter.
Serve your pretzels with a beer mustard, cheese sauce, or sweet icing. Bon Appetit!