I love those pretzels you buy at the mall, you know the kind I’m talking about. The ones that are either coated in cinnamon sugar, or the ones with salt that you can dip into creamy, melted cheese sauce. YUM!
After searching the internet for good (easy) recipes for homemade pretzels, I came up with this version based upon many different variations. It’s somewhat sweeter than the kind you buy at the mall, but it’s oh-so-soft and buttery! I’m sure you’ll like it! Give my recipe a try! 🙂
- 2 packets active dry yeast
- 1 1/4 cups warm water (between 98-105 degrees)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons melted butter
Baking Soda Bath:
- 4 cups boiling water
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- More melted butter
- Cinnamon sugar (1/2 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons cinnamon)
- Kosher salt (as much as you like)
- Parmesan cheese and garlic powder (sprinkle on as much as you like)
1. Mix together 2 packets of active yeast (rapid rise yeast is okay) with 1 1/4 cups warm water and 1 teaspoon sugar. Let it sit for 10 minutes to proof. You know your yeast is still alive (active) when it begins to bubble.
2. In a mixing bowl, mix together 3 1/2 cups of flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 cup sugar.
3. Add to the flour mixture 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Pour the yeast mixture into the mixing bowl.
4. Using a dough hook attachment of a stand mixer, mix the dough together. The dough should start to come together after a few seconds and begin to pull away from the side of the mixing bowl. After mixing for about a minute, the dough should have come away from the sides of the bowl. Look inside the bowl; if you still have bits of flour at the bottom that isn’t getting mixed in, add water, a teaspoon at a time (you should not need to add more than 3 teaspoons) until all of the flour gets incorporated into the rest of the dough.
5. Turn the mixer speed up to medium-high and knead it for 5 minutes.
6. Prepare a clean bowl by smearing the sides with butter or spraying it with butter spray. I recommend using a glass bowl so you can see how much the dough has risen. Place the dough inside the glass container, turning it around so that you coat the ball of dough with butter. This is to keep the dough from sticking to the bowl as it rises. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place the dough in a warm place to rise until doubled (about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on how warm it is). You can place it inside your oven with the oven light turned on. You can also microwave about 2 cups of water until it starts to boil. Leave the boiling water inside the microwave then place your bowl of dough in the microwave. The steam and heat from the hot water will turn your microwave into a perfect warm place for the dough to rise.
7. When the dough is just about doubled, prepare your soda bath. This is necessary to get your pretzels to have the nice dark brown coating on the outside. To prepare the baking soda bath, mix together 4 cups of boiling water with 1/2 cup baking soda.
8. After the dough has doubled in size (after about 90 minutes), turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into roughly 12 small pieces.
9. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.
10. Recruit your kids to shape the dough into pretzels. This is the fun part! After shaping the dough into pretzels (and pretzel bites as shown in this photo), dip the dough into the baking soda bath. Let the dough soak in the baking soda bath for at least 10 seconds then place it on the parchment paper lined baking sheet.
11. Top the pretzels with kosher salt (optional) or leave it plain. Other options for toppings:
~ Raw sugar (also called turbinado sugar)
~ A mixture of parmesan cheese and garlic powder.
~ For cinnamon-sugar coated pretzels, melt butter in a small bowl. In another small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons cinnamon.
12. Bake the pretzels for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown on top. Brush the freshly baked pretzels with melted butter after coming out of the oven. You can top it with more toppings at this point (kosher salt, cinnamon-sugar, garlic-parmesan, etc.). ENJOY!