Homemade Soft Pretzels


We just had two days of workshops here, with cheesemaking, soapmaking, and baking. One of the attendees at the baking day asked about homemade soft pretzels. I took up the challenge and here’s what I came up with–and they came out delicious!

Start with a batch of Grandmother Bread dough.

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How to make Grandmother Bread:

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups flour

In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit five minutes. Stir in salt and first cup of flour with a heavy spoon. Add more flour a little at a time, stirring until dough becomes too stiff to continue stirring easily. Add a little more flour and begin kneading. The amount of flour is approximate–your mileage may vary! Continue adding flour and kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until doubled. Uncover bowl; sprinkle in a little more flour and knead again.

Attendees at the baking workshop, playing with dough:
Divide dough in half, then divide each half again. Keep dividing until you have eight to ten pieces, depending on size pretzels desired. Shape into pretzels.
Set pretzels aside to rise slightly while bringing a pot of water to boil. Drop pretzels into pot, boiling several at a time, for about 30 seconds to a minute.
Drain then place on greased baking sheets.
Brush tops of pretzels with an egg wash. (Several egg whites and a little bit of water.) Sprinkle with coarse salt. (Or cinnamon sugar!)
Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned–don’t overbake or they won’t be soft.
These turned out delicious and tasted–really!–just like pretzels! We were so proud.

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.
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  1. Heidi533 says:

    Yum! I love soft pretzels! The best I ever had were from bakeries in Germany. But there they boil them in water that has food grade lye.

  2. holstein woman says:

    When I taught a junior high school cooking class we had a fun class and made soft pretzels. These look really good.

  3. OCHousewife says:

    These look similar to the recipe I use, except mine calls for milk to be heated with sugar and oil. I use instant yeast so that is added to the dry ingredients. If you add salt and baking soda to the boiling water bath the pretzels will be darker and more preztel-y looking when they are done baking. When I bake them they are gone the same day!

  4. jokuti says:

    I make pretzels at home, and I was surprised at how easy they are. If you put them in boiling water with baking soda (takes the place of the lye) added, you can get the really beautiful brown shiny color without having to use an egg wash. The ones I make are like the ones in Germany and you don’t have to let the dough rise, so makes it even quicker. :clover:

  5. Heidi533 says:

    Jokuti, I would love it if you would share that recipe. Perhaps on Farm Bell Recipes? 😉

  6. jokuti says:

    Heidi, the recipes are very similar I think, although I am not home to look at mine at the moment, but I do remember that mine uses brown sugar instead of white. Don’t think that would make much of a difference though. You are right Suzanne, I think it’s the baking soda method more than anything else. I would like to also take the opportunity to thank you, for CITR is what got me interested in trying to bake yeast breads just over a year ago. I have come quite a long way and gotten very comfortable with the process in that time, even to making bagel dogs a few weeks ago. :snoopy: So I and my German husband, who doesn’t think the stores sell real bread here in the USA, 😀 are very indebted to you!

  7. denisestone says:

    This was so much fun! Our fifteen minutes of fame. 😉 Thank you for not posting my pic (just my hands). Much appreciated!

  8. meigseer says:

    I’m glad Suzanne took pictures on Saturday and not Friday. :shimmy:

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