garlic soft pretzels

January 11th, 2010

When I first posted this recipe for soft pretzels over a year ago, it immediately became one of the most popular posts on this site.  I made that recipe probably a dozen times, trying to improve it with some small variance — and finally settled on garlic.  Because, really, is there any savory recipe that isn’t better with some garlic?

But now I’m opening it up to you — what would be other good variations on this?  Clearly cinnamon sugar would be great, but are there any unique pretzel flavors I should try out?  I’m getting hungry just thinking about it…

Soft Pretzel Recipe

1 tsp active dry yeast
Pinch of sugar
1/3 cup warm water
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp canola oil

3 tbsp baking soda
1 cup hot water (as hot as your tap can get)
Sea salt

Dissolve yeast into water with a pinch of sugar, let stand 10 minutes, until the mixture is creamy colored. Mix the yeast mixture with flour, sugar, salt, garlic powder and canola oil, and knead until combined (a few minutes, not even 5). Let the dough rise in a greased bowl until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. When the dough has risen, pinch off a handful and roll it out into a long strand. Set aside. Repeat with the rest of the dough, about 6 times. Once all the strands are rolled out, pick up the first one and stretch it out again (the gluten will have relaxed and it should stretch further now). Twist it into a pretzel shape and place it on a baking sheet lined with silipat or cooking spray. Repeat with the rest of the strands.

Dissolve baking soda into hot water and stir until dissolved. Quickly dip each rolled pretzel into the mixture and place it back on the baking sheet. Sprinkle all the pretzels with sea salt, to your preference. Bake for about 8 minutes, until pretzels have browned.

Makes six medium-sized pretzels, but please double or triple this recipe, because they disappear quickly!

Tags: breads · food

24 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Erin // Jan 11, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Have you tried making these with whole wheat flour instead?  I try to use/eat whole wheat rather than white whenever possible.

  • 2 Beth // Jan 11, 2010 at 9:45 am

    A staple for Superbowl Sunday in our house, that gets made far more frequently than just that day. Our variations: Parmesean Cheddar (ok, I’m from Wisconsin…) add a sharp shredded cheddar to the dough and fresh parm on top when baking
    Ranch, I cheat and mix a bit of the Hidden Valley packet into the dough and mix the remaining packet with butter to brush on after baking
    We also do an Italian Seasoning version the same way
    mmmm, so hungry right now…

  • 3 Tia // Jan 11, 2010 at 11:00 am

    you are quite the bread baker! all your creations look wonderful. your pita bread also makes me hungry! maybe try out a bacon-chive with cheddar melted on top? or a rosemary olive oil (like foccacia).

  • 4 Willy // Jan 11, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    I’ve always loved pretzels with mustard… i think a dry mustard seasoning sprinkled on top sounds fabulous and i may try it for my next dinner party!

  • 5 Elizabeth // Jan 11, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    I do like the dry mustard idea … I want to find a good recipe for the delightful pretzels and rolls I found in Germany when I lived there, but I am certain to try this one, too!

  • 6 Joanne // Jan 11, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    What a great idea to add garlic powder to these…garlic makes everything better…except your breath.

    I bet infusing them with chives or some other herb would be awesome.  Chili powder?  Another option.  You could make pumpkin spice ones!

  • 7 Sam // Jan 12, 2010 at 3:09 am

    i would try chopped jalapenos mixed into the dough and then sprinkle it with lemon pepper, that sounds pretty good.

    These look wonderful!

  • 8 Natty // Jan 12, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Mmm, I’ve been wanting to make pretzels lately. Thanks for the inspiration! I think rosemary and parm in the dough and sprinkled over the top… yum… maybe a little black pepper… bacon? Now I’m getting out of control.

  • 9 Maggie // Jan 13, 2010 at 4:58 am

    I will absolutely try this. I’ve used so many of your recipes and they come out great every time (the most recent was your chocolate peanut butter cake for my roommate’s birthday)! I would try maybe a rosemary lemon, or something with thyme, ooh, or pumpkin sage. So many possibilities!

  • 10 Sara Tea // Jan 13, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    These look SO delicious. Bread intimidates me, but I’m going to have to get over that, asap. I want to be eating these right now!

  • 11 Meghan@traveleatlove // Jan 14, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    These look delicious, versatile, and easy!

  • 12 Tina // Jan 15, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Oooohhh, I can’t wait to try these.  I love soft pretzels, but I’ve never tried making them myself.  Thanks so much for the recipe!!!

  • 13 Carolyn // Jan 17, 2010 at 8:55 am

    I have this dough rising now as I write. I added 1/4 cup grated parmesan.  It’s hard to detect its flavor in the dough at this point.  Maybe after rising and/or baking, the parmesan will be more prominent.  If not, I’d add more next time.  This dough was SO easy to mix together and knead!

  • 14 Amber // Jan 20, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    I am beginning baker ok..  really this is the second yeast recipe that i have tried…  i believe that i am just bread challenged.  i followed the recipe the exact measurements and my dough was really tough and it never rose….

    any help!

  • 15 admin // Jan 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Amber — Did you use the same package of yeast for both recipes?  My guess is that it’s dead — yeast can die well before the expiration date on the package, I’ve had that experience.  Temperature can also play a role, but if it didn’t rise at all, I think the yeast itself was probably the culprit.

  • 16 Ashley // Feb 7, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    I am making these as I write, but I think something went wrong. The dough was very tough and dry, and I know I did everything right. Is the dough supposed to be like this? Or is it supposed to be softer like pizza dough?

  • 17 admin // Feb 7, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    oh no!  that sounds like a yeast problem again — you can add water if it’s dry, but if it’s tough and dry, it probably means your yeast is inactive.  did the dough rise at all?

  • 18 Ashley // Feb 8, 2010 at 9:45 am

    No it just sat there, like a hard rock lol. Is it supposed to be a drier dough? Or is it supposed to be more stretchy? I would love to give these another try, they just look so good 🙂

  • 19 RisaG // Feb 20, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    I was thinking some type of chile would be excellent or Honey Chipotle? Or I once made some blueberry pretzels that Emeril showed on his show. They were so good.

    I have to try these. They look so good. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • 20 YESIE // Apr 27, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    ) :
    Unfortunately for me I am allergic to gluten. Use an all purpose gluten free flour and did not turn out like yours. They’re flat, chalky, and didn’t stretch well.
    They do not work so well with the flour (the bean, rice flour mix kind)

  • 21 EPIC WIN. « The Knead For Speed // Jul 20, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    […] is, indeed, something deserving of the title EPIC.  EPIC WIN Garlic Soft Pretzels Adapted from Sugar Laws 1 tsp active dry yeast pinch of sugar 1/3 cup warm water 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup whole […]

  • 22 EPIC…uh, WIN! « The Knead For Speed // Jul 20, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    […] Adapted from Sugar Laws […]

  • 23 EPIC…uh, WIN! - The Knead For Speed // Jul 28, 2010 at 9:41 am

    […] Adapted from Sugar Laws […]

  • 24 Kitschbot // Nov 5, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    I tried this and had the same result as Amber and Ashley. My pretzels came out looking like dried turd. It’s definitely not the yeast because we just used the same yeast for some awesome pizza dough. :/ Not sure what happened.

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