Soft Pretzels

June 23rd, 2008

Hello, gorgeous.

I wish there was something I could type to convey how much I loved these.  Here’s my futile attempt.

Two minutes after they came out of the oven, after I’d already inhaled two of them, I was wondering how my life had ever felt complete before I discovered soft pretzels.

Several hours later, as I was getting ready to go out and meet some friends, I slipped three of these pretzels into my handbag (“in case” I got hungry later).  When I stupidly admitted to my friends that I had brought my homemade pretzels out with me, they enthusiastically depleted my pretzel stash.  Sigh — I was probably asking for it, right?

So, six hours after they came out of the oven, there were none left.  And I woke up the next morning, and guess what was the first thing I wanted to make?

I can see already that these little vignettes are hopelessly inadequate.  Just go make them.  You probably have all the ingredients on hand in your kitchen.  Don’t be scared of the yeast — they take less than 90 minutes, and they’re worth it.  Do you have kids?  These will make their month.

And don’t, all you New Yorkers, even compare these to the hardened semi-stale, enormous “soft” pretzels you can buy from the street carts at every corner in this city.  These are something very, very different.

Soft Pretzels

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
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 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: appetizers · breads · food

119 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Katy // Apr 12, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Jenn G. — I honestly have no idea!  Did you cover the dough and leave it at warm room temperature while it was rising?  That would be my only guess!

    Rhea — Yes, I think you can definitely use whole wheat dough!  Just watch the texture of the dough — sometimes whole wheat dough dries out really quickly, so you might need more water.

  • 2 Soft Pretzels « Pencil and Fork // Nov 17, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    […] some reason I decided to make pretzels. My recipe was inspired by, and adapted from, the recipe for soft pretzels at Sugarlaws. Here’s the thing: not only have I never made pretzels before, I’ve never actually […]

  • 3 » Soft Pretzels Pencil and Fork // Dec 11, 2010 at 10:04 am

    […] some reason I decided to make pretzels. My recipe was inspired by, and adapted from, the recipe for soft pretzels at Sugarlaws. Here’s the thing: not only have I never made pretzels before, I’ve never actually […]

  • 4 Jennie // Jan 3, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Can you freeze the dough/preserve it? Thanks!

  • 5 admin // Jan 3, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Jennie — I’ve never tried, but in general it’s fine to freeze yeast doughs before they rise.  Just take them out and let them rise before cooking!

  • 6 paula // Feb 2, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Not a Good Recipe ruined two batches, the mix was very dry and did not raise with the yeast, all my ingrediants were fresh also.  Dont know how this worked for you.

  • 7 Emily T // Mar 3, 2011 at 1:20 am

    I just made this recipe, and I must say, it turned out very yummy! (Smells good, too!) However, I did have some problems…the yeast/sugar/water mix turned frothy/creamy just like it was supposed to, but after I added the dry ingredients/oil, and let it rise for 1.5 hrs, it still hadn’t doubled in size! I was too impatient to wait any longer and wasn’ t sure more time would’ve helped it along. So my version only made 4 pretzels, not 6. 🙁 And 8 minutes burned the bottom of the pretzels as well. I’ll have to do more trial and error with this recipe, but they definitely were delicious nonetheless!

  • 8 lilly frothe // Oct 9, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    most disgusting recipe i ever made and ive made peanut butter mustard dipping sauce

  • 9 scarlettnii // Oct 14, 2011 at 5:07 am

    I simply love the recipe! This is quite easy for a new baker like me..Please keep posting for more baking and pastries recipes.

  • 10 Allie // Oct 29, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    We just made this recipe for the second time yesterday and they went like hot cakes!  We added parmesan cheese and pizza seasonings, coupled with some warm Prego…YUM.  Thanks!!!

  • 11 Kryssy // Dec 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    I am making these little gems as I type. They were so simple and easy to make. When my hubby comes home he will be so suprised. Love them.

    Thank you 🙂

  • 12 Yv // Jan 1, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Just made them…and ate them all =X

    Oops…I’ll do better next time!

  • 13 Benny for your thoughts: Baking Benny « // Jan 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    […] was making pretzels courtesy of one of my favourite blogs the other evening, and Benny oversaw the kneading process with the air of an […]

  • 14 Sara // Aug 20, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Absolutely delicious! My husband and I finished them within 5 minutes of taking them out of the oven.  We are currently waiting for the second batch to rise.  Definitely double or triple the recipe on the first go-round so you don’t have to wait!! 🙂

  • 15 Cheesy Pretzel Dogs - Kirsten Oliphant // Mar 19, 2014 at 6:49 am

    […] pretzel recipe was adapted from this one on Sugarlaws, which I’ve been using for years. Her tip to dip them in hot water with baking soda dissolved […]

  • 16 Fanaledrinks // Jul 29, 2014 at 5:37 am

    I’m impressed, I must say. Really seldom do I learn a weblog that is equally educational and entertaining, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head.

  • 17 Maddie // Sep 15, 2014 at 2:15 am

    Hi Katy,

    I have recently tried quite a few recipes from your blog (slow cooked bbq chicken has become a favourite), and these pretzels were a HUGE HIT with my family and friends. I’ve now made them another 3 times in the space of a week!  DELICIOUS!

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  • 19 soft pretzels images google imagesImagesWiki | ImagesWiki // Jan 3, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    […] Recipe […]

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