Buttery soft pretzels

    2 hours 20 min

    These warm and buttery, homemade soft pretzels can be topped with sea salt for a savoury snack or cinnamon and sugar for a sweet treat.

    54 people made this

    Makes: 12 pretzels

    • 4 teaspoons dried active yeast
    • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
    • 300ml warm water (45 C)
    • 625g plain flour
    • 100g caster sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 100g bicarbonate of soda (for dipping solution)
    • 1L hot water (for dipping solution)
    • 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt, for topping

    Prep:2hr  ›  Cook:10min  ›  Extra time:10min soaking  ›  Ready in:2hr20min 

    1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in 300ml warm water. Let stand until it looks creamy, about 10 minutes.
    2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, 100g caster sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Make a well in the centre; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two more tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl; place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with cling film and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
    3. Preheat oven to 230 C / Gas 8. Grease 2 baking trays.
    4. In a large bowl, dissolve bicarbonate of soda in 1 litre of hot water; set aside. When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is shaped, dip each pretzel into the bicarbonate of soda-hot water solution and place pretzels on baking trays. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
    5. Bake in preheated oven until browned, about 8 minutes.

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    Reviews in English (1831)


    Good recipe, though I replaced the oil with butter and used less flour. Another reviewer asked why the baking soda bath is necessary: Old world Germans used to dip their brezels (pretzels) in a solution of sodium hydroxide (lye) and water before baking. Lye is a very strong and caustic alkaline. Because most people aren't comfortable mixing lye and water to make pretzels, baking soda - a much weaker alkaline - is now used in most pretzel recipes. Once the pretzels begin baking, a 'Maillard reaction' occurs. This is a chemical reaction sortof like carmelization, which allows the exterior crust to become a deep rich brown color. The reaction accelerates in an alkaline environment, which - you guessed it - has been provided by the baking soda bath. The baking soda, and resulting reaction, is also responsible for the unique taste of a pretzel. Without the baking soda bath the pretzel exterior ends up pale/white, and taste more like bread. This baking soda / lye bath step is paramount in making a pretzel a pretzel.  -  28 Jul 2007  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I have gotten into baking breads, etc. since my wife bought a baking stone. This recipe is very good. The pretzels didn't last long. Here's what I will do next time I make a batch: After dividing the dough into 12 pcs., roll the dough out into a rope at least 20-24" long. The dough will expand. Spray "I Can't Believe Its Butter" after I place the pretzels on the sheet and sprinkled coarse salt. I tried this on 3 pretzels from my first batch and they were better tasting. Use a rack that's up higher in the oven to prevent burning of the pretzels bottoms. Make sure my wife stands over me to supervise.  -  07 Jun 2002  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    WOW!! These pretzels are absolutely amazing. They were soft and chewy on the inside, awesome flavor, with that great authentic thin "pretzel" crust on the outside. I spooned the melted butter over them after baking which soaked in and was just perfect. My husband described them as "heavenly", haha, never heard him use that one before! Next time I will bake at maybe 415 or lower to keep them from being too brown before being done in the middle. I've been searching for a pretzel recipe and this one was much easier than most that I found. Tip: let dough rise in your oven, no heat, just turn on the oven light. Provides a draft free, warm place for dough to double flawlessly. Also use a damp kitchen town instead of plastic wrap to cover bowl and you won't have a dry crust to your risen dough. I do this with all of my bread recipes!  -  28 Jan 2007  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)