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Soft Pretzel Twists

Sunday, November 10, 2013

[Recipe makes (8) pretzel twists].

This past week I was finally able to update an oldie but goodie from the blog: soft pretzels.  If you're looking for a nice recipe to get you familiar with yeast doughs, this is a great one to start with.  The dough comes together in no time, and then is just minutes away from consumption after a quick roll, bath, and bake.  The recipe is great as-is, but feel free to alter the flavor profile to your liking.  Consider incorporating fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme, making your own cheese sauce, dipping the end product in a butter bath followed by cinnamon sugar, and so on.  With a solid base recipe like this one, it's pretty hard to mess up a pretzel by adding your own twist (pun intended).


1 pound 8 ounces (~5 cups) all-purpose flour
1 1/4 ounces vegetable shortening
2 teaspoons kosher salt

13 ounces water, warmed to 110° F
2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast

3 quarts (12 cups) water
3/4 cups baking soda

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
Coarse sea salt


In a stand mixer bowl fitted with a hook attachment, add the flour, shortening, and salt.  In a separate bowl, dissolve the sugar in the warm water.  Sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit for 5 minutes.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix on medium-low for 5 minutes, or until the gluten has developed.  [Side note:  Depending on a number of factors, you may need to adjust the amount of water and/or flour used to get a good dough consistency].

Preheat the oven to 425° F and move one of your racks to the second highest position.  Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.  Lastly, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot.

While the oven and water are heating up, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces (roughly 4.8 ounces each) and shape into balls.  Roll out into ropes that are roughly 30-inches long, and shape into a classic twist.  Continue shaping the remaining pretzels.

Once the water comes to a rolling boil, stir in the baking soda.  Carefully drop the pretzels into the water, two at a time, just until they float (5 to 10 seconds).  Let the pretzels drain on a wire mesh sieve, and then return them to the baking sheets.  Brush each pretzel with egg wash and then sprinkle sea salt on top.  If you'd like to make those classic cuts in the tops of the pretzels (as pictured above), now is the time to do that.  Bake for roughly 10 to 12 minutes, or until they have a nice color.  Immediately transfer the pretzels to a cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

If you don't intend on eating within the same day, let the pretzels come to room temperature, and then bag and freeze them.

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  1. I'm a big fan of Soft Pretzels and make them often. Yours look great!!

    1. Thanks Pete! I can't even remember the last time I've made these before this weekend. I'll definitely make these a 'regular' now. Do you use a similar recipe?