Instructables

Easy Soft Pretzels

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Picture of Easy Soft Pretzels
Looking for something to serve at your Super Bowl or Oscars night party?  These easy to make pretzels will earn you high praise from your guests without having to kill yourself before your own party starts!

You can make them sweet or savory and, like bagels, these pretzels are boiled and then baked which isn't as hard as it sounds. So, let's get baking!


 
 
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Step 1: Time & Materials

Picture of Time & Materials
Active time: 30-45 min; Total time: 2 hr 15- 2hr 30 min (a bit longer if making extra toppings)

Ingredients:
1 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water for proofing 10 cups for boiling 1 teaspoon for egg wash
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 teaspoons of salt
4 1/2 cups All Purpose, non-bleached flour
2/3 of a cup of baking soda
4 tablespoons of butter
1 egg
Kosher salt for topping

Topping Options:

Savory
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Sweet
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup honey

Materials:
2 large bowls
1 small bowl for melting butter
A cutting board or other larger surface
1 or more cup, measuring cup (liquid)
1 cup measuring cup (dry ingredients)
Dutch over or other large pot
Baking sheets (2 or more generally)
Parchment paper
Plastic wrap
Vegetable oil (spray or liquid)

Optional Materials:
Dough Divider/Scraper
Bagel strainer

Step 2: Proofing the yeast

Picture of Proofing the yeast
04_Proofing.png
05_Proofing.png
There are many forms of proofing in baking, this type of proofing just makes sure the yeast is active and ready to do its job!

Stir:

1 tsp of active dry yeast (not rapid rise or 'bread machine' yeast)
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 tsp of salt
with
1 and 1/2 cups of warm water (110 degrees F, at the temperature of a comfortable bath. Any hotter and you risk killing the yeast), stir to dissolve.

Rest:
Let the mixture sit for five to ten minutes. The yeast is active when the mixture is foamy and smells a bit like bread.

nancyjohns3 months ago
They were amazing! Thanks!
nancyjohns4 months ago
Hey Rhi-Rainbow, look at this I found a website that converts it into metric
http://www.biltongmakers.com/biltong200_cookingconverter.html
Just wanted to say thank you for this excellent instructable. I've always wanted to make my own pretzels but never realized how easy it actually was until I stumbled across this yesterday. So I made them last night and they were excellent! I will probably make a batch of these about once a month from here on out. I love hem dipped in mustard as well, my wife enjoys them dipped in a cheese sauce. Again... Thank You!
GeekFilter (author)  jdwaynes19802 years ago
You're most welcome! I was the same way--totally convinced I would be stuck always getting pretzels at bakery. Never thought I could do them at home!
Whoops. Shoulda reviewed. Used egg whites instead of yolks. Didn't get as browned but Oh So Tasty anyway. Going to do this again tomorrow. Great recipe. Thanks.
Parrhesia2 years ago
I made one batch for my husband, who loves soft pretzels. They met with his approval :) As we were munching, I remembered that we had a couple packages of chicken apple sausage in the freezer, so now we also have bagels dogs (one of my great loves). I thawed the sausages first, wrapped 1/8 of the dough around each one, and used the same times & temps as the pretzels - they came out great! Next time, I'm adding a strip of smoked gouda in with the sausage.

Thanks for sharing this recipe - easy and very tasty!
I completely missed the bit about the baking soda until just now! Well...they're still tasty. I'll try following all of the instructions next time :)
My sister and I made these yesterday - and they turned out great! I'd never really baked anything before (other than pre-packaged cake mix). It was a great amount of fun. Thanks so much for your easy to follow instructions!
Just made them!! sooo delicious!!
Rhi-Rainbow3 years ago
Would you be able to add grams and ml to the instructions because I live in Britain, but would love to try this, and we don't have cups here :(
GeekFilter (author)  Rhi-Rainbow3 years ago
I can run the measurements through a conversion program, but may not be able to get to it until Saturday. I've been keeping up with Lorraine Pascale's Baking Made Easy on BBC2 so I'll check out how she notes her recipes (she has both measurements if I remember properly) and see if she has any comments about the differences in flour here in the states.

We actually made these pretzels first for our "Sci-FI Friday" night which normally consist of mostly British TV--The It Crowd, Doctor Who, Being Human, Primeval, Merlin, Jekyll... Would love to get my hands on "Outcasts"!
So sorry for the late reply but if you like Doctor Who I recommend Torchwood, I know series 4 has gone over the pond but I'm not sure if the other series are popular...
Also if you like the IT crowd I recommend Peep Show
Also some more British TV recommendations: Blackbooks, Spaced and the Inbetweeners.
But film wise if you liked Spaced I really encourage you to watch Shaun of the Dead, same actors and really good comedy zombie flick :)
Also if you're looking for straight up zombies I'd go with 28 Days Later (not Weeks, that was done by an American and no offense it's just not as good =P)

If you have trouble finding any of it let me know and I'll have a look around the net
Anyway I recently made these and they were fab, but I forgot to do the boiling stage, and they turned out okay so is it necessary? Also for the salty ones I added black pepper, went down a treat :D
Thank you
Rhi.x
DSCI0885.JPG
use wolframalpha to do your conversions. it's an awesome site/program.
thegreat583 years ago
Hi, I've been making all kinds of bread, soft pretzels, bagles and the like for over forty years and have never heard of adding salt to the yeast when it's proofing, I've always added it to the dry ingredients, salt kills or inhibits the yeasts ability to proof.
lerd thegreat582 years ago
i agree i have always learned that the salt will actually cause the yeast to not do what it needs and in a sort "kill it" or at least debilitate it prety well at least according to the chefs in my culinary program.
GeekFilter (author)  thegreat583 years ago
I have heard the same thing, but many of the pretzel recipes I tired in the past mixed it all together. I've tried it both ways but didn't see a difference in the final outcome (and no one has reported them turning out flat so far).

Maybe I'll do another side by side but not sure my waistline can take another 2 batches!

spielzeuge3 years ago
WOW! Thank you somuch! I have been looking for a good pretzel recipe for many years! I made them tonight (only took maybe 2 hours from start to finish), and both my wife and I were knocked over by how good they turned out! I made a very slight change in that I did not add the egg wash before baking and only used salt. They came out as very traditional and spot on soft pretzels! I will be certainly making more! Thanks again!
mpino3 years ago
WOW, these were fantastic. So delicious and easy! We plan on making them many, many more times. My only advice is to make them to share, otherwise you'll end up eating them all yourself right out of the oven and getting a stomach ache... =)
cerizz3 years ago
Thank you so much for the recipe! I made some today and they turned out great. My husband even found them better than the ones he usually buys from the bakery! :-)
GeekFilter (author)  cerizz3 years ago
Wow, that's great!
rancidbry3 years ago
I have made this recipe about 3 times now and I LOVE IT! The only problem is they really aren't as good the day after. How do I increase their shelf life beyond 1 day??
GeekFilter (author)  rancidbry3 years ago
I will look into it. I'll try and make a batch this week or coming weekend and see what I can do. I think, unlike the preservative laden versions in malls, that they have a limited shelf life. How did you store them? I know you can't put them into plastic bags because the condensation turns them rubbery.
c_leah3 years ago
Is there a good spot to take a break on? I want to make these for my 21st birthday party, but I have a lot to do the day of the party. If I made them the day before would they still be good, or could I just separate the dough and do the boiling/baking process the next day? This will be my first time baking any kind of bread so I'm really clueless as to what I can and can't do with out hurting anything.
GeekFilter (author)  c_leah3 years ago
SO sorry for the delay in response (and to everyone else!) combine a heavy workload with equal parts winter cold and get complete loss of free time!

I am going to guess the part is already over?
vinced23 years ago
Mhmmhmhmmm Tasty!
Fun2Hold3 years ago
I made a batch of these for lunch today, and they were fantastic! I ended up needing to add quite a bit more flour than expected (I measured it by weight at 5oz per cup of flour) but that was only a minor issue.

They puffed up nicely and were really soft and chewy inside - JUST the way I like them. I actually turned ours into pretzel pizzas. We use our homemade marinara sauce and grated parmesan instead of mozzarella on top (along with pepperoni, of course!) The reason we didn't use mozzarella on them was because I was worried the cheese would drop down the holes and waste more than was necesary. That, and the saltiness of the parmesan actually worked well with the flavor of the pretzels.

Thank you for the great -ible! I will be making these again...and soon!
Pretzels.jpg
klincecum3 years ago
I made these this weekend for my extended family. Worked out great !
Don't be too worried if they look kind of weird after boiling. They bake up to be beautiful :)
I made some last night, good although the bottoms were a little soggy. I wonder if I should dry them a little on paper towels before throwing them in the oven?
GeekFilter (author)  DoofusOfTheDay3 years ago
When you take them out of the baking soda bath make sure they are thoroughly drained, that will help. I think if you put them on paper towels they may stick, but you could put them on a non oiled piece of parchment paper and that might whisk away some of the moisture from the bottoms.
dsurdenik3 years ago
Hi!
Awesome instructable!! My wife and I made them on Super Bowl Sunday and enjoyed spending time together making them and will be taking them over to our friends later this afternoon.
The only suggestion: Add that you need baking soda to the first page, we didn't have any and so we had to run to the store while the dough was rising (not a big deal since it was a convenient time to do it) But if we would have known, then we would have picked it up at the grocery store when we bought the rest of the ingredients.
Have you had any luck freezing these for later? We will have to experiment....
Thanks!!
GeekFilter (author)  dsurdenik3 years ago
ARGH! Can't believe I did that! I had it in the photo but not on the list. It's fixed now. I had parts of it in another document and was copy and pasting and re-arranging and that just got chopped somehow.

I'm glad you enjoyed them! Honestly they haven't lasted long enough to try freezing them. If you do, make sure they thoroughly cool and are as dry as they can be. One of the first times I mad them at the end of the day I put them in a plastic bag and the moisture trapped inside basically melted the salt and softened the coating. They were still good after a quick zap in the toaster oven, but they didn't look so great.

Thanks!
Oh and I will try to remember to vote for this in the contest, it is a great instructable!!!
Whatsername3 years ago
These ROCK! Easy, fun to make, really delicious, and they smell so good baking! Your instructable was so well done and thorough ~ made it foolproof.

I used Jane's Crazy mixed up salt for these, and they are wonderful. Thanks so much for taking the time to share.
iburton3 years ago
These are seriously amazing AND easy! Just made a batch up, and will definitely be making them again very soon. You can count on my vote, once it opens up. Thanks!
maltesergr83 years ago
I like my savory pretzels with mustard, too. When you mentioned root beer and cream soda... Brought a big smile to my face & brought back wonderful memories of eating soft pretzels with my mom as a child.

Remember those frozen cherry cokes they used to sell at soft pretzel stands (at least they did in MI many years ago), that's my fav drink with pretzels!

Thx again!!
maltesergr83 years ago
GREAT 'ible!! Thank you so much for sharing ;)
BTW, just ordered a new breadmaker, so will post how that works out with pretzel dough.
Sabata3 years ago
Hmm, this has me thinking. My brother and I were recently talking about how good hamburgers and roast beast sammiches taste on pretzel rolls, but they can be hard to find at times. I just might have to make up a batch shaped a bit less like pretzels and a bit more like hamburger buns.
sdhardie3 years ago
Any chance the dough can be prepared in a bread machine?
GeekFilter (author)  sdhardie3 years ago
I suppose you could...I haven't tried it yet. Bread machines tend to over work the bread so if you do, I would try and keep the knead cycle to as close to 5 minutes as possible. If you try it let me know how it turns out!
waterbaby3 years ago
Just last night I had a hankering for a soft pretzel or two, and here the solution appears before me the very next day -- thanks!
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