Pretzel Bread

Picture of Pretzel Bread
Baking bread, whether as an occupation or as a hobby, is extremely satisfying. Bakers have almost complete control over their bread, requiring little more than some very simple ingredients, time and the willingness to get his or her hands a little messy.

Pretzel bread is not quite a simple as flat bread or dinner rolls, but the loaves come out of the oven with a deep, brown pretzel crust and a slightly sweet, tender center. This particular recipe should be treated as a base to which other ingredients may be added. Cinnamon and extra brown sugar can create a sweet pretzel, or garlic and other spices can create a more savory pretzel. The loaves can be baked into mini-loaves, sandwich loaves or just cut into chunks and served as a snack. If you come up with something good, leave it in the comments.

But now for the bread.

Makes : 2 small loaves.

Prep time : 3-4 hours (including rise time).

Ingredients :

1 packet dry active yeast, or 2 tsp.
2 cups warm (110F) water.
1 tbsp dark brown sugar.
1 tbsp honey.
2 tbsp half-and-half.
3 tbsp unsalted butter.
1.5 tsp salt.
3-3.5 cups bread flour.
3 tbsp baking soda.
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explode978 months ago
love the 'ible , tastes great too :)
elevenlakes made it!1 year ago

Came out wonderfully. So tasty too! I did have to add a lot more flour than the instructions called for though. Very happy with this recipe. Thanks for posting. =]

When, where do you add the baking soda. Nothing is mentioned.
You add the baking soda in the boiling water before you boil the bread.
This sounds delicious! I've got to try making it soon! I love to bake and I love pretzels. :)
altosinger2 years ago
I have made this recipe twice, and its flavor is fabulous (obviously, since I have made it twice!), but you need to know that it calls for exactly half of the amount of flour that is actually needed.
Sorry, I didn't see that people have actually mentioned this before. ItsJeremy, you really ought to change the recipe. Unless someone has bread baking experience, he or she is going to try this recipe, not know to just add more flour and think it is a dismal failure. thanks for posting though! Kids love it!
gwrober2 years ago
Just made this - turned out pretty good! I think I'll follow some of the comments, and use less water. I'll also try to use the soda water basting instead of the boiling - the boiling foamed up and I spent most of the time fighting that. BUT - but, the bread is DELICIOUS. The crust was just right! The wife wanted to make some smaller pieces too, so we made some "sticks" also...

The dark lines in the middle of one of the loaves is the soda water mixture, it soaked into a fold and didn't bake out completely.
I have been using a similar recipe for a yearish now. I have not upgrade to the lye bath yet as most recipes say that improves the crust to a more brown crispiness. I have been wondering if your loaves are dense. I have tried many things to get more "air" in the bread, but it always seems to stay dense. what are your experiences?
ItsJeremy (author)  chemicalfacist4 years ago
Yes, these loaves are extremely dense, but very soft. If you want loaves with more air pockets in them, let them rise for a while (half an hour or more) after you boil them. That will allow the yeast to create air pockets. Be careful that you don't slice the loaves until they are ready to go into the oven or they will just spread all over. You could also try letting them rise longer before boiling, but the problem there is that they will likely lose a lot of the air during the boiling unless you handle them very carefully.

With respect to the lye bath, I would suggest giving it a try if you can do it safely. I didn't mention lye because I wanted to limit it to things I figured another might have. The lye will give you a much better crust, but baking soda still does a good job.
my wife found lye pellets on the internet. supposed to be safer. but i bought a 15# of soda, so I'll work o n the recipe until i get it where I want it the move to the lye
lye flake is safe enough. its really just the order that you use it. adding it too the water instead of water to the lye.
Let them rise for 45-60 min after forming, then instead of submerging in boiling soda water, just brush them with it. (i add some salt to the soda water mix)
This keeps the dough handling gentle and thus less dense. After brushing the breads, pretzels... shove them into the oven immediately. The heat in the oven speeds up the reaction, like submerging it in boiling soda water.
The submerging method works of course, but it's traditionally used when making bagels.(without soda of course)
Brushing with lye would be even better, with this method you only need minute amounts.

Nice instructable, two things i like to add.
Yeast doesn't like fat or salt, so it would be better to add the fatty components later in the mixing process. With the salt, it may not be practical to add it too late, because it could be unevenly distributed in the dough. But i would add it to the second cup of flour.

Happy baking
daveda3 years ago
I tried this today. I think the water measurement is of by double, instead of two cups it should be one cup.
With two cups water and three cups flour you end up with a nice flour paste, no were near a dough. I had to add another 2 1/2 cups of flour to get a dough.
Instead of two small loves I ended up with six about 5 to 6 inches in diameter and an inch and a half tall.
They taste great. I will make this again with either 1 cup water and about 3 cups flour or the 2 cups water and about 6 cups flour.
You should change the ingredient list one way or the other.
scottysmo883 years ago
I once went to a pizzeria where all the pizzas were served on a pretzel dough. I wonder if this recipe could be adapted for such a purpose. After boiling the dough, could you pull it out and spread it onto a pizza pan?
ravagerxx3 years ago
wow wat are the odds of stumbling to this after this
goorooo3 years ago
so haven't made this bread yet... but "your kicks are growing plants and baking bread"? best ever :)
Oh yum! I think these would be good split in half, spread with mustard and a lunchmeat (probably ham), for a nice pretzel-y sandwich.
spongmai3 years ago
Combine the cool water to make a soft dough texture.
AmyLuthien3 years ago
I made this recipe today, and it turned out excellent!

For the record, I live at 5400+ ft elevation and had no problems whatsoever. I did add a little extra flour when kneading, but other than that, I followed the measurements given to the letter! Thanks :D
Raphite23 years ago
This bread proved to be a challenge, seeing as the ingredient list off by a few measurements. Dry should be at a 3:1 ratio with wet, so you will need almost 6 cups of flour to make this a good dough. The previously mentioned strategy of brushing on the soda water works perfectly and makes for a wonderful crust. I would suggest a bit more yeast, perhaps a half teaspoon, to make the other numbers add up well. After all is said and done, this bread is delicious and plentiful, and therefore a staple of my baking weekend. Bravo.
donicamm4 years ago
Is the crust of this bread firm enough to scoop out the innards and use it as a bread bowl?
Yes you can. :) I did it with a vegetarian black bean chili.
Just finished with the recipe! Here is the result! I haven't tried them yet, too hot:):)
Phoghat3 years ago
I live in Zacatecas, Mexico, at an altitude of ~ 9,000 Ft. Yesterday I tried this recipe and it was a dismal failure. I found out later that it really wasn't the fault of the recipe, but my own fault for not doing some basic research on baking and cooking at high altitudes. I found two sites that seem to address the problem pretty well and I learned a few things. I'll try making this again soon.
ghannon3 years ago
Is there any way I can make this without the brown sugar? Can I use honey, or agave nectar, in replacement of the sugar?
do'connor3 years ago
AWESOME!! Thank you!
btsmay3 years ago
I just tried this recipe and it is delish!! My kids also think it is wonderful. Was planning on having it with lasagne tonite, but my son informs me it may not last that long. I am curious about one thing however. I have been baking pretzels for many years and the recipe I use also calls for 3 cups of flour, but only 1 cup of water. How does your dough not turn out soupy using 2 cups of liquid? Or is it a typo? When I made this I ended up adding about 2 1/2 to 3 cups more flour. But as I said, it was VERY tasty! I will definitely add this to my personal cookbook. I am also interested in trying the lye bath method. KUDOS! very good 'ible.

Also, does anyone know how to go about getting "bakers ammonia"?
dollywild4 years ago
In the US there is a company called King Arthurs Flour that sells cheddar cheese powder made from actual cheese. I'm thinking pretzel cheese bread would be wunderbar. What an excellent thing to serve with beer....Thanks!
where did you find the chedder cheese powder? a specialty shop?
King Arthur Flour. They have a website and a print catalog. Based in the USA. HTH!
maybe ill just stop by the plant. Im in NH and live relativly close to it. never actually been though
dolly_p204 years ago
A question from abroad: what is half-and-half? What does it contain? Any other option?
it's half milk half cream
You can sub any type of milk. I use sweet cream or whipping cream for a rich flavor. You can how ever use non dairy creamer or rice milk if regular dairy is an issue.
Thank you.
Is Half and Half some type of milk?
According to Wikipedia, the name Half and Half "refers to the liquid's content of half milk and half cream".

So, yes, a type of milk. In the US, we usually use it in coffee.
Sporkette4 years ago
I saw this today, and have already made it because it looked so good. It's as yummy as the pictures make it out to be. It's super easy too :) I'll be making it again.
trustr4 years ago
hmmmm... in Franconia/germany we call these Kastaniensemmel or Laugenbrötchen
(well I don't know if the ingredients are the same )
I could die for them :-)
mattress4 years ago
You mentioned the amount of flour would have to be altered if you're using All Purpose Flour. What quantity would you need?
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