Introduction: Jumbo Pretzels

About: My name is DJ and I previously made electronic whatsits, 3D-printed thingamabobs, and laser-cut kajiggers for the Instructables Design Studio; now I build and repair puzzles for Particle Industries.

Crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, pretzels are part of the pan pantheon of heavenly breads. This is a recipe for Bavarian style pretzels. While not as traditionally large and and twisted as a true Bavarian pretzel, these are nonetheless a quick fix for jumbo pretzel goodness. This recipe will yield about six single-hand-holdable pretzels. Let's begin!

Step 1: Ingredients

  • (4 cups) flour (all purpose)
  • (1/8 cup) water (105 degrees)
  • (1 1/3 cup) water (warm)
  • (1/8 tsp) salt
  • (1 tbs) brown sugar
  • (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
  • (box) baking soda


optional (but highly recommended!):

  • melted cheese
  • mustard
  • sausages

Step 2: Preparation

Combine in a small bowl:

  • (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
  • (1/8 cup) water (105 degrees)
  • (1 tbs) brown sugar

Stir until well mixed!

Step 3: Make Some Pretzels

In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with the remaining 1 1/3 cups water. Stir in the salt and 4 cups of flour. Before processing, put on your preferred traditional German music. I suggest either Rammstein or Bach, but either is acceptable pretzel-preparing music. Knead the dough until it is nice and stretchy. Divide the dough into six equal pieces and roll them into long ~18 inch rolls.

Heat your oven to 400 degrees.

Now, to create the knot form, take one of your pretzel pieces and curve it into a "U" shape on a floured surface. Twist the ends together, bring them up, and then twist once more before laying them over the bottom of the "U." Repeat for the remaining five pretzels.

Let the dough rise for about 10 minutes!

At this point, you may freeze your pretzels to better keep their shape before the next step. If you're the pangs of a serious pretzel deficiency, I recommend immediately jumping ahead!

Step 4: Dunk Pretzels

In a large pot, keep adding cups of water until it's around 3 inches deep. For each cup, mix in two tablespoons of baking soda. I ended up using 10 cups, thus 20 table spoons of baking soda. Bring the pot to a boil and ensure the baking soda is fully dissolved. Reduce to a simmer.

Using a spatula, individually sink a pretzel one at a time in the pot, pressing down to keep it submerged for ten seconds.

Although lye is traditionally used, the baking soda solution will accomplish a similar chemical reaction with the dough, breaking down the large proteins into smaller amino acids, which, when baked, will produce the classic pretzel skin.

Step 5: Baking

Using a single large baking sheet, lay down a sheet of parchment paper. Lacking proper paper, I opted to grease mine with a stick of butter. Prior to baking, sprinkle salt or your preferred topping and pop your pretzels in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on your desired level of crunchiness.

Step 6: Eat!

Although scrumptious on their own, pretzels go great with side of dipping cheese or mustard. I purchased a couple packs of kielbasa and a six pack of friends to enjoy with my good beers. Auf wiedersehn!