What’s in these homemade soft pretzels
Homemade soft pretzels have a surprisingly short list of ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- all-purpose flour
- active dry yeast
- brown sugar
- baking soda
- butter, for brushing the tops
- everything bagel seasoning
I think every soft pretzel should be coated with everything seasoning, but if you want something on the sweeter side, swap it out for a cinnamon-sugar mixture.
I usually make my batches half and half, because the kids swear that the cinnamon sugar ones taste just like Auntie Anne’s.
How to make Homemade Soft Pretzels
- Combine the dough ingredients in a bowl. It won’t all come together in the bowl. It will look pretty dry, and that’s okay. It will all come together when you knead it.
2. Once you’ve got a nice, smooth ball of dough after about 5 minutes of kneading, let it rise.
3. After 30 minutes, start forming your pretzel shapes. This is the part that takes the most time. Using your hands, you’ll roll pieces of dough into long ropes on the countertop. It takes a few minutes to get those ropes nice and long. So the motion is a combination of rolling the dough and stretching it long with your hands. Once you’ve got a nice long, thin rope, forming the pretzel shape takes 2 seconds.
4. Then, dip the pretzel into a bath of warm water and baking soda and set it out to rise for another 20 minutes. Then it’s ready to bake!
What to dip soft pretzels in
In Philly, dips for soft pretzels can be an emotional conversation. The go-to is spicy brown mustard. In a pinch, I suppose plain yellow mustard would be acceptable.
Then, there are people who go nuts with cheese dips and such. I have a lifelong aversion to processed cheese sauce of any kind. That said, a really good, homemade cheese dip can be ah-mazing with a soft pretzel.
Try this Hard Cider Cheddar Fondue Dip with your homemade pretzels and get ready for your eyes to roll back in your head.
How to store homemade soft pretzels
Think of soft pretzels like bagels. Day old soft pretzels are going to be okay when stored in a plastic or paper bag, but beyond that, you’re going to need to store them properly.
Wrap them individually in plastic wrap, then in a larger freezer bag. When you want to take a soft pretzel out to enjoy, warm it back up in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes.
Tips for Success
For more homemade bread recipes, try these:
Homemade Soft Pretzel Recipe
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 3 1/2 cups warm water divided
- 1 envelope active dry yeast
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. baking soda
- 3 Tbsp. butter melted
- everything bagel seasoning
- In a large bowl, combine the yeast with 1 1/2 cups warm water and stir to dissolve. Add sugar and salt and stir to dissolve. Add the flour, one cup at a time, until combined. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead 5 minutes until smooth. Place dough into a buttered bowl, cover with a damp towel and allow to rise at least 30 minutes.
- In a shallow baking dish, combine 2 cups warm water with the baking soda. Stir well. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Pinch off bits of dough and roll into long, thin ropes and form into pretzel shapes. Keep the dough covered during this process, except for the parts you’re working with. Dip pretzels in the water bath and place onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Allow to rise on the baking sheet for another 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bake pretzels for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, brush generously with melted butter and sprinkle with everything bagel seasoning.