- Food: Homemade Pretzels
- Writer: Nicolas Wilson
- Content-Type: Food Blog
On Saturday afternoons, we adore cooking this soft pretzel recipe! It’s a lot of fun to prepare, and the pretzels are consistently chewy, flavorful, and tasty.
Make handmade soft pretzels if you enjoy fall baking but need a break from pumpkin spice.
Jack and I shared a vegan soft pretzel recipe on Love and Lemons way back when, and it’s still one of the most popular recipes on the site.
We decided to try the old recipe a few weeks ago when we were looking for a fun weekend project. We felt we could make our homemade pretzels even better, so we set out to do just that.
This recipe for soft pretzels is a revamped version of an old favorite. The pretzels are great, and it’s still vegan (no eggs or butter here!).
They have a characteristic sweet and salty pretzel flavor and are soft and chewy. I believe you will enjoy creating them as much as you will enjoy eating them.
This is a terrific dish for a cold, rainy day when nothing sounds better than hunkering down in a warm kitchen and whipping up something delicious and entertaining.
Let’s get baking!
Ingredients for Soft Pretzel Recipe
There’s good news! To prepare this simple soft pretzel recipe, you’ll only need a few ingredients:
- All-purpose flour — Because this recipe calls for so much flour – 4 1/2 cups! – it’s critical to get the measurements right. If you use too much flour, your dough will get dry. It will be moist and sticky if you use too little. For a precise flour measurement, I recommend utilizing the spoon-and-level approach.
- Active dry yeast aids in the rise of the dough and causes the soft pretzels to puff up when baking.
- Maple syrup – It awakens the yeast and gives the dough a slight sweetness.
- Water — When creating this soft pretzel recipe, ensure sure your water is warm to best activate the yeast. The temperature should be between 105 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Extra-virgin olive oil – It adds richness to the dough and contributes to the addicting chewy texture of the soft pretzels. Here, too, a neutral-flavored oil, such as sunflower or canola oil, will suffice.
- And salt — a must-have for soft pretzels! The dough will be seasoned with fine sea salt. After you’ve finished shaping the pretzels, generously season them with coarse sea salt.
Pretzels: A Step-by-Step Guide
It’s a lot of fun to make these homemade pretzels! This is how it works:
Make the dough first. Mix the yeast with the water and maple syrup to activate it. Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook when it foams.
On low speed, add the flour, salt, and oil and mix until a cohesive dough forms around the hook.
Then let it rise. Form the dough into a ball and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Place the dough in a big basin that has been brushed with oil.
Cover the bowl and leave it aside for 60 to 90 minutes, or until the dough has approximately doubled in size.
After that, it’s time to mold the pretzels! After the dough has risen, divide it into 8 pieces on a clean, flourless work area.
Make an 18-inch rope out of one.
Grab the dough rope’s ends and bend them into a U shape.
Cross one of the rope’s ends over the other, leaving a large dough loop below them. Then, to produce the pretzel’s twist, wrap the dough ends around each other again.
Finally, to produce a pretzel shape, fold the twist towards you and into the center of the dough loop. That concludes our discussion. Rep with the rest of the dough.
Boil and bake, last but not least. In a baking soda bath, boil the pretzels one at a time. Lift each one out of the pot with a slotted spoon and lay it on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Season generously with coarse salt, and cut a 4-inch slit in the bottom of each pretzel with a sharp knife.
Transfer the soft pretzels to a 450° oven once they’ve been boiled and salted, and bake until golden brown and fluffy. Enjoy!
Tips for Making Soft Pretzels at Home
- If necessary, add extra water or flour. Don’t worry if the dough seems too dry or moist as you’re mixing it. You have a considerable wiggle area to tweak the consistency before it increases. If the dough is too dry to come together in the stand mixer, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until it does. If it’s wet and sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until it comes together into a cohesive, flexible dough.
- Allow the dough to rise in a warm place. Warmth encourages yeast to grow, so place the dough somewhere warm for a faster rise. Ours looks great on a sunny windowsill!
- One by one, boil and salt the pretzels. An egg wash or melted butter helps bind the coarse salt to the pretzels in a typical pretzel recipe. Because we didn’t use eggs or butter in this recipe to keep it vegan, it’s critical to salt each pretzel shortly after boiling it, while the dough is still wet. I recommend boiling and salting each pretzel one at a time for the best results (and a less stressful salting process).
- Serve with a dipping sauce. These homemade soft pretzels are quite wonderful on their own, especially when they’re still warm from the oven. Who doesn’t enjoy soft pretzels with dipping sauce, though? Dunk these things in spicy mustard, vegan cheese, chipotle sauce, or vegan ranch dressing to make them even more fun and savory.
|Time to prepare: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 14 minutes
Time to rise: 1 hr
This handmade soft pretzel recipe is a lot of fun to make! Serve them fresh out of the oven on their own or with spicy mustard or vegan cheese for dipping.
For the pretzel dough
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 pkg. (¼ ounce) active dry yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
- 1½ cups warm water
- 4½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil, more for brushing
- Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
For the poaching water
- 6 cups water
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- Make the pretzel dough as follows: Combine the maple syrup, yeast, and water in a small basin and proof for 5 minutes, or until frothy.
- Place the flour, salt, olive oil, and yeast mixture in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Mix for 5 to 6 minutes on medium-low speed, or until the dough is well-formed around the hook. After 3 minutes, if the dough is still very dry, add 1 tablespoon of water.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and knead slightly to create a ball. Add a bit more flour if the dough is too sticky. Place the dough in a large basin that has been brushed with 12 teaspoons of olive oil.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place it in a warm place for 60 to 90 minutes, or until it has approximately doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and place it on a clean (non-floured) work surface. Make an 18-inch rope out of one piece of dough. Make a U shape with the ends of the dough rope. Cross one of the rope’s ends over the other, leaving a large dough loop below them. Then, to produce the pretzel’s twist, wrap the dough ends around each other again. To produce a pretzel shape, fold the twist towards you and into the center of the dough loop. (See the photographs above for step-by-step instructions.) Repair with the remaining dough and place it on the baking sheet.
- Make the poaching water as follows: Bring the 6 cups of water, baking soda, and salt to a boil in a big pot. One by one, drop pretzels into the pot. Boil for 30 seconds, then transfer to the baking sheet with a slotted spoon. Sprinkle coarse salt over the dough while it is still wet. Use a sharp knife to cut a 4-inch slit along the bottom of each pretzel.
- Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown.