What’s not to love about a warm soft pretzel? Seriously though. They’re crisp on the outside, light and airy on the inside. I think one of the reasons I love soft pretzels is because I subconsciously connect them with shopping. Auntie Anne’s always accompanied my time at the mall. (I was definitely the kid who made a meal off of the sample trays).
Of all the places you could buy soft pretzels, I actually really like the ones at Sheetz. And when I moved out to the Grove and tried the hot and fresh pretzels at Rachel’s Roadhouse I just about fainted. So good!
I will never recommend a recipe that I don’t honestly think tastes good! So trust me when I say that these pretzels are amazing! Try them plain, with cinnamon-sugar, or with some other creative toppings. They were simple and relatively easy to make!
Come on guys, you have got to make these! It was so hard to eat just one of them! Darn you carbs.
Just a note: This recipe came from sallysbakingaddiction.com and can be found here! I pretty much copied the original recipe word for word below but put an asterisk next to any of my own edits or suggestions. Enjoy!
Homemade Soft Pretzels
- 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) warm water (lukewarm, no need to take temperature)
- 1 packet active instant yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon (8g) granulated sugar
- 3 3/4 – 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour + more for the counter surface to knead
- 1 large egg, beaten
- coarse sea salt for sprinkling
1. Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside.
2. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir with a spoon until fairly mixed, about 1 minute. Some clusters of yeast will remain. Add salt and sugar; stir until fairly combined. Slowly add 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix with a wooden spoon until dough is thick. Add 3/4 cup more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. If it is still sticky, add up to 1/2 cup more. Poke the dough with your finger – if it bounces back, it is ready to knead.
3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes and shape into a ball.
4. With a sharp knife, cut ball of dough into 1/3 cup sections (** I found that 2/3 cup sections were easier to work with). This measurement does not have to be exact – use as much or little dough for each pretzel as you wish – the size of the pretzel is completely up to you.
5. Roll the dough into a rope with an even diameter. My ropes were twenty inches long. This measurement will depend how large you want the pretzels. Once you have your long rope, take the ends and draw them together so the dough forms a circle. Twist the ends, then bring them towards yourself and press them down into a pretzel shape. (**Okay so this step was by far the most difficult part. You need to get your rope pretty thin and long. If it’s too thick and short you will end up with tiny fat pretzels. Go thin and take into consideration that they will rise and spread! You’ll notice that my cinnamon pretzels were a little stubby until I got the hang of it with the plain ones.)
7. Bake for 10 minutes at 425F degrees. Turn the oven to broil and bake for 5 more minutes to brown the tops. Watch closely to avoid burning.
8. Allow to cool and enjoy. Serve warm or at room temperature. Pretzels may be stored in an airtight container or zipped top bag for up to 3 days (will lose softness). Pretzels freeze well.
9. ** If you want to make them cinnamon-sugar, skip the egg wash and put the pan of pretzels into the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with a cinnamon-sugar mixture and put back in the oven for another 5 minutes. You can also make pretzel rods or bites! Both will work with the same prep and baking instructions. Score.