Culinary Corner: Homemade Soft Pretzels


Mr. Hartman, Adviser

Do you like soft pretzels? Did you ever wonder how that magical treat called the soft pretzel is created? If you answered yes to either question then read on friend, because this installment of culinary corner will walk you through the process of creating a batch of your very own fresh, warm, soft pretzels.


This recipe makes two dozen pretzels, if you want less, you can halve the ingredients.

3 cups warm water

2 packets of instant dry yeast

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons brown sugar (regular granulated sugar will also work)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)

8 cups of all purpose flower

Baking Soda Bath (see recipe for explanation)

1 cup baking soda

12 cups water



We begin with dissolving the yeast with the three cups of warm water, once the yeast is dissolved wait for bubbles to form before moving on to the next steps. Then whisk in salt and melted butter. Slowly begin to incorporate the wet ingredients with the flour, usually a cup at a time or so. I use a stand mixer but this can easily be done with a wooden spoon in a large bowl. Continue combining ingredients until a dough ball forms.

Yeast dissolved into warm water with tiny bubbles forming and the brown sugar and melted butter also pictured.
Slowly work the flour in with the wet ingredients.
After kneading the dough for 3-5 minutes cover with a clean dry dish towel and let rest/rise for just ten minutes.


Turn the dough out onto a lightly flowered surface and knead the dough for about 3-5 minutes. Place the dough ball in a large lightly greased bowl and cover with a dishtowel for about 10 minutes. While my dough is resting/rising I begin preparing the ‘pretzel bath’. This is actually the most important step because a quick dip in boiling water mixed with baking soda will give you a delicious pretzel with that slightly crispy outside and chewy pillowy inside. Mix the baking soda with your water and heat the water to boiling, reduce heat to medium/high before dunking the pretzels.


Take your dough ball and roll it out into an oblong shape, cut the shape into 24 slices. Now it’s time to begin the rolling and folding in order to make the pretzel shapes. Roll each individual piece of dough into a 20-22″ snake like shape. Then lift the two ends, twist them, and then fold them over to create the classic ‘pretzel knot’. I usually work in smaller batches of six to eight pretzels. Once I have six or eight pretzels shaped, I will use my slotted spoon to place them into the boiling water. I work with just three pretzels at a time and I keep count of the seconds in my head starting with the first pretzel in the batch. Each batch of pretzels should be in the bath for 20-30 seconds. If you leave them in too long the pretzels will take on a metallic taste. As soon as I remove the batches of three pretzels in the bath, I organize them on a baking sheet with parchment paper (the pretzels get very sticky so you might even spray some non-stick cooking spray on the parchment, and then sprinkle them with salt. I don’t actually have big pretzel salt, so I just use regular old salt and sprinkle the moistened pretzels with some. Once I have a batch of six to eight pretzels I will place them into a 400 degree oven for 12 minutes (or until a rich golden brown color).

Roll the dough pieces into 20-22″ snakes.
Take the ends of the dough snake and press them together the way shown in the picture.
Finally, fold the pressed dough ends down to create the classic pretzel knot!
Use a slotted spoon to gently submerge the pretzel dough into the boiling water.
Only allow the pretzels to soak in the baking soda bath for 20-30 seconds, that’s why I only do three at a time.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 12 minutes and there you go!!! Pretzel town baby!


Repeat this process over again until the dough is used up. I often pair the pretzels with some homemade crab dip but that’s another recipe for another week.


So, while it’s not the easiest recipe on the planet, it definitely makes for a yummy and fun appetizer or meal (we usually just have a light side salad with the pretzels and dip and consider it a dinner).