Soft Pretzels
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: German
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
  • 1½ cup warm water, 110 -115 degrees F
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus a little extra if needed
  • vegetable oil
  • ⅔ cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 Tbs of water
  • coarse sea salt
  • serve with mustard, try spicy mustard or coarse ground mustard
  1. Combine the water, sugar, kosher salt, and butter in the bowl of a stand-up mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until the yeast begins to foam. Add the flour, using the dough hook, mix on low speed until fully incorporated. If the dough is too wet, add one tablespoon of flour at a time.
  2. Increase mixer speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, and no longer sticky, approximately 4-5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl and cover with a moist tea towel. Let it sit in a warm place for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Bring a large pot of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil.
  6. In the meantime, punch the dough down and remove the dough from the bowl. Place the dough on a clean counter sprinkled with a tablespoon of flour.
  7. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and then half each piece again, so you will have 8 pieces. With a moist tea towel, cover any dough you are not immediately working with. Taking one ball of dough from under the tea towel, roll it out into a 22-inch rope, applying even pressure with your hands. Making a U-shape with the dough, cross the right side over to the left, and left over to the right. Gently press the ends into the bottom of the U. Transfer the pretzel to the parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with a damp tea towel while you work on the remaining pretzels.
  8. Place the pretzels, two at a time, into the boiling water for 30 seconds, splashing the tops with a spoon. Remove with a wide spatula or spider (they will be slick, so be careful with transferring) return to the parchment-lined baking sheet to rest. 4 pretzels per sheet.
  9. Brush each pretzel with the egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt just before transferring them to the oven (if you sprinkle them with salt and allow them to sit before baking, the salt will begin to melt into the egg wash, leaving you with salt splotches on your pretzel). Place in the oven and bake for 15 – 17 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.
If you would like to make a pretzel bun for bratwursts, simply shape the portioned dough into a bun, make shallow-diagonal slits in the top and cook as you would the rest of the pretzels.
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