Homemade Pretzels

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I made pretzels today!

It’s ok, go ahead…roll your eyes, and say it. “Big whoop, Prudy”..

Apparently, I’ve been researching and planning for nothing. This is no big deal.

Katie and Ryan stopped by right just as I was rolling the pretzels into logs. I looked at Ryan, and said “I’m making pretzels…” I braced myself for unconstrained excitement.. and instead he just nodded his head as if he could tell what I was doing. Hmm…

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After I had them all rolled out and laid out on parchment covered cookie sheets, I started to get the poaching bath ready. I had decided that I was going to make brown sugar and honey pretzels, and as I was pouring the honey into the water, Ryan asked me what I was doing… “I’m making the poaching bath…” He nodded his head as if he knew what that meant. Hmmm.. (In reality, he was only asking me what I was doing with the honey..)

After I added the baking soda to the water, I was in awe… “This totally smells like pretzel!! I can’t believe it smells like pretzel!!” I excitedly exclaimed..

Katie and Ryan just nodded their heads as if they knew that already… What the heck?

Katie said “I know, isn’t that so cool? I love making pretzels, I haven’t made them in a couple of years though”…

I stopped.
I turned around and looked at her in disbelief.
“You made pretzels?” I asked nonchalantly, trying to contain my urge to yell…
“Yeah, mom. About two years ago. You were eating them. Don’t you remember?”
Apparently not.
What the heck?

And Ryan has been making them all along??
Seriously. What. The. Heck.

Honestly…where have I been all these years?

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So. Here they are….

Pretzels.

Yay.

In the end, it doesn’t matter that pretzels are a cinch to make…and that people have been making them homemade forever…and I just didn’t know it.

I had fun making them.

And while I did my research and knew that it’s actually the alkali (from the baking soda) in the water that gives them that distinctive pretzel smell and that familiar shiny brown crust. I was still in awe when I smelled it for the first time! I had no idea.

It’s like I invented the wheel today. At least in my own little world, I invented the wheel.

Life is good. It’s good, especially when you’re clueless. Sometimes ignorance truly is bliss; it helps us to be excited about things that might otherwise be ordinary…

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Pretzels

This recipe makes about 2 dozen.

You will need:
Bread flour
Kosher salt
Active dry yeast
Brown Sugar
Honey
One egg
Water
Pretzel salt
Parchment paper
Shortening or olive oil

The Pretzels

Grease a medium size bowl with shortening or olive oil. Set aside.
Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

3 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (between 95F and 110F)

Dissolve the brown sugar in the water, and add the yeast. While your yeast is busy feasting on the brown sugar, you can start preparing the flour and salt:

3 cups bread flour
1 tsp kosher salt

Mix flour and salt together in the bowl of your stand mixer (or if doing this by hand, a large bowl).

Once the yeast/water mixture is foamy, pour into the flour and salt mixture. Mix on low with bread hook attachment until dough is smooth and elastic. If mixing by hand, mix together until a dough forms, and move dough to floured surface. Knead for about 15 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Place dough into a medium bowl that has been greased with shortening or olive oil. Cover with a towel, and place in a warm spot until the dough has doubled in size.

Remove the dough, and divide into 24 balls. With your hands, roll each ball into a log that is about 8″ by 1/2″. Lay the dough logs onto the prepared baking sheets, cover with towels, and place in a warm spot. Let rise for one more hour. 

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The Poaching Bath
10 cups water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup baking soda

Bring the water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Add the brown sugar, honey, and baking soda. Stir and simmer for five minutes until the sugar is dissolved.

Baking the Pretzels

Place about four dough logs at a time into the poaching bath. Simmer for about 30 seconds on one side. Flip. Simmer for about 30 seconds on the other side. Remove with tongs and place back onto the parchment covered baking sheet.

Repeat with remaining dough logs.

Prepare the egg wash by whisking one large egg and one tablespoon of water together.  Brush each pretzel with the egg wash, and sprinkle with the pretzel salt (as much, or as little as you like).

Bake for about 30 minutes at 300 degrees.  Remove from oven, and cool completely on cooling rack.

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Enjoy!!

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63 thoughts on “Homemade Pretzels

    • Thank you Jess!! You know what? Even after I realized that pretzels aren’t exactly the complicated recipe that I thought, I took one that was fresh out of the oven to my son Michael, and we stood there eating it. Even he was in awe that it tasted like a pretzel!! Lol… I was so excited to share that pretzel with him.. 🙂

  1. Homemade pretzels are seriously the best! These look incredible. Your post made me laugh because I totally remember my first time having the same reaction as you when realize that what you’re making actually smells like pretzels 🙂

  2. Not rolling my eyes here! You did invent the wheel today. I’ve never made them before, and I can imagine how surprised you were when they both said they had made them. 🙂 I love soft pretzels and have only bought them before with a side of mustard, of course. oh, and maybe some globby cheese. Yours turned out wonderfully and great photographs Pru!

    • So glad you included that globby cheese!! Lol.. I love soft pretzels with mustard, and ESPECIALLY with the globs of cheese. I have to say that your guys would love them, Seana.. you should try them soon! Invent that wheel, my friend! You need to experience that pretzel smell coming from a pan of water and baking soda… it is crazy!! 🙂 ❤

  3. Soft pretzels are almost unheard of here in Oz, your’s look delectable. I’m totally surprised by the ingredients in the poaching bath, it makes you wonder who thought to add the baking soda in the first place. Great job, and enticing pics

    • Lol…thank you Tracy! Yep, I totally blew that one! 🙂 Yes! You should make them… they’re so darn easy. I purposely didn’t poach a couple of them, and baked them plain. I ate them right out of the oven with butter. So good.. I ate more than I care to admit! 🙂

    • You’re not kidding, I mean, I’m the mom. I’m supposed to be the one impressing them!! Where do they get off “one-upping” me? Lol.. She’s actually texting me right now telling me that they want pretzels… I’m texting back telling her that she knows how to make them.. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by, Colleen.. I’m so glad you did. I look forward to catching up on your blog!

  4. Hahahaaa… well you might be pleased to know that I’VE never made pretzels before… I’ve seen a couple of recipes for them but yours is the most delicious looking. Love the glossy exteriors and the idea of adding honey. Yum! I’ll be trying this Prudy, thanks for the recipe. Oh, and the story was hilarious! Secret skills…

  5. I think these are whoop worthy! If it’s your first time making something, it really does feel like you’ve discovered something new, I do that all the time! 😀 Great looking pretzels, I want some!

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  7. Hi, Prudy! Thank you for coming to my party and so nice to meet you! I’ve tackled pretzels before so I’m less clueless, haha… Not laughing at you, just never can resist the chance to toot my own horn. It’s a flaw in my character. I have many flaws, sigh… But it’s Fiesta Friday, so no moping around allowed. 🙂 Welcome aboard!

    • Thank you so much! I hope it was ok that I just grabbed a post from last week…I’ll be sure to create a recipe especially for Fiesta Friday next week. Seana from Cottage Grove House, and Nancy from Feasting with Friends convinced me to go ahead and share a link today… I’m so excited to join in the fun…thank you for that!

      Haha… please… toot away! I’m the one who was clueless! Lol.. but like I said, ignorance is bliss at times when it helps us to get excited over what would normally be ordinary! 🙂

      I look forward to catching up on your blog!! 🙂 Again, thank you for such a warm welcome!

  8. Haha, I had to laugh! Reality and facts sometimes are much more boring than the world we see infront of u: so “Congratulations on inventing pretzels 🙂 “

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    • Thank you so much! As a retired pastry chef, you’re probably rolling your eyes thinking that this was no big deal!! And they really weren’t a big deal, it just amazed me that it was the baking soda wash that actually gives the pretzels their flavor!! Who knew? Not me!! Thank you so much for stopping by… I’m so glad you did! 🙂

  10. Well I am in awe. I go to a German bakery in town for the fresh twisted ones and eat them with butter dripping from the hot pretzel with three slices( to be exact…) cheese! Oh the joy….

    • Oh man…dripping with butter? Now that is MY KIND of Pretzel!! I have to say that I loved them the best as soon as they came out of the oven! Now you said three slices of cheese? On the pretzel? Was it melted cheese? You have my interest piqued…Maybe I need to make more pretzels in the near future…with cheese and butter! Thanks so much for stopping by, Elmarie..I’m so glad you did! 🙂

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