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Cook ‘Em Project: Recipe

Soft Pretzels

Servings: 12 pretzels
Preparation Time: 1 ½ - 2 ¼ hours
Cooking Time: 14-16 minutes


  • 1 teaspoon active yeast
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup warm water, (about 105-115*F)
  • 3 tablespoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt, poppy seeds, or ­sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp canola oil


Preparing the Dough
1. Mix together the bread flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
2. Combine warm water, honey, and active yeast in the measuring cup and add to flour and salt.
3. Mix all ingredients by hand and until a smooth, elastic ball of dough forms (the dough will be quite stiff), 5 to 7 minutes.
4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at warm room temperature until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
5. Punch down the dough, re-cover, and let rise until nearly doubled in size again, 30 to 40 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and pre-heat the oven to 450*F.
7. Pour 6 cups water into a 12-inch skillet, add the baking soda, stir, cover, and bring to a simmer (140-180*F) over medium-high heat.
8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
9. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces (about 2 ounces each). Roll each piece into a 20-inch-long, 1/2-inch-wide rope. Shape each rope into a pretzel shape by creating an oval with both ends overlapping (by approximately 1 ½ inches). Gently place the pretzels on the prepared baking sheet.

Poaching the Dough and Baking
10. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, gently place the pretzels into the simmering water, top-side down (you should be able to fit 3 or 4 pretzels at a time), for 30 seconds. Using the slotted spoon or tongs, carefully flip the pretzels over and simmer for 30 seconds longer.
11. Remove the pretzels, drain well, and place back onto the prepared baking sheet (since the pretzels do not expand much, you should be able to fit all 12 on the baking sheet).
12. Sprinkle with coarse salt (if using) and bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until the pretzels are well-browned.
13. Remove the pretzels from the baking sheet. Serve warm or at room temperature with your favorite mustard or cheese sauce.
14. Store leftover pretzels in a closed paper bag or airtight container in a cool place for up to two days. Reheat by wrapping the pretzel in a damp paper towel for 30 seconds or until interior is steaming.

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