Whatever you want to call them, these glorious rings of dough are my weakness. Like, my ultimate weakness. Crispy on the outside, warm and chewy on the inside. Straight from the oven and loaded with all the fixin’s.
I have a special love for soft pretzels. When I was young, there was a tiny kiosk in the mall that my mum and I would frequent, and I’m pretty sure that kiosk is where I discovered true love. Every time we went to the mall (which was, oddly enough, quite often), we would get one of those pretzels. Heck, sometimes we would go to the mall just for the pretzels! We went for years, until one day, we went in, and the kiosk was gone.
I vividly remember that day. It was a sad day.
To the tiny pretzel kiosk, whatever your name was, wherever you are now, I thank you. Yes, you introduced me to soft pretzels, but more importantly, you introduced me to a whole new world of carbs. Salty. Sweet. Savoury. Plain. I love them all.
It was a pretty monumentous day when I first made my own soft pretzels. They’re not the quickest things to make – there are a few steps involved – but the process is almost therapeutic. All that work and effort – kneading the dough, letting it rise, shaping the pretzels, boiling them, baking them – it all makes them taste that much better. It’s a labour of love, but like any kind of deep-seated love, it’s worth the work.
That said, even though there are a few steps, they’re all relatively simple. Making the dough is easier than you might think! Shaping the pretzels is always fun, and boiling them can be too. Then you get to bake them and cover them with TOPPINGS!
I really couldn’t decide what kind of topping to share with you, so I gave you some options. Five easy, delicious toppings to sooth whatever your craving may be.
- Rosemary & sea salt – salty, herby, simple and SO GOOD.
- Cinnamon sugar – a classic for a reason. Oh-so sweet!
- Everything – a little salty, a little savoury, a little crunchy.
- Garlic & parmesan – like Crazy Bread, but better.
- Pepperoni pizza – because any excuse for spicy meat and cheese is a good one!
The best part about these pretzels? They freeze beautifully! I often make a full batch and keep them in the freezer. When those late night cravings hit, it’s easy to grab just one, bake it, and enjoy. You don’t even have to let them thaw! The boiling will heat them through.
If you’re feeling lazy, it might seem like you could just skip the boiling step, but DON’T! Boiling the pretzels in baking soda is what gives them their hardened exterior and their classic chewy texture. If you don’t boil them, you’ll just end up with a ball of bread. That wouldn’t be the worst thing ever, but seriously, if you’re going to make a pretzel, do it right.
To sum up:
Make the dough. Let it rise.
Shape the dough. Freeze, or proceed with cooking.
Boil the pretzels in baking soda, whether they’re fresh or frozen.
Brush with a beaten egg to ensure browning on the top.
Top with your topping of choice (see instructions below).
Bake. Eat. Repeat.
|Soft Pretzel Twists (5 Ways)|| || |
- Pretzel Dough:
- 1½ cups warm water
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 2¼ tsp instant yeast
- 4½ cups flour
- ¼ cup (1/2 a stick) butter, melted
- 8 cups water
- ½ cup baking soda
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Garlic Parmesan:
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 Tbsp butter, melted
- 3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- Cinnamon Sugar:
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon mixed with 4 Tbsp sugar
- 3 Tbsp butter, melted
- 4 tsp poppy seeds.
- 4 tsp sesame seeds.
- 4 tsp dried garlic
- 4 tsp dried onion
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Sea Salt & Rosemary:
- 3 Tbsp fresh rosemary
- 3 Tbsp sea salt
- Pepperoni Pizza:
- Mini pepperoni, sliced thin
- Mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
- Preheat oven to 200°F.
- To make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together warm water, sugar, salt and yeast; let sit for 5 minutes until frothy. Add the flour and butter and mix on low speed until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, approximately 5 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with aluminum foil, and place in the oven. TURN OVEN OFF. Let the dough rise in the warm oven for about 1 hour until it has doubled in size.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 10 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 16-inch rope, fold it in half, twist end over end, and shape into a circle, pinching the ends together.
- Preheat the oven to 425°. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- Bring 8 cups of water and baking soda to a boil in a large pot.
- Using a flat spatula, drop the pretzel twists into the boiling water and boil for 45 seconds. Depending on the size of your pot you may need to boil one at a time. Remove twists from the water and brush lightly with the beaten egg. Proceed with your topping of choice.
- Garlic Parmesan topping: Spread the garlic over the tops of the pretzels, then sprinkle lightly with Parmesan. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until golden and puffed. Remove from oven and brush a bit of melted butter over the tops, then sprinkle with more Parmesan. Serve warm.
- Cinnamon Sugar topping: Bake pretzels for 12-14 minutes, until golden and puffed. Remove from oven and brush lightly with melted butter, then generously cover with cinnamon sugar mixture. Serve warm.
- Everything topping: Mix together the poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried garlic, dried onion, and salt, then sprinkle over top of the pretzels. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until browned. Serve warm.
- Sea Salt & Rosemary topping: Sprinkle rosemary and sea salt over the pretzels. Bake 12-14 minutes, until golden and puffed. Serve warm.
- Pepperoni Pizza topping: Place the pepperoni and mozzarella slices on the pretzel tops, making sure to get some in all the crevaces. Bake 12-14 minutes, until golden and puffed. Serve warm.