Homemade pretzels are a great way to spend some time cooking with kids. This soft pretzel recipe is a good way to get started baking with yeast, as well. Quickly boiling the pretzels before baking gives them a nice brown crust.
My kids are pretzel fanatics. I stopped buying pretzels at the grocery store years ago except to make slow cooker Chex mix. I got tired of the constant requests for pretzels for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even more than they love eating pretzels, my kids love to make them. In general, my kids love to help out in the kitchen especially when we make videos like this Mexican corn dip video. We’ve tried several different soft pretzel recipes, but this recipe is our favorite! I’d never seen a pretzel recipe that calls for boiling them first before baking them. Regardless of the extra step of boiling, these are really a super quick step and totally worth the effort.
I had a hard time getting my pretzels to get dark brown so I would suggest making sure your oven is fully pre-heated (I didn’t wait) before baking. In order to make the pretzels, the recipe has you cut up the dough and then roll it out like snakes, but that was hard for my kids. My 5 year old suggested we use the method Guy Fieri uses in his recipe: roll out the dough in to a rectangle; cut the dough into thin strips and fold those over to create a snake. Then fold in to a pretzel shape. It worked for the kids!
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 2 Tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 12 cups water
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- 1 Tablespoon water
- Coarse salt, to taste
- In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, and sugar.
- Add 1 cup flour.
- Add in oil and salt and 1 more cup of flour. Stir to combine.
- Add enough flour to make a smooth, elastic dough (slightly tacky is fine). Knead dough a few times in the bowl.
- Cover bowl and let dough rise until doubled (about 1 hour).
- Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees. Grease baking sheets.
- Bring the 12 cups of water to a boil in a large stock pot. SLOWLY add in baking soda (it will foam so go slow!!). Keep water simmering.
- Gently punch down dough and divide in to 6 or 12 pieces (depending on size of pretzel you want).
- Roll each piece of dough out to an 12-18″ rope. Shape in to pretzel shape and pinch ends to close up.
- Boil each pretzel for 10-15 seconds, making sure all sides are boiled.
- Place pretzels on greased baking sheets, 1 inch apart.
- Cover pretzels and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Whisk together egg yolk and water and then brush on top of pretzels. Sprinkle salt on pretzels.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.