Appetizer and Snacks, Recipes

Homemade Soft Pretzels with Mustard

These buttery Homemade Soft Pretzels are quick to make and easy to customize with your favorite flavors. Make them savory with a side of spicy mustard or sweet with cinnamon sugar!

Salted Homemade Soft Pretzels on a baking rack with Mustard

One of my favorite food vendors at the Lynchburg Music Fest this past year was Ben’s Soft Pretzels. I am not going to admit to how many I consumed over the course of the weekend, but every single one was amazing. The incredibly long line was evidence enough that everyone else thought they were pretty tasty, too. In fact, on the last day of the festival, they ran out of cheese dip.

I didn’t mind going without the cheese, though. I had mustard and to be honest, they were perfect to eat plain. The outside was a toasty brown while the inside boasted a soft, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture. Since I couldn’t get those amazing creations off my mind, I decided to try my hand at making some at home. They don’t quite have that special touch that Ben’s creates, but these homemade soft pretzels are delicious, too!

As a teenager, I remember enjoying pretzels at the mall with my friends. The food court often caught our attention – especially the pretzel vendor. They would hang on a hook in lighted cases, twirling around, ready to be sold and enjoyed with mustard or cheese dip. If only I could still keep that figure I had back then while eating all of those mall treats – *sigh*.

If you’re looking for something sweet, these can also be the cure for that craving. After baking, brush each pretzel with melted butter and dip each pretzel into a shallow bowl filled with a mixture of sugar and ground cinnamon to coat. These homemade soft pretzels would be great for a mid-morning snack with a cup of coffee!

One of the keys to success with homemade soft pretzels is to dip the pretzels in a boiling alkaline bath before baking. This step is what gives soft pretzels that distinctive rich brown exterior color and the coveted soft, chewy interior. Professional bakeries often use lye for this process, while many home cooks prefer to work with baking soda as a less caustic alternative. Here, the more user-friendly baking soda bath is used.

Another important step is to brush each pretzel with an egg wash after they have been removed from the alkaline bath and patted dry. This step imparts a nice shine to the pretzels and helps the coarse sea salt adhere while baking. For a richer golden color, use a whole egg or just the yolk (vs. just the egg white) for this step when making homemade soft pretzels.

Homemade Soft Pretzels with Salt

What You’ll Need to Make Homemade Soft Pretzels:

  • Large-rimmed baking sheets
  • Non-stick baking mats
  • 2 large bowls
  • Measuring cups
  • Fork
  • Towel
  • Large pot
  • Olive oil
  • Warm water
  • Table salt
  • Brown sugar
  • Active dry yeast
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Egg
  • Sea salt
  • Spicy mustard or cheese dip, to serve

How to Make Homemade Soft Pretzels:

Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat™ baking mats and grease a large bowl with one tablespoon olive oil. Set aside.

Add the warm water to a different large bowl, followed by the salt, brown sugar, and yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes.

Add remaining olive oil to the bowl with the yeast. Gradually add four cups flour, one cup at a time, stirring vigorously with a fork and scraping the sides, until the flour is thoroughly incorporated into the dough without any lumps.

Sprinkle remaining flour onto a clean, dry work surface and lightly coat hands with additional flour. Drop the dough onto the work surface and knead in remaining flour just until dough is no longer sticky. Do not overwork.

Shape dough into a ball and add to the clean bowl coated in olive oil. Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside in a warm place for one hour or until the dough doubles in size.

When the dough is almost done resting, position the oven racks so that the oven is divided into thirds and pre-heat the oven to 450°F.

Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down with your lightly floured fist. Rest for a couple minutes, then drop the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 12 equal-sized portions.

While the dough is resting (Step #7), fill a large pot with 8 cups water and one-half cup baking soda and bring to a rolling oil.

Roll each section of dough into a long, thin rope, with your hands. Bend the dough into a “U” shape and twist the loose ends together twice before attaching each tip toward the bottom of the “U” to form a traditional pretzel shape, as shown. Transfer pretzels to the prepared baking sheets.

Tip: If the pretzels are allowed to sit for 10-15 minutes once shaped, they will continue to rise or “puff up” to form a nice full shape to create perfect homemade soft pretzels.

Drop each pretzel, one at a time, into the boiling baking soda bath and boil for 20 seconds before flipping. Boil for another 20 seconds, then transfer with a slotted spatula to a wire rack to drain excess liquid.

Gently pat pretzels dry with a paper towel and transfer back to the prepared baking sheets.

Beat egg and water together in a small bowl and brush each pretzel with the egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and place in the pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Tip: For even browning, rotate the baking sheets and move the baking sheet on the bottom rack to the top (and vice versa) halfway through baking.

Remove from oven and cool for a couple minutes before serving your homemade soft pretzels with some spicy mustard or your favorite cheese dip. Enjoy!

Solo Pretzel with Mustard Dip

Tasty Tips, Hints, and Questions

Solo Pretzel with Mustard Dip

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Yield: 12 Pretzels
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 32 minutes

These buttery Homemade Soft Pretzels are quick to make and easy to customize with your favorite flavors. Make them savory with a side of spicy mustard or sweet with cinnamon sugar!

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1½ cups very warm water
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 4½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 8 cups water
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • Sea salt

Optional, to serve:

  • Spicy Mustard
  • Cheese Dip

Instructions

Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat™ baking mats and grease a large bowl with one tablespoon olive oil. Set aside.

Add the warm water to a different large bowl, followed by the salt, brown sugar, and yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes.

Add remaining olive oil to the bowl with the yeast. Gradually add four cups flour, one cup at a time, stirring vigorously with a fork and scraping the sides, until the flour is thoroughly incorporated into the dough without any lumps.

Sprinkle remaining flour onto a clean, dry work surface and lightly coat hands with additional flour. Drop the dough onto the work surface and knead in remaining flour just until dough is no longer sticky. Do not overwork.

Shape dough into a ball and add to the clean bowl coated in olive oil. Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside in a warm place for one hour or until the dough doubles in size.

When the dough is almost done resting, position the oven racks so that the oven is divided into thirds and pre-heat the oven to 450°F.

Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down with your lightly floured fist. Rest for a couple minutes, then drop the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 12 equal-sized portions.

While the dough is resting (Step #7), fill a large pot with 8 cups water and one-half cup baking soda and bring to a rolling oil.

Roll each section of dough into a long, thin rope, with your hands. Bend the dough into a “U” shape and twist the loose ends together twice before attaching each tip toward the bottom of the “U” to form a traditional pretzel shape, as shown. Transfer pretzels to the prepared baking sheets.

Tip: If the pretzels are allowed to sit for 10-15 minutes once shaped, they will continue to rise or “puff up” to form a nice full shape.

Drop each pretzel, one at a time, into the boiling baking soda bath and boil for 20 seconds before flipping. Boil for another 20 seconds, then transfer with a slotted spatula to a wire rack to drain excess liquid.

Gently pat pretzels dry with a paper towel and transfer back to the prepared baking sheets.

Beat egg and water together in a small bowl and brush each pretzel with the egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and place in the pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Tip: For even browning, rotate the baking sheets and move the baking sheet on the bottom rack to the top (and vice versa) halfway through baking.

Remove from oven and cool for a couple minutes before serving with some spicy mustard or your favorite cheese dip. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 222Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 2805mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 6g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 3/21/2021

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These buttery Homemade Soft Pretzels are quick to make and easy to customize with your favorite flavors. Make them savory with a side of spicy mustard or sweet with cinnamon sugar!

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