My daughter was the pretzel designer here, so they are ‘perfectly shaped’ in my eyes!
I can’t visit the mall without stopping at Wetzel Pretzels or Aunt Annie’s Pretzels for a quick snack.
I love warm, fresh pretzels!
With this simple recipe, you can make those pretzels you love at the mall at home right in your kitchen! Easy and fresh from the oven – What could be more satisfying?
These pretzels are best eaten fresh, right out of the oven. If you plan to serve them at a party, make the dough, form, and freeze the pretzels in advance . For birthdays and celebrations, double the recipe in advance.
For small children, you can also create pretzel bites (Instructions below)
Instructions for boiling and baking from the freezer are below. This recipe makes the plain pretzel. Toppings, dips and other suggestions are at the bottom of this post.
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees F)
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 oz unsalted butter, melted
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
2 tbsp butter, melted
Coarse sea salt (optional)
To make the pretzel dough
In a standing mixer bowl,mix together the water, sugar, yeast, and salt on low speed for 10 seconds.
Switch to the dough hook and add the flour and butter. Mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 3-4. Remove the dough from the bowl and transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
Tip: I like to turn my oven onto 170, let it warm up, place the bowl inside, then turn off the oven again and let it remain in the warm, draft-free environment.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface and divide it into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Place a slightly damp paper towel over the dough you are not using to prevent them from drying out while you form the other pretzels.
To create pretzel bites, simply cut the 24 inch rope into 2 inch sections. You will have 12 pretzel bites.
To create and shape a pretzel, hold the 24- inch dough rope with both hands. make a U-shape with the rope. Holding up the ends of the rope, cross them over each other 2-3 more times, then press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place side by side onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.
At this point, you can freeze the formed pretzels by freezing them for 20 minutes in the freezer to harden, then stacking them in between parchment paper, into a large plastic zipper bag, then back into the freezer until needed. Use within 2 months.
To make the pretzels
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in a large pot or roasting pan. (If you’re freezing your formed pretzels, skip this step now and continue with it when ready to boil and bake your pretzels from the freezer.) Make sure your pot or pan is large enough to allow the water to boil and bubble – the baking soda will foam, causing the foam to rise several inches above the waterline. Adding baking soda helps to ensure a shiny, smooth brown crust on your pretzels!
Using a flat spatula or tongs, gently lower the pretzels into the boiling water and boil them for 30 seconds until they float back up to the top. If boiling frozen pretzels, add them to the water directly from the freezer – do not thaw – and boil for a total of 45 seconds. Depending on the size of your pot, boil 2 to 4 pretzels at a time. Remove the pretzels from the water using the spatula, drain as best you can over the pot, and place them on the baking sheets. Brush the top of each pretzel with some melted butter and sprinkle with the sea salt (optional).
Bake until golden brown, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. If the pretzels were frozen, bake for an extra 1 to 2 minutes. Lightly brush pretzels with the remaining melted butter immediately after you remove them from the oven.
Brush butter over pretzels when they come out of the oven and sprinkle with sea salt.
Plain Pretzel – as created in recipe
Sesame – top pretzels with toasted sesame seeds prior to baking
Sinful Cinnamon & Cinnamon Sugar
Brush butter over pretzel as it comes out of oven. Mix 1/2 cup of sugar with 1 tbsp.cinnamon.
Sprinkle over pretzels.
In the last 2 minutes of baking, top with your favorite shredded cheese.
Continue baking until cheese has melted.
In the last 2 minutes of baking, top with your favorite shredded cheese, then add pepperoni slices. Continue baking until cheese has melted.
Jalapeno Cheese Melt
In the last 2 minutes of baking, top with your favorite shredded cheese, then add jalapeno slices.Continue baking until cheese has melted.
In the last 2 minutes of baking pretzels, top with sliced pepperoni and jalapeno slices.
Take 1 hot dog and wrap 24” rope of pretzel dough around dog. Bake as listed above.
Wetzel Cheese Dog
Take 1 hot dog and wrap 24” rope of pretzel dough around dog. Top with shredded cheese of your choice. Bake as listed above.
Jalapeno Cheese Pretzel Dog
Take 1 hot dog and place sliced jalapeno along the top and wrap 24” rope of pretzel dough around dog and jalapeno slices. Top with shredded cheese of your choice. Bake as listed above.
Cream Cheese – Use your favorite plain or whipped cream cheese
Marinara Sauce - Heat 1/3 cup of your favorite marinara sauce
Sweet Mustard - Mix 1 tbsp, honey with ½ tsp. Dijon mustard