Making Homemade Soft Pretzels…Again…

Yes, I am aware that I have already posted this recipe and that MANY of you have told me how much you LOVE these pretzels!

But we were encouraged to re-post our favorite Works for me Wednesday post…and this is by far my favorite…for oh-so-many delicious reasons!

So now you can be re-encouraged to make these pretzels!! Here you go (again)…

Okay, brace yourself.

The recipe I am about to share with you is INCREDIBLE!

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Ask anyone who’s ever tried them.

People have even called me the “Pretzel Lady”. (I’m sure they’ve even called me the “Beautiful Pretzel Lady” and the “Unbelievably Intelligent and Witty Pretzel Lady” behind my back.)

I used to sell these at our local farmers market each week. On my best week, I sold over 100 of them in less than 17 minutes (yes, I timed it).

Okay, so here is the recipe and the step by step tutorial on how to make Laura’s Amazing Soft Pretzels:

Ingredients:

1 cup water
2 Tablespoon yeast
2 teaspoon honey
2 1/2 cups milk
1 stick butter
1/2 cup honey
4 teaspoon salt
8 cups whole wheat flour
butter
salt

(You can make these with white flour and white sugar if you want to have a delicious mound of empty calories…but I have found that using these healthier ingredients does not make us like these pretzels any less!)

Okay, here are the directions for preparing the pretzels that are to die for:

In a large bowl, mix 1 cup very warm water, 2 T. yeast and 2 t. honey. Stir this together and kind of mush the yeast around. Let this sit for a few minutes while you do the next step.

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Melt a stick of butter in a large saucepan.

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Add 1/2 cup honey, 4 t. salt and 2 1/2 cups of milk. Heat this to 120 degrees.

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Pour milk mixture into yeast mixture and stir.

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Stir in 8 cups of flour, 2 cups at a time. (add more if you need it)

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Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes.

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Plop it into a bowl, cover it and let it rise for 1-1 1/2 hours.

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And it should look like this:

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Pull it out of the bowl and knead it a few times to get the air out.

Pull a ball of dough, about the size of your fist off and get ready to make your very first pretzel! (such a proud moment)

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Roll it into a long snake.

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Then do this:

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Then twist it again to look like this:

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Then pick up the ends and pull them down to the bottom. (And please make no snide remarks about my blueish, boney hands. It is always a little cold in my house and my hands are never quite warm AND I inherited my Nana’s boney hands and I know my Nana would have never allowed her hands to be put on a blog while she lovingly told you how to shape a pretzel because she was ashamed of her boney hands, but I’m okay with it. I’m not embarassed at all. Not one bit.)

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And then, it should look like this. And if it doesn’t, just undo it and try again. By the time you get to the end of shaping your big blob of dough into pretzels, you’ll have the hang of it and be able to talk on the phone, make a grocery list, check your email, tie someone’s shoe AND shape a pretzel, ALL AT THE SAME TIME!

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After you shape each pretzel, put them on a cookie sheet about an inch apart. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Melt a stick of butter in a saucepan.

Right when you take the pretzels out of the oven, slather them with butter. Lay it on thick. Don’t hold back.

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Then sprinkle salt over them.

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And, if at all possible, eat one right out of the oven. They are good two days later too, but OH MY GOODNESS, you HAVE to eat one right out of the oven!

With a glass of milk.

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And if you really want to have fun, shape some into hearts!

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Whenever I want to make a special treat for my family, this recipe always works for me!

[tags]whole wheat soft pretzels, healthy treats, homemade breads[/tags]

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Comments

  1. says

    They look delicious. We don’t have soft pretzels here, but I remember how yummy they were when I went to NY at age 9. I’ll have to try this one day when I have some spare time (ha ha ha!)

    [Reply]

  2. says

    I’ve been hearing about these pretzels for EVER, and Jayme has promised to come make some for me after the baby gets here. I’m ready!!

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  3. says

    They look wonderful!

    Do you not have to boil them for a min before baking? Those were the instructions from the recipe my dd used yesterday. Her’s turned out more like rolls or buns – you can’t really distinguish the pretzel shape.

    Next time she wants to make some – I’ll have her come look at your demo. :)

    [Reply]

  4. Laura says

    No, I don’t have to boil mine first. Therefore…they are a bit more like a roll or bun…but with butter and salt slathered over it. Oh my…I think I’ll be needing to make some of these today… I can’t stand to talk about them and not eat one… :)

    [Reply]

    Brandie Reply:

    How much sugar would you add if you were going to make them that way? Would it replace anything or just be added because I only have white flour right now but I want to make these right now!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Just exchange the ingredients one for one.

    [Reply]

  5. Crystal says

    My kids are gonna love doing this. I can’t wait to try them out. I used to make homemade pretzels with my mom but I dont’ have the recipe. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. Melissa says

    Approximately how many does this recipe make? And how long do they keep? Can you freeze them?

    Thanks!

    [Reply]

  7. Laura says

    This recipe makes about 24 ptetzels. They keep for a week or so in the fridge…and yes they freeze just fine. I just rewarm them in the oven for a few minutes, and they are great!!

    [Reply]

  8. says

    I just wanted to let you know, I heard back from one of the neighbors I took these to, and she said, “these are the best things I have EVER put in my mouth!” And they were! Thanks soo much for sharing the recipe!

    [Reply]

  9. ginger says

    DO YOU HAVE ANY RECIPES THAT ALLOW YOU
    TO ADD EXTRA INGREDIANTS? SUCH AS JALAPENOS
    AND OR CHEESE?

    GINGER

    [Reply]

  10. joy says

    these are so yummy! i tried them out and it was oh, so good!

    i gave some to my co workers and they were hooked! they kept asking for more, but, alas, no baking this week! :(

    thanks for the recipe! it was so good!

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  11. Julie says

    I’m making some right now…I called my hubby to tell him what I was doing and he’s ready to come home from work right now to eat one!

    A couple questions…

    Is it ok if I use ww flour from a bag from the store? Will they turn out the same?

    Do you ever need to add extra gluten to your baked goods to make them “stretchy?”

    Do you use the whole/raw milk for these? I used skim…hope they turn out ok?!?!

    [Reply]

  12. Barb says

    I looove pretzels & am so happy to find a recipe for whole wheat. Is there anything I can use besides butter??

    [Reply]

  13. Sara says

    I wasn’t too happy with this recipe. They were really bland and nothing special- very dissappointed, as we used a half cup of our own harvested honey and it was wasted. I am going to try it with white sugar and white flour to see if it makes them better. We added cinnamon and sugar to help with the flavor, but the kids were still not excited about them. They said “it just tastes like bread”. Best keep trying…

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  14. Jessica says

    I am going to try this recipe, it looks really good. I will probably use it with salt and butter, I hope my kids love it.
    Thank You So Much. God Bless.
    Thanks. Jess

    [Reply]

  15. Jen says

    I found this recipe yesterday and made half into pretzels and other other half into bread sticks. I’ve tried a lot of whole wheat recipes but so far this has to be a favorite both for how easy it is to make and how good it turns out. Tonight we doubled it and we are making 2 pizzas, a dozen dinner rolls and a dozen cinnamon rolls. My husband helped me make it because he likes it so much!

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  16. tae says

    i made soft pretzel at my home-ec class once when i was a child and it was so good. i learned that you add two tablespoons of honey and no other soft pretzel recipe does that! and i came across this one and i’m like, oh this is it! so thank you very much.

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  17. says

    I made these yesterday and they came out wonderful. Thanks for the tutorial!! It was very clear and easy. I will definetly make these again. We used them for our Lenten pretzels!

    Of course my boys made theirs into shapes of Godzilla (it’s all on my blog)..such fun!

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  18. tae says

    i’ve tried these pretzels a few times and they’re good. i don’t know if it’s because i used skim milk or not, but i found 2 1/2 cups of milk to be a bit too much. that may be because i don’t use much butter. i also found it better when you use a “measuring cup” with “lines” on it to measure out honey rather than measuring it with your eyes and thinking about the expenses. haha.

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  19. reese says

    This recipie sounds soooo good! I can’t wait to make it!

    I love pretzels so this will be very useful information.

    [Reply]

  20. Amy says

    Im only 16 and i decided to try this and it was really good! But instead of making them into a pretzel shape i made them into a pretzel rod and I twisted the dough together and instead of putting salt on them I sprinkled cinnamon and sugar! :)

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  21. says

    Ok, so I find I am expecting my 5th blessing and am so excited….however, I am running out of snack’s that I don’t have to buy at the store….so I whipped open my favorites to this particular page…..and I MADE THE PRETZEL’S :)

    I just ate my first, fresh-from-the-oven, home-made pretzel……IT WAS DELICIOUS!!!!

    I am so excited, I took pictures of my finished pretzels and hope to post them tonight on my blog and link back here to share your recipe!!

    Thanks so much for blessing me today!!
    God Bless,
    Melissa D. SC

    [Reply]

  22. Julie says

    I just finished making these and have taken my first bite. they are absolutely delicious thank you so much for sharing these. I was so happy to find a recipe where I didn’t have to boil the pretzels. I’m sixteen so the simple instructions really helped since I don’t have that much cooking experience. Again, thank you.

    [Reply]

  23. Julie says

    Hi,
    I love that these use honey and whole wheat flour. I’m looking forward to trying them. Have you used spelt or barely flour with pretzels, or are they best made with wheat?
    Thanks,
    Julie A

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’ve only used whole wheat…but I don’t know why they wouldn’t work with spelt!

    [Reply]

  24. Julie says

    This recipe sounds great! I can’t wait to try it. But if you use white sugar, do you substitute it for the honey, and is it the same amount?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’d exchange the white sugar one for one with the honey. :)

    [Reply]

  25. Reilly says

    This recipe looks really good! I’m going to try to make them this week. I bet they will be delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

    [Reply]

  26. Alicia says

    LOVE these….just made a batch….came out with 30 total :) taste awesome!! I lathered the butter on after they came out of the oven. I made some with a little bit of sea salt , some garlic and some sugar and cinnamon…..my home smells sooo good right now!! Thank you for the great recipe…will definatley be making these again!!! 5 stars!! I am pretty new to baking and this was my first time using yeast and making any sort of bread….I was very nervous, but they turned out fabulous!!! Now if I could only get my cookies to not turn out looking like cow pies :)

    [Reply]

  27. heather says

    these sound ahmazing. haha i feel really late because it’s 2010 but i bet they’ll taste good anyway. im making some right now and they look pretty good. cant wait for them to come out of the oven :DDD

    [Reply]

  28. Marykate says

    These look awesome. Right now i am in the process of making them. They are rising. I can’t wait to put them in the oven!

    [Reply]

  29. Shannon says

    I am allergic to milk products, do you think soy milk would mess up this recipe if it was sustituted?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I really don’t know. I’ve never used it before. I would imagine it’s worth a try!

    [Reply]

  30. Layne says

    I’ve tried this recipe twice and my dough will NOT rise! Any suggestions? It is a little cold in my house so I’ve put it in the oven with boiling water as many websites suggest. I have also just given the dough more time to rise to take the cold into account. I’m working with white flour and sugar (I’m currently in a country where other ingredients are unavailable). Please help!! These look amazing and am a huge pretzel lover, but can’t get the dough right. Thanks

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    If the dough isn’t rising at all, I’d say it must be a yeast issue. Either your yeast is dead and doesn’t work, or your milk mixture may be too hot and is killing the yeast. Those are my guesses…wish I could come over and make ’em with you to figure it out!

    [Reply]

  31. Kathleen says

    They are in the oven, and smell wonderful! My kids will be so excited when they get home from school in half an hour. We used to live overseas, and going to visit the States we’d come through Germany we would regularly visit friends who live there. We’d go out along a pedestrian street and buy fresh pretzels. One of our favorite memories of traveling! Thanks for the no boil recipe.

    [Reply]

  32. Kathleen says

    One more comment. I’ve baked with yeast for years upon years, and have found that the warm water with yeast thing isn’t so important. I use cool tap water most of the time, and if it adds any rising time at all, it is nearly imperceptible. I’d prefer slightly more time to killing off my yeast, at any rate! Thanks again for the recipe. They’re nearly done!

    [Reply]

  33. Jeff says

    Trying these out today. Has anyone tried making these at altitude? I will make some of the standard adjustments, but wondered if anyone had any experience. We are at about 8,600 feet.

    Thanks!

    [Reply]

  34. gerald blizzard says

    would you tell me how to make the egg wash solution?..and my pretezels didnt brown….did I just not cook them enough?…tasted fine but didnt have a crust..gonna cook another batch now and try some eggwhite maybe….or maybe butter?.thanks for the recipe anyway..first pretzels I ever made…

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, I think they needed to be baked a little bit longer until they brown. I don’t use an egg wash for mine, but I would imagine that you just beat an egg and brush it over the pretzel before you bake it?

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  35. brittany says

    ok…so I tried to make these pretzels for my children for school…mine were so GROSS!!! What did I do wrong. I followed the instructions but they were dull, didn’t rise, dried out and just plain disgusting. Is it really important about the temp…..I didn’t have a thermo. to actually tell the temp. was 120…could that be it? What type of yeast do you use…is there a trick or a special kind I should use!!! HELP!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yeah, the liquid could have been too hot and killed the yeast since they didn’t riste. That’s SO frustrating! That happened to me the first time I made them. I use active dry yeast. There’s no special trick, but since you don’t have a thermometer, maybe put you finger in the milk mixture and if it’s warm but not hot to the touch, it should be okay.

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  36. Jeremy says

    I made these with my kids the other day as part of our Christmas decorating tradition. These were great! My wife & I could not believe how good these are! I brushed mine with a bit of water and baking soda before baking just to give the outer layer an extra little crust. Grateful for a whole wheat recipe that the kids (& I) love!

    [Reply]

  37. sarah says

    I think I made them wrong. Mine turned out absolutely disgusting and i’m usually a decent baker. The whole wheat taste of the flour was way too prevalent and they were a dark brown (even while uncooked) not a light golden brown like your pictures. Maybe I used the wrong sort of whole wheat flour?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Oh dear…so sorry to hear that! I use whole wheat flour made from hard white wheat, but I know of others who use regular, store bought flour and it works fine for them. :( It could be that the flour you used was made from hard red wheat, which makes for a darker, heavier flour. I’m sorry these were a disappointment!

    [Reply]

    Lisa G. Reply:

    I made these this week using your recipe with my hard red spring wheat. They tasted delicious!!! But I halved the recipe…all except the butter! It was an accident, but a delicious one!!! I’ll definitely make them again :)

    http://allthingsgale.blogspot.com/2011/09/butternut-squash-soup-and-soft-pretzels.html

    [Reply]

  38. Daphne says

    All I can say is YUMMY!!!! The boys and I just made these and they turned out WONDERFUL! I did a (very) few with salt and the rest with cinnamon and sugar. There was no way we needed a whole batch so I halved it and everything came out great. I got 17 out of a half batch and that’s perfect for us. Thanks so much for another great recipe! :)

    [Reply]

  39. Jackie says

    We had the greatest time making your pretzels today and my husband sings your praises. He said they were the best pretzels he’s ever eaten. The came out fantastic!!!!

    [Reply]

  40. Jeremy says

    This looks delicious and I can’t wait to try the recipe. Just to make sure, a capital T stands for tablespoon and a little t stands for teaspoon right?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, you got it right. I’ll go edit the post to be clear about that!

    [Reply]

    Jeremy Reply:

    ty. :)

    [Reply]

  41. Heather says

    I love these pretzels! I want to make a bunch for my freezer for a few busy weeks coming up. Would you freeze after you shape or after you bake? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    After you bake. Actually, I’ve never tried shaping then freezing. I would imagine that would work!

    [Reply]

  42. says

    This looks amazing, planning on trying it this weekend! Can I use Instant yeast? I normally use SAF, but have never put it directly into a liquid; and using it helps me speed up b/c I never let the dough raise twice.
    So thankful a friend told me about this website! yippee for me!
    blessings,
    patti

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Yes, I think instant yeast should work, I’m not sure though!

    [Reply]

  43. Heather T. says

    I made these a few weeks ago and made the mistake of putting them in a container when they still had alittle warmth in them and the salt melted they were still very good, just wondering how you store them? We have a 4 day trip coming up in Door County Wisconsin and are bringing our own food, we will have a kitchen so wanted to make these to bring with along with quite a few other of you recipes. thanks for all the yummy food, I have been telling everyone to check out your site, its helping me to use better for us products.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I let the completely cool, then I put them in a ziplock freezer bag in either the freezer or the fridge.

    Thanks for telling people about my site!! :)

    [Reply]

  44. says

    After freezing, do you just take them out to thaw on the counter and eat when thawed (and room temperature), or do you thaw and then heat them before eating?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I usually put them directly from frozen state onto a baking pan to reheat. It thaws them and reheats them quickly!

    [Reply]

  45. Jan says

    I would like to try these but a smaller batch I’m worried about halfing the yeast and water. Do you have a 1/2 recipe that works?

    I can’t wait to try your recipe. All the recipes I have tried so far are just bread sticks with salt. Thanks, Jan

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    This recipe will half just fine – I know people who have tried it successfully! Hope it works well for you!

    [Reply]

  46. Mark says

    Is that cornmeal you’re kneading the dough on or flour? Does it matter?

    ~ Mark ~~~~~

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I just knead it in flour, but I don’t think it would matter. :)

    [Reply]

    Mark Reply:

    Thanks!
    I used cornmeal, since I always have so much more of this verses flour, and they came out
    absolutely, (like Tony the tiger says), …… GRRRRRREAT!!!

    ~ Mark ~~~~~~~

    [Reply]

  47. Jennifer says

    Just made these! FABULOUSNESS!! I halved the recipe. Perfect! Thanks so much for this recipe. A keeper!
    p.s. You have lovely hands :)

    [Reply]

  48. Meg says

    I have just stumbled across this site! i intend to make these asap, they made me drool just reading/looking at them haha :D

    [Reply]

  49. Virginia Sprang says

    Just wondering if I did something wrong….I made these and they tasted great, but the texture was just like bread, not chewy like a pretzel. Is that how they are supposed to be??

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    No, I don’t think you did anything wrong. These pretzels are a little different than the chewy pretzels you get at the mall.

    [Reply]

    Colby Reply:

    Dissolve a half cup of baking soda into 4 cups of hot water, and dip the pretzels in the solution after you form them, before you place them on the baking sheet. It should turn out chewy like the ones you would find in the mall.

    [Reply]

    Meghan Reply:

    Mine turned out like rolls as well, rather than pretzel texture. I was surprised how light and fluffy they were, though, because I’ve made whole wheat pretzels before and they were much more dense. These were fantastic anyway, so I’ll definitely make another batch doing the baking soda tip. yum!

    [Reply]

  50. Rachael says

    I LOVE these pretzels!! I make them every couple days. I have also started to add flax seed and they are still just as yummy!!! I have 3 little boys and they devour them…as well as me:) Thanks for sharing!!!

    [Reply]

  51. Lisa R says

    Is the dough supposed to be a big sticky mess when trying to knead it? I’m not a baker…obviously. Help!!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    No, if it’s a sticky mess, that means you’ll need to add more flour to make it workable. :)

    [Reply]

  52. Aimee says

    I am having an Oktoberfest party this week (60+ people) and was wondering how many pretzels this makes? Also, do they taste as good frozen and reheated? I have always had fresh-out-of-the-oven pretzels (the Martha Stewart recipe which requires you to boil them then bake them) for this party. I can’t do that for this many people. Would love to use your recipe as it seems much simpler and as tasty! How many batches would l need to make? Thanks so much! I am loving your site!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    It makes about 20-24 pretzels. Yes, you can freeze and reheat, no problem. For 60 people, I’d probably do three batches. :)

    [Reply]

  53. Stephanie says

    OH MY GOODNESS!!! These are so AWESOME!!! I’m so excited. This is the first time I’ve ever tried to make pretzels and they turned out delish! Even my husband, who isn’t a fan of any pretzel, LOVED these!!

    [Reply]

  54. charmaine says

    wow this recipe was really good! but my pretzels turned hard after a day, what should i do? is this what normally happens? please help!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Mine don’t usually turn hard after one day – I’m not sure what might have happened. I usually wait for mine to completely cool, then store them in a freezer bag in the fridge. I rewarm them in our toaster oven to serve.

    [Reply]

  55. Julia says

    YUM!!!! We just made our first batch of pretzels EVER and these are fabulous!!!! I think we need to make them skinnier so they turn out more like pretzel shape, ut they taste great and just gives us a reason to keep trying!!! :)

    [Reply]

  56. Jessica says

    These look incredible, I love that it starts out with whole wheat and honey rather than white flour and sugar! We are making these this weekend!

    [Reply]

  57. Jessica says

    Just made them, SO yummy! I’m guessing you used store bought whole wheat and not fresh ground?

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    Laura uses fresh ground. :)

    [Reply]

    Jessica Reply:

    I used fresh ground, too, but it was so wet I ended up adding way more…so did she sift hers?

    [Reply]

    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    No, she doesn’t sift hers. But adding more is fine. Just find the
    consistency that works for you!

  58. Jessica says

    Could I let the heated mixture come to just less than boiling or would that be too hot? You see I do not have a thermometer and was wondering if I could wing that part? I understand if it is too hot it will kill the yeast. Thanks for your insight and awesome website!!

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I’m afraid that would be too hot. As long as it is warm to the touch but not too warm for you to put your finger in, that’s is about the right temp. :)

    [Reply]

  59. Mark says

    Could one roll the finished dough out flat and use a cookie cutter? I don’t bake much and have this neat new cookie cutter and I’m not sure if it will work.

    Thanks,
    Mark

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    Hmm, I think this would work, but then you’d end up with kind of a fat, roll type thing instead of a pretzel. :)

    [Reply]

  60. says

    I was going to send these to school with my child to serve for a party? Are they good room temperature or should they be warmed up?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    They are still good at room temp! :)

    [Reply]

  61. Cat Hill says

    Substituting the sugar is a good call for nutrition, but whole wheat flour is no more or less nutritious than white flour. They are essentially the same nutritionally. The whole wheat health thing has been something done to boost sales.

    Also, when making real soft pretzels, you’re supposed to dip them in a hot baking soda bath for a real pretzel crust.

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I grind my own flour, so I believe that this makes my whole wheat flour much more nourishing than white flour. :)

    [Reply]

  62. Mendy says

    Can’t wait to try these. Have you ever used freshly ground spelt flour instead? My experiences with spelt bread is that it tends to rise less and sometimes requires more flour. Any thoughts?

    [Reply]

    Laura Reply:

    I haven’t tried it with spelt so I’m not sure what adjustments would need to be made. :)

    [Reply]

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