Like bagels, the best soft pretzels are boiled before they are baked. Try serving these with spicy yellow mustard.
Yield: 12 pretzels
- 1 cup water
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 cups bread flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 package (2¼ tsp, ¼oz, 7g) RED STAR Active Dry Yeast
Bread Machine Method
- Have liquid ingredients at 80°F and all others at room temperature. Place ingredients into pan in the order listed. Select Dough/Manual setting. Do not use the delay timer. Check dough consistency after 5 minutes of kneading. The dough should be in a soft, tacky ball. If it is dry and stiff, add water, ½ to 1 tablespoon at a time. If it is too wet and sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time. When kneading is complete, remove pan from machine and cover. Continue with Shaping, Rising and Baking directions below. See our Bread Machine section for more helpful tips and information.
- Combine yeast, 1 cup bread flour and other dry ingredients (dry mixture). Combine liquids and heat to 120-130º F.
- Hand-Held Mixer Method
- Combine dry mixture and warm liquid ingredients in mixing bowl on low speed. Beat 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed. By hand, stir in enough remaining bread flour to make a firm dough. Knead on floured surface 5 to 7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Use additional bread flour if necessary. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.
- Stand Mixer Method
- Combine dry mixture and warm liquid ingredients in mixing bowl with paddle or beaters for 4 minutes on medium speed. Gradually add remaining bread flour and knead with dough hook(s) 5 to 7 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.
Food Processor Method
- Have all ingredients at room temperature. Put dry mixture in processing bowl with steel blade. While motor is running, add liquid ingredients. Process until mixed. Continue processing, adding remaining flour until dough forms a ball. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.
Shaping, Rising and Baking
- Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; punch down to remove air bubbles. Divide dough into 4 parts and each part into 3 pieces. Roll into 18-inch ropes. Shape ropes into a circle, overlapping about 4 inches from each end. Twist ends at point of overlap and lay across the opposite edges of circle. Tuck ends under; seal. Place on greased cookie sheet. Let rise until puffy, about 20 minutes.
- In a 3-quart saucepan, bring 2 quarts water and ⅓ cup baking soda to a boil. Simmer 1 to 2 pretzels 10 seconds on each side. Remove with slotted spoon. Place on greased cookie sheet. Let dry briefly. Brush with 1 slightly beaten egg white; sprinkle with coarse salt or sesame seeds. Bake in preheated 425°F oven for 12 minutes.
- *You can substitute Instant (fast-rising) yeast in place of Active Dry Yeast. When using Instant Yeast, expect your dough to rise faster. Always let your dough rise until ripe. Traditional methods: use equal amounts; Bread Machine: use ½ tsp Instant Yeast OR ¾ tsp Active Dry Yeast per cup of flour in your recipe. Visit our Lessons in Yeast & Baking for more information.