I always thought homemade pretzels were time-consuming, impossible to master, and a headache. No thank you, I can’t be bothered. But this homemade pretzel recipe will take you less time than getting a fancy manicure. It’s so simple, you’ll wonder why pretzel-making seemed hard before. There’s no mixer required and all the ingredients are probably sitting in your pantry right now. So go ahead-- twist it, sister!
Total Time: 30 mins
Makes: 8 to 10 pretzels
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
- 1 packet (2 1/4 tsp.) active yeast
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- Approx. 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (including some to dust the counter) *Note: Using white flour gives you softer and fluffier pretzels, while whole wheat results in much chewier and heartier pretzels.
- 1 large egg
- coarse sea salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Set aside.
Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl, and stir until mostly mixed (some clumps will remain). Then add salt and sugar, and stir again until pretty much combined. Slowly add flour, one cup at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon until dough is thick. Continue to add more flour until dough is no longer sticky. Poke the dough with your finger—if it bounces back, it’s ready to knead.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes and shape into a ball. With a sharp knife, cut ball into 1/3-cup sections. This measurement does not have to be exact—use as much or little dough for each pretzel as you wish—the size is completely up to you.
Roll each piece into an even diameter rope (mine were about 1" in diameter and 20" long). Then take the rope’s ends and draw them together, so the dough forms a circle.
Twist the ends together, then bring them toward yourself and press them down into a classic pretzel shape. Place the pretzels on a baking sheet.
In a small bowl, beat the egg and use a pastry brush to coat the pretzels in egg, then sprinkle the pretzels with coarse salt.
To make cinnamon sugar pretzels, skip the coarse salt and instead sprinkle pretzels with a mixture of a tablespoon cinnamon and 1/3 cup sugar.
Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees, then turn the oven to broil for 5 minutes, to brown the pretzel tops. Watch closely, to make sure they don’t burn.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Pretzels may be stored in an airtight container or zip-top bag for up to 4 days. These also freeze well.
By Sally Mckenney