My daughter asked me this weekend if we could have soft pretzels like we had on the ferry from Wisconsin to Michigan last summer. I love that, like me, the things she remembers about trips include the food she ate! Ironically, I looked at my kids food ideas board on pinterest and saw that I had already pinned a soft pretzel recipe. Milwaukee has a plethora of German brew pubs, which means tons of homemade soft pretzels, and a new family favorite appetizer.
Monday was my first afternoon alone with all three kiddos. Miles was napping in the swing and the girls were playing great together downstairs so I figured I’d bake. Why not?
While the pretzels were baking I made a honey mustard dip and I put some Tostados queso dip in a second bowl as our two dipping sauces (Yes…dietitians have processed food in their houses too. Remember -MODERATION).
I felt so accomplished afterwards. A fun, delicious homemade dinner on the table that everyone loved. Ryan and I had ours with an Italian sausage and salad on the side to round out the meal and the kids had deli meat and fruit with theirs.
One quick disclaimer. This is a very easy recipe but beware that it is a little time consuming as you have to make the dough, knead the dough (I did this in my Kitchen Aid mixer), let the dough rise for 15 minutes, form pretzels, let the pretzels sit in baking soda bath for 2 minute and then bake them for 8 minutes. I did 2-3 pretzels in the baking soda bath at a time to speed things up. I’d assume ~45 minutes total before they are ready to eat but I promise it is worth it.
Soft Baked Pretzels
Source: Sprinkle Some Sugar Blog
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 standard packet)
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups all purpose flour (3/4 cup more if needed)
- Baking soda Bath = 2 cups of water and 4 Tbsp baking soda
- 6 Tbsp melted butter and 1 Tbsp coarse salt for sprinkling on top post baking (I used 4 Tbsp butter and pinched salt on but did not measure)
Preheat oven to 475 and line baking sheet with parchment paper or a non stick silicone baking sheet mat
- Combine yeast and warm water and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a hook or in a bowl if you aren’t using a mixer. Let sit until your yeast is “frosty” or looks like it’s bubbling.
- Add salt and melted butter to yeast mixture
- Add flour one cup at a time until dough forms and is no longer sticky. You may need more or less based on temperatures where you live. I found that I actually had to add 3 tsp of water (one at a time) to this to make it sticky.
- Once dough Knead dough in mixer or by hand for 5 minutes until its smooth.
- Form dough into and let sit in a bowl for 15 minutes (I covered my bowl with a towel as i do that with other dough I make)
- While dough rises prepare baking soda bath. Boil 2 cups of water with 4 Tbsp baking soda. Stir and heat until dissolved. Remove from heat and pour into a 8×8 or 9×9 pan and let cool to be lukewarm temperatures.
- Take the dough out of the bowl and flatten slightly to cut into 8 sections like a pizza. Roll each section out to be ~15-20 inches long. Form the rope into a pretzel
- Once 2-3 are made place them in the baking soda bath and leave for 2 minutes (make the rest of the pretzels while they soak). If they are not fully covered spoon liquid mixture on to the top.
- Remove from baking soda bath and place on baking sheet. Reform if needed and sprinkle with salt
- Bake for 8-9 minutes until golden brown
- Brush with melted butter after taking out of the oven and serve HOT with your favorite dipping sauce
Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 Tbsp yellow mustard
- 1 1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
Mix together and refrigerate