- 1 ½ cups (360 ml) of warm water
- 1 packet of active dry yeast (2 teaspoons or 14g)
- 1 tablespoon (15g) of unsalted melted butter
- 1 tablespoon (15g) of granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5g) of salt)
- 3 and ¾ cups (450-500g) of all-purpose flour, and 2 more tablespoons for the working surface
- coarse sea salt for the top of the pretzels
- 1/2 cup (120g) of baking soda
- 9 cups (2lts) of water (for the baking soda bath)
1) Mix warm water with sugar and the yeast, let it sit for 5 minutes.
2) Add the melted butter and slowly incorporate the flour (one cup at a time). Mix the dough with a wooden spoon (or with a hook attachment if you have a stand mixer) until your dough is thick. Add the remaining ¾ cups of flour until the dough is no longer sticky; if it still feels sticky add one by one tablespoons of flour until it’s done. Poke the dough with your finger and if it bounces back it is time to knead.
3) Place the dough onto a floured working surface, then knead the dough for 3 minutes and shape it like a ball. After that, put a large bowl (covered) and leave it there for 20 minutes.
4) Preheat your oven at 400°F (205°C) and get ready some greased (with butter, oil or cooking spray) baking sheets.
5) After 20 minutes of proofing, take the dough out of the bowl and divide it into 1/3 cups pieces.
6) Roll each piece separately into a 20-22 inches rope shape. To make the signature pretzels shape you have to grab the ends and draw them together so the dough forms a circle. Twist the ends, then bring them towards yourself and press them down into the pretzel shape.
7) For the baking soda bath part* boil the 9 cups (2lts) of water and the ½ cup (120g) of baking soda in a large pot, then drop 1 or 2 pretzels into the bath and leave them there for 20-30 seconds (don’t let them for too long because it will affect the flavor). With a spatula, lift the pretzel out of the water and drip the excess water off, after that place it onto the greased baking sheet and sprinkle some coarse sea salt.
8) Bake them at 400°F (205°C) for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool for at least 5 minutes before eating them.
*TIP: you can skip the baking soda bath if you don’t feel comfortable with that step, but you won’t get the signature pretzel flavor or the same chewy texture, so you should definitely give this step a try!