Somethings are best not known…

I won’t make dump cake. I won’t make my mom’s fried rice. I try not to make homemade caramels or toffee and I sparingly make bread pudding. Why because I will eat it all. I held off for years at making soft pretzels since I feared those would just be added to the list of things to not make at home or I will have to invest in Pajama Jeans. That was a good fear to have. :)

I went to trusted Alton Brown when I decided I wanted to make soft pretzels for some soup I was making. I must say that I have never really had anything fail by him as long as I follow step by step so I did just that. Other than not putting salt on I followed it to a T.

Just as I suspected these will have to go on the do not make at home list. Or else I will just sit there and go into a carb coma. It will be a nice way to go….but still. :P

Soft Pretzels

1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt (I chose not used salt since mine were going with soup…but next time I will)

Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.

Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.



  1. Those are just like I like them…no salt! I want to dip that in a huge thing of spicy mustard! My list of not to make is growing too. I think that’s a good sign though. These look amazing! Love that you made them for dipping in soup! Just an FYI, I love air popped popcorn on top of soups too! Love the crunch on my soup!

  2. I am ever adding things to my Do-Not-Make-At-Home list. Some things are just too tempting!

  3. This is the same recipe I use and it really does make a great pretzel. I make them and sell them at our local farmer’s mkt. with black lava sea salt, asiago-cheddar cheese, or cinnamon sugar on top. They sell out every time. I also just added maple pecan marshmallows to our list,(see and they are crazy popular. You are my favorite blogger so I hope you don’t mind the little plug for my company.

  4. i kinda want pajama jeans–that commercial is too funny! what a good looking pretzel…in fact, it looks like a face, with the split at the bottom being a smile.

  5. I’ve made these, they are amazing. Such an easy recipe to follow from Alton.

  6. I have to admit that I hated Alton for years for his ability to break everything down step by step. The more I cook though, the more I get into him (that or I am just learning to embrace his love of nerdy humor more and more). I haven’t taken the bullet for home made soft pretzels yet for the same reason you mentioned above – carb coma. These do really look like they are well worth it though!

  7. I love soft pretzels, but I’ve never tried to make them…which is probably a good thing. ;) Those look wonderful!

  8. I love Alton Brown! Well maybe not love, but I really enjoy watching him on Good Eats. This morning before school, I was watching (by chance) a really quirky episode where he is doing a spoof of the next iron chef and my dad was just like o.O “This is an awful show!” Saddly, he had missed the pancake one i had just finished watching. Well your pretzles look terrific, I think I’m slowly starting to like pretzles, so maybe I will give this one a try.

  9. I would risk wearing pajama jeans for just one of these pretzels.

  10. Alton has never failed me either.
    Do not make at home list … I have a Do not enter X store list ;-) Book stores used to be on that list, the click to Amazon is harder to stop.

  11. Love the pretzels.

  12. Those look so good. I’ve been trying to resist the lure of pretzels but I think I’m going to cave soon. Any idea how this would freeze? Could I make the dough and freeze half? Maybe if I find a way to only make one at a time, I’ll be able to have a bit of willpower :)

  13. Oh these look good! I’ve made pretzels before but mine have never looked as good as yours! I’ll be making this recipe for sure! (And then buying a pair of pajama jeans lol)

  14. I so need to get over this fear of baking with yeast thing cuz I now need to make these pretzels!

  15. Things on my do not make at home list come in to work with me so my co workers will eat them instead of me. I save a little at home for myself still though…

  16. omg i have the same problem, things i can’t make at home. i got a recipe for how to make chocolate shell, the chocolate you put on ice cream that immediately hardens, like a dilly bar. it is stupidly simple and incredibly good. waaaaay too good.

    anyway it’s kind of nice to know i’m not the only one with a do not make list.

  17. I used to be hesitant about baking out of fear that I would eat the whole batch of cookies or whatever in one sitting. Then I got over it. Now I love baking! I’ll eat a lot of anything, but at least I can always take some baked goods to work to share with my colleagues. Everyone loves baked goods!

    Yeast scares me though. Maybe one day…

  18. So good. I’ve book marked pretzel recipes in the past but have yet to try them out. They seem like some unreachable goal. Pretzels belong to street vendors, theme parks, and sporting events, not to my kitchen…. but your post might be the one that finally puts me over the edge… :). I mean it’s hard to argue with that close up shot.

  19. I’ve made those too! Please tell me you dipped them in honey mustard… Nommmm…. yours are much prettier than mine, BTW.

  20. These soft pretzels are beautiful…I better don’t try my very first batch otherwise, I’ll be like you….can’t stop eating until I drop! :)

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