You know that amazing buttery smell coming from the food court in the mall? It’s coming from the pretzel stand! And your house can smell like that, too, with these Homemade German Soft Pretzels.
I know, pretzels seem intimidating to make, but if you have the time and a little bit of patience, you can totally do it!
Homemade German Soft Pretzels Tips and Tricks
Simplify this Recipe If Yeast Isn’t Your Thing
The best thing about this Homemade German Soft Pretzel recipe is that it teaches you the “pretzel bath” technique, which will allow you to make pretzels using any type of dough.
Yes, even store-bought. If you want to save time and don’t want to bother with yeast, buy a pre-packaged pizza crust or crescent dough, and follow steps 10-14. This totally still counts as homemade!
Shaping Your Homemade German Soft Pretzels
Take one end of the dough and curl it over at the half way point.
Do the same with the other end so it starts to resemble a pretzel.
Twist the two pieces that meet at the center so that the pretzel keeps its shape in the bath. At this point, you should recognize it as a classic pretzel! See below for a step-by-step photo guide!
The Pretzel Bath
The pretzel bath is what turns this ordinary dough into pretzel dough! You simply add 2/3 cup of baking soda to 10 cups of boiling water. Each pretzel will relax in the bath for 3 minutes before setting out to dry.
Aside from shaping your pretzels, inserting and removing your pretzels into the bath is the trickiest part of the process. The water is boiling hot, and the excess baking soda can cause irritation to sensitive skin.
Make sure you feel comfortable with the tools you are using to drop them in and take them out. I use a large sieve and it works great! There’s always the option to wear gloves as well.
I generally only bathe one at a time for this reason, but you can do as many as you’re comfortable with. Just make sure you leave enough space in between each pretzel so they don’t stick together.
When you first mix your flour, butter, and yeast mixture, the dough will be very sticky. Make sure you have a clean, floured surface to knead on. As you continue to work your dough, it will become less sticky and easier to work with. 8 minutes should do the trick.
Freezing and Re-heating
And just when you thought it can’t get better—these pretzels freeze really well. You can stash them away and just reheat them when you’re having a pretzel craving! They will stay fresh if they are covered at room temperature for 2 days.
The best way to freeze is to individually wrap them in saran wrap and store them in a freezer bag. They will keep fresh for just about 1 month.
Reheating is best in the oven or toaster oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. From room temperature, you really only need about 2 minutes, and from frozen 5-7 minutes!
These Homemade German Soft Pretzels are fluffy and warm with the perfect salty finish. All you need is a little patience and confidence, and you can recreate this ballpark favorite at home!