Make authentic German pretzels! Fluffy, salty, and perfect with a bit of German mustard.
Prep: 1.5 hours
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 1 hour 45 mins
Yield: 12 pretzels
- 6 tbsp baking soda
- ½ cup lukewarm water
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- ¾ cup lukewarm milk
- 2 tbsp butter, room temperature
- 3 + ½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cups hot water
- coarse sea salt to sprinkle
- Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper and set aside.
- Using the stand mixer’s dough hook attachment, combine lukewarm water and sugar. Then mix in the yeast and let stand for 10 minutes until bubbly. Add milk and stir.
- Mix the butter, 3 cups of flour, and salt into the yeast mixture. Knead with the dough hook for 5 to 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed until the dough is smooth, elastic and not sticky.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 45 to 60 minutes in a draft-free, warm place until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Create the classic pretzel shape by rolling each piece of dough into an 18-inch long rope, keeping the center thicker than the ends. Form into a U shape. Cross the ends of the rope over each other twice about 3-inches from the end. Fold the ends down and press to the curved part at the 4-and 8-o'clock positions.
- Place pretzels onto the parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover with a towel and let rise for about 15 minutes in a warm spot. Remove the towel and rise another 15 minutes, letting the surface dry to form a slight skin.
- Prepare the soda bath. Using a large glass bowl (not plastic) gradually whisk baking soda into the 3 cups of hot water until dissolved.
- Dip pretzels into the water mixture, one at a time, for about 3 seconds each. Gently shake off excess moisture and return to the baking sheets.
- Slit the thick center of the pretzels with a sharp knife. Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake for 15 minutes until nicely browned. Remove to a wire rack to cool.