Soft pretzels remind us of visiting our beloved Aunt Ruth and dearly missed Uncle Gary in New York City. While our recipe is smaller in size and not nearly as salty, the shape and flavor are authentic to the original. For a stellar snack, we dip them in homemade hummus.
STEP ONE – Preparations
- Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray with canola spray.
- Get out a stand mixer, a small glass measuring cup, and a large pot.
- Get out a food processor.
- Set up 2 cooling racks.
STEP TWO – Start the Pretzels
1 ½ cups warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
Coarse sea salt
- Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and add the water and yeast.
- Whisk to dissolve and let proof for 5 minutes.
- In the small glass measuring cup, microwave the butter for 30 seconds and let cool briefly.
- Add the melted butter, sugar, and salt to the yeast.
- Attach the bowl to the mixer and mix on low while you add the flour 1 cup at a time. If the dough is still sticky, add more flour until it bounces back when poked.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes until smooth.
- Lightly spray the mixer bowl with canola spray and return the dough to the bowl.
- Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the baking soda bath.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
STEP THREE – Make the Baking Soda Bath
10 cups water
½ cup baking soda
- Fill the large pot with the water and baking soda and bring to a boil. You can move on to the next step while the water is heating.
STEP FOUR – Shape the Pretzels
Instructions (if unclear, watch a YouTube video):
- Cut the dough into 8 pieces.
- Using a back and forth motion with your hands, roll the first piece into a 20-inch-long rope and bring the ends together to form a circle.
- Twist the ends around each other once, bring the twisted ends toward yourself, and fold down on the front curve of the pretzel.
- Set aside on a lightly floured surface and repeat this process until all the pretzels are shaped.
STEP FIVE – Boil and Bake
- Place 2 pretzels in the baking soda bath at a time for 20-25 seconds
- Remove with a slotted spoon and let any excess water drip off.
- Place on the baking sheets and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
- Repeat this process until all the pretzels are soaked.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
- Transfer the pretzels to the cooling rack and cool for 5-10 minutes.
STEP SIX – Make the Hummus
1 cup drained and rinsed chickpeas
1 peeled and halved garlic clove
¼ cup tahini (sesame paste)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- In the food processor, blend the chickpeas, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, oil, paprika, and salt until very smooth. Add a little water to adjust the consistency as needed.
- Serve alongside the pretzels.
Recommended Serving Size: 1 pretzel with 2 tablespoons hummus
Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 fat