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Oven Baked Soft Pretzels Recipe

The oven-baked soft pretzels are an all-time favorite, ideal for a snack, appetizer or side dish. These homemade pretzels are soft, chewy and golden brown; they have an incredible depth of flavor from the yeast dough. Enjoy a delightful baking experience while preparing these mouth-watering soft pretzels.

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Photos of Oven Baked Soft Pretzels Recipe

The ingredients required for this recipe should be fairly common in most kitchens, however, one ingredient to note is the active dry yeast. It is crucial for the dough to rise and give the pretzels their soft texture. Also, kosher salt is preferable over other types of salt for the pretzel topping due to its coarse texture and ability to stick to the dough before baking. You could find both of these ingredients readily available in any supermarket.

Ingredients for Oven-Baked Soft Pretzels

Water: Used in both the dough and water bath, it activates the yeast and helps in boiling the pretzels before baking.

Sugar: Provides food for the yeast and aids in the browning of the pretzels.

Salt: Enhances the flavor of the dough and acts as a topping.

Active dry yeast: Responsible for making the dough rise, giving it a light and soft texture.

All-purpose flour: The primary ingredient for the dough, providing structure to the pretzels.

Butter: Adds flavor and helps in achieving a golden brown crust.

Baking soda: Used in the boiling water bath, it helps in achieving the characteristic chewy texture and color of pretzels.

Egg yolk: Used as an egg wash, it gives the pretzels a shiny and golden appearance.

Kosher salt: Used as a topping to provide a burst of flavor and a crunch.

One reader, Bel Singletary says:

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These oven-baked soft pretzels are a game-changer! The recipe was easy to follow, and the pretzels turned out soft and delicious. The boiling step really made a difference in the texture. My family loved them, and I'll definitely be making them again. Highly recommend!

Bel Singletary

How To Make Oven Baked Soft Pretzels

Grab a bite of these golden brown, homemade soft pretzels! It’s baked to savory perfection, and whipped up in just under two hours.

Preparation: 1 hour 5 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 25 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

For Dough:

  • cupwater,warm
  • 1tspsugar
  • 2tspsalt
  • tspactive dry yeast,(1 package)
  • 4cupsall-purpose flour
  • 2ozbutter,melted

For Water Bath:

  • 10cupswater
  • cupbaking soda

For Topping:

  • 1large egg yolk,beaten with 1 tbsp water
  • kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Combine the water, sugar, salt, and yeast in a stand mixer. Let sit for 5 to10 minutes or until foamy.

  2. Add 2 cups of flour and the butter to the yeast mixture. With a dough hook, mix on low. Continue adding flour a bit at a time until combined.

  3. Knead in the mixer with the hook for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth, or knead on the counter by hand for about 10 minutes.

  4. Remove the dough, place in an oiled bowl, and cover. Set in a warm place and allow to rise for 60 minutes or until the dough has doubled.

  5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and line baking pans with parchment paper. Bring the water and baking soda to a boil.

  6. Divide the dough into 8 pieces, then roll each piece into a 24-inch rope. Form the dough into a “U” shape. Cross the two ends over each other, then fold down to the bottom of the U to form a pretzel shape. Repeat with remaining pretzels.

  7. Gently place the pretzels on a large spatula, then lower into the boiling water. Let boil for 10 to 15 seconds.

  8. Gently lift out of the water, let the excess drip off, then place on prepared pan; allowing at least 2 inches between pretzels.

  9. Brush each pretzel with egg wash, then sprinkle with salt.

  10. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden.

  11. Serve warm, and enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Calories: 291.25kcal
  • Fat: 7.02g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.95g
  • Trans Fat: 0.23g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 1.85g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.56g
  • Carbohydrates: 48.81g
  • Fiber: 2.02g
  • Sugar: 0.71g
  • Protein: 7.36g
  • Cholesterol: 38.29mg
  • Sodium: 5051.56mg
  • Calcium: 24.42mg
  • Potassium: 82.84mg
  • Iron: 2.99mg
  • Vitamin A: 56.57µg
  • Vitamin C: 0.00mg

Crucial Technique for Perfect Oven-Baked Soft Pretzels

When forming the pretzels, it's important to roll the dough into a long, thin rope. The thinner the rope, the more traditional your pretzel will look. However, be careful not to roll it too thin or it may break. If you're having trouble getting the dough to stretch, let it rest for a few minutes to relax the gluten. This will make it easier to shape. Also, when boiling the pretzels, don't overcrowd the pot. Boil a few at a time to ensure they cook evenly and maintain their shape.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Soft Pretzels at Home

Prep ahead: Make the dough the night before and let it rise in the refrigerator. This will save time on the day you plan to bake the pretzels.

Use a stand mixer: Utilize a stand mixer with a dough hook to knead the dough. This will save time and effort compared to kneading by hand.

Boil multiple pretzels: Boil multiple pretzels at once to expedite the process. This will help you finish the boiling step more efficiently.

Bake in batches: If your oven can accommodate multiple trays, bake the pretzels in batches to save time.

Team effort: Enlist the help of a friend or family member to assist with shaping the pretzels. This will make the process quicker and more enjoyable.

Plan ahead: Plan out your steps and organize your workspace before you begin. This will help streamline the cooking process and save time.

Substitute Ingredients For Oven Baked Soft Pretzels Recipe

  • water - Substitute with milk: Milk can add richness and a slightly different flavor to the pretzel dough.

  • active dry yeast - Substitute with instant yeast: Instant yeast can be added directly to the dry ingredients and does not require proofing, making it a convenient substitute.

  • all-purpose flour - Substitute with bread flour: Bread flour can give the pretzels a slightly chewier texture and a more robust flavor.

  • butter - Substitute with vegetable oil: Vegetable oil can be used as a lighter alternative to butter in the pretzel dough.

  • baking soda - Substitute with pretzel salt: Pretzel salt can be used in the water bath to give the pretzels a classic salty crust.

  • egg yolk - Substitute with melted butter: Melted butter can be brushed on the pretzels before baking to give them a golden color and a rich flavor.

Presenting Your Homemade Soft Pretzels

  1. Elevate the pretzels with a gourmet dipping sauce: Create a selection of gourmet dipping sauces such as whole grain mustard, beer cheese, and honey mustard to add a touch of sophistication to the pretzel presentation.

  2. Incorporate edible flowers and herbs for garnish: Add a pop of color and freshness to the plate by garnishing with delicate edible flowers and aromatic fresh herbs such as chives or parsley.

  3. Present on a wooden serving board: Arrange the pretzels on a rustic wooden serving board to create a visually appealing and inviting presentation that complements the warm, comforting nature of the dish.

  4. Pair with artisanal craft beer: Serve the pretzels alongside a selection of carefully chosen artisanal craft beers to enhance the overall dining experience and showcase the versatility of the pretzels as a gourmet snack.

  5. Create a visually stunning plating: Arrange the pretzels in an artful manner, ensuring they are evenly spaced and visually appealing, to create an enticing presentation that captivates the eye.

  6. Offer a variety of gourmet salts for sprinkling: Provide an assortment of gourmet salts such as Himalayan pink salt and smoked sea salt for guests to customize the flavor profile of their pretzels, adding a touch of luxury to the dining experience.

Essential Tools for Making Oven-Baked Soft Pretzels

  • Stand mixer: A stand mixer is a kitchen appliance used for mixing, beating, and kneading a variety of ingredients. It is equipped with a mixing bowl and various attachments for different culinary tasks.
  • Baking pans: Baking pans are essential for baking and roasting. They come in various shapes and sizes and are used to hold and shape the dough or batter during the baking process.
  • Parchment paper: Parchment paper is a non-stick paper used in baking and cooking to line baking sheets and pans, preventing food from sticking and making cleanup easier.
  • Large spatula: A large spatula, also known as a turner, is a versatile kitchen tool used for flipping, lifting, and transferring foods such as the pretzels onto baking pans or serving platters.
  • Mixing bowl: Mixing bowls are essential for combining ingredients and mixing dough. They come in various sizes and materials, providing a versatile vessel for preparing the pretzel dough.
  • Boiling pot: A large pot is used for boiling the water and baking soda mixture, which is an important step in the pretzel-making process.
  • Basting brush: A basting brush is used for applying the egg wash onto the pretzels before baking, ensuring a golden and shiny finish.
  • Oven: An oven is used for baking the pretzels to perfection, providing the necessary heat for the dough to rise and develop a golden-brown crust.
  • Rolling pin: A rolling pin is used to roll out the pretzel dough into ropes, ensuring even thickness for shaping the pretzels.

Storing and Freezing Your Homemade Soft Pretzels

  • Allow the pretzels to cool completely before storing or freezing.
  • To store, place the cooled pretzels in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. They will keep at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  • For longer storage, freeze the pretzels:
    • Wrap each pretzel individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
    • Place the wrapped pretzels in a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag.
    • Label the container or bag with the date and contents.
    • Freeze for up to 2 months.
  • To reheat frozen pretzels:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
    • Remove the desired number of pretzels from the freezer and unwrap them.
    • Place the frozen pretzels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
    • Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through and crispy on the outside.
    • If desired, brush the reheated pretzels with melted butter and sprinkle with additional salt for enhanced flavor.
  • Alternatively, you can microwave frozen pretzels for a quick reheat:
    • Place the unwrapped pretzel on a microwave-safe plate.
    • Microwave on high for 20-30 seconds, or until heated through.
    • Note that microwaved pretzels may not have the same crispy exterior as oven-reheated ones.

How To Reheat Leftover Soft Pretzels

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover soft pretzels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the pretzels lightly with melted butter or spray them with a little water to help them regain their moisture. Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until heated through and crispy on the outside.

  • For a quicker option, you can use your microwave. Place the pretzels on a microwave-safe plate and heat them on high for 10-15 seconds. If they're not warm enough, continue heating them in 5-second intervals until they reach your desired temperature. Be careful not to overheat them, as they can become tough and rubbery.

  • If you have an air fryer, you can use it to reheat your soft pretzels. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C) and place the pretzels in the basket. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until heated through and crispy on the outside.

  • For a soft and chewy texture, wrap the pretzels in a damp paper towel and microwave them for 15-20 seconds. This method will help to rehydrate the pretzels and make them softer.

  • If you want to add some extra flavor to your reheated pretzels, try brushing them with garlic butter, sprinkling them with cinnamon sugar, or dipping them in your favorite cheese sauce or mustard.

Interesting Trivia About Oven-Baked Soft Pretzels

Soft pretzels are believed to have originated in Europe, with some sources suggesting they were first made by monks in the early Middle Ages. The distinctive knot shape of the pretzel is said to represent the crossed arms of a monk in prayer.

Is Making Soft Pretzels at Home Cost-Effective?

This oven-baked soft pretzels recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The main ingredients, such as flour and yeast, are affordable and commonly found in most kitchens. The addition of butter and egg yolk may slightly increase the cost, but overall, this recipe is budget-friendly. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $5-$7, making it a great option for a delicious and economical treat. I would rate this recipe a solid 9 for its affordability and delightful outcome.

Are Oven-Baked Soft Pretzels Healthy or Unhealthy?

The oven-baked soft pretzels recipe, while delicious, is not particularly healthy. The main ingredients are all-purpose flour, butter, and salt, which are high in calories, saturated fat, and sodium. The water bath with baking soda is also a concern, as it adds even more sodium to the pretzels. However, the recipe does not include any added sugars or unhealthy oils, which is a positive aspect.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Substitute half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour to increase the fiber content and nutritional value
  • Reduce the amount of butter used or replace it with a healthier alternative, such as olive oil or Greek yogurt
  • Decrease the amount of salt used in the dough and the topping to lower the sodium content
  • Experiment with adding healthy ingredients to the dough, such as flaxseed, chia seeds, or herbs like rosemary or thyme for added flavor and nutrients
  • Serve the pretzels with a side of mustard or hummus instead of cheese dips or other high-calorie condiments

Editor's Opinion on This Soft Pretzel Recipe

The oven-baked soft pretzels recipe is a classic and delightful treat. The instructions are clear and easy to follow, making it accessible for home cooks. The combination of the water bath and egg wash gives the pretzels their signature chewy texture and golden exterior. The use of simple ingredients like flour, yeast, and salt allows for a homemade touch that elevates the overall flavor. This recipe is a great way to bring the beloved taste of soft pretzels into your own kitchen, and the end result is sure to impress and satisfy.

Enhance Your Oven Baked Soft Pretzels Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Asparagus: Tender asparagus spears roasted to perfection and topped with a savory garlic parmesan crust.
Savory Bacon Wrapped Dates: Sweet dates stuffed with creamy goat cheese and wrapped in crispy bacon for the perfect blend of sweet and savory flavors.
Crispy Balsamic Brussels Sprouts: Crisp Brussels sprouts roasted to perfection and drizzled with a tangy balsamic glaze for a burst of flavor in every bite.

Similar Recipes to Try If You Love Soft Pretzels

Grilled Vegetable Skewers: Marinate the vegetables in a flavorful herb and olive oil mixture before threading onto skewers and grilling to perfection.
Braised Beef Stew: Slow-cook tender beef with aromatic vegetables and savory broth for a comforting and hearty stew.
Mango Sorbet: Blend ripe mangoes with sugar and lemon juice, then freeze for a refreshing and sweet frozen dessert.
Chicken Noodle Soup: Simmer chicken, vegetables, and noodles in a rich and comforting broth for a classic and nourishing soup.
Chocolate Lava Cake: Bake individual chocolate cakes with a gooey, molten center for a decadent and indulgent dessert.

Perfect Main Courses and Desserts to Serve with Soft Pretzels

Main Courses:
Chicken Alfredo: Create a creamy and indulgent pasta dish that combines tender chicken with rich alfredo sauce. Serve it over a bed of fettuccine for a comforting and satisfying meal.
Beef Stroganoff: Whip up a hearty and flavorful dish by sautéing tender strips of beef with onions and mushrooms, then simmering them in a creamy and tangy sauce. Serve it over a bed of egg noodles for a classic and comforting main course.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. This elegant dessert is perfect for a special occasion or a romantic evening in.
Strawberry Cheesecake: Savor the creamy and tangy goodness of a classic strawberry cheesecake, topped with a luscious strawberry compote. The buttery graham cracker crust adds the perfect crunch to each decadent bite.

Why trust this Oven Baked Soft Pretzels Recipe:

This recipe guarantees authentic soft pretzels that rival those from a bakery. The dough is meticulously crafted, ensuring a perfect balance of chewiness and softness. The yeast is carefully activated, resulting in a light and airy texture. The traditional water bath with baking soda gives the pretzels their classic golden crust. The egg wash and kosher salt topping add a delightful finish. Trust in the precision of this recipe to create pretzels that will impress even the most discerning palates.

Want to share your experience making these Oven Baked Soft Pretzels or have any tips to perfect the recipe? Join the discussion in the Baking and Desserts forum!
FAQ:
How long does it take to make oven-baked soft pretzels?
It takes about 2 hours from start to finish, including the time for the dough to rise and the baking process.
Can I use instant yeast instead of active dry yeast?
Yes, you can substitute instant yeast for active dry yeast in this recipe. Use the same amount of instant yeast as the active dry yeast called for in the recipe.
Can I freeze the pretzel dough for later use?
Yes, you can freeze the pretzel dough. After the first rise, shape the dough into pretzels, then place them on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer the pretzels to a freezer bag or airtight container. When ready to bake, allow the pretzels to thaw and rise before boiling and baking.
Can I use a different topping instead of salt?
Absolutely! You can customize the toppings to your preference. Some popular alternatives include sesame seeds, poppy seeds, cinnamon sugar, or even shredded cheese.
Can I make the pretzels smaller or larger than the suggested size?
Yes, you can adjust the size of the pretzels to your liking. Just keep in mind that the baking time may need to be adjusted accordingly. Smaller pretzels may require less time in the oven, while larger pretzels may need a bit more time to bake.

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