How To Make Pretzels

I like knowing how to make pretzels because hot pretzels are a wonder to behold. Once, when I was visiting Germany I was a served a fresh hot pretzel that was so big and salty I thought I was in carbohydrate heaven. To wash that pretzel down with a beer was indeed a food memory I shall never forget. The Germans know how to make pretzels. The Swiss know how to make pretzels, too. They like to eat them as sandwiches. A ham and raclette cheese pretzel sandwich is something to be desired. The Swiss also have a love for pretzel buns. Long before Wendy’s was hocking pretzel buns for burgers, the Swiss were selling pretzel buns everywhere. They call them laugenbrochen. The laugen-ization is the part where dough starts to become a pretzel. Laugen means lye. Bread dough that is boiled in lye or baking soda then baked has that beautiful dark brown crust pretzels are famous for. YUM!

how to make pretzels

How To Make Pretzels – The Dough

There isn’t anything particularly unusual about the dough for pretzels. It is, in fact, pretty basic. I go the extra mile of not doing much by using my bread maker’s dough cycle to make it. The specialness is really all in the boiling and flavors.


Click Here For Stand Mixer, Mix by Hand Bread Machine and Food Processor General Guidance

Stand Mixer: Mix yeast, small amount of sugar and warm water in the mixer's bowl. Let sit 5 minutes. Place the rest of the ingredients into the bowl of the mixer. Mix until well combined and a dough is formed. Per the recipe being used, knead the dough using dough hooks until the dough achieves the desired texture. Per the recipe being used, let the dough rise, punch the dough down, shape the dough, let the dough rise a second time, then bake according to recipe.
By Hand: Mix yeast, small amount of sugar and warm water in a large bowl. Let sit 5 minutes. Place the rest of the ingredients into the bowl with the yeast mixture. Mix until well combined and a dough is formed. Per the recipe being used, knead the dough with floured hands until the dough achieves the desired texture. Per the recipe being used, let the dough rise, punch the dough down, shape the dough, let the dough rise a second time, then bake according to recipe.
Bread Maker: Place the ingredients into the pan of the bread machine. Run the complete dough cycle including kneading and rising per the recipe being used. Per the recipe being used, proceed to punching the dough down, shaping the dough, letting the dough rise a second time, then baking according to recipe.
Food Processor: Use the blade attachment. Place the dry ingredients in the food processor's bowl. Pulse to combine well. Add the liquid ingredients. Process until well combined and a basic dough is formed. Per the recipe being used, knead the dough with floured hands until the dough achieves the desired texture. Per the recipe being used, let the dough rise, punch the dough down, shape the dough, let the dough rise a second time, then bake according to recipe.
how to make pretzels

How To Make Pretzels – Gussie Them Up With Cheese and Bacon

Of course, if the creative juices are flowing and I am sitting around thinking about how to make pretzels better, my thoughts turn to cheese. A strong cheese like Pecorino Romano is a very good thing for pretzels. Baking a little in the dough and then sprinkling a lot on top before and after baking really puts the cheese flavor up. It is a little blurry when the idea to sprinkle the top of the pretzels with bacon came to me, but I guess bacon is pretty powerful stuff and it can pop up anytime you are thinking about making just about anything – even dates and brussel sprouts. It is not just any bacon that I like to use, although regular will do. I particularly like pancetta. Check it out at your local Italian specialty shop.

how to make pretzels

How To Make Pretzels The Water Bath

Whatever you do, don’t be put off by the extra boiling step of pretzel making. It is really easy. Lye probably makes the best pretzels, but baking soda will do the trick. Food grade lye is available at baking shops and on line if you want to give it a try. Less then a minute of boiling is really all you need so it doesn’t add that much time to the process.

Shaping pretzels is easy, too!

The How To Make Pretzels with Pecorino and Pancetta video is below. The full recipe follows.

Pecorino and Pancetta Pretzels
Serves 12
These hot pretzels are so tasty with pecorino cheese and pancetta. This recipe takes the fresh hot pretzel to the next level.
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255 calories
26 g
33 g
10 g
14 g
5 g
165 g
1179 g
1 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
165g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 255
Calories from Fat 91
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
16%
Saturated Fat 5g
26%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 33mg
11%
Sodium 1179mg
49%
Total Carbohydrates 26g
9%
Dietary Fiber 1g
4%
Sugars 1g
Protein 14g
Vitamin A
2%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
24%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For the dough
  1. 2 cups of flour
  2. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  3. 1/3 cup grated pecorino romano cheese plus extra for sprinkling
  4. ¼ oz of instant yeast
  5. 2 tsp sugar
  6. ¼ tsp of salt
  7. 1 cup of water
For the toppings
  1. 4 oz of pancetta slices
  2. extra pecorino romano cheese
  3. salt and pepper
For The Water Bath
  1. 2 tbsp baking soda
  2. 4 cups of water
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Place all the dough ingredients in the bread machine per the manufacturer's instruction.
  3. Use the dough cycle.
  4. While the dough is being made, cook the pancetta in the oven or in a medium pan until just crisp. Drain the pancetta on a paper towel. When cool, rough chop the pancetta with a sharp knife.
  5. When the dough is done rising, punch it down.
  6. Cut the dough into 12 pieces. Roll the dough into long ropes and shape into classic pretzel shape. Make a U with the dough rope. Leaving a loop, twist the ends twice. Fold the twist over so the twisted ends touch the loop.
  7. Let the pretzels rest 15 minutes.
For The Water Bath
  1. Add water to a medium pot and bring to boil. Add the baking soda (it will bubble and fizz).
  2. Cook each pretzel in the boiling water for 45 seconds. Drain the pretzels and place them on a parchment lined baking tray.
  3. Sprinkle the pancetta on top of the pretzels.
  4. Lightly salt and pepper the pretzels (take some care here as the pancetta and cheese are also salty). Sprinkle more cheese on the pretzels if desired.
  5. Bake the pretzel 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Sprinkle with more cheese when the pretzels come out of the oven.
  7. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Notes
  1. Regular bacon can be used instead of pancetta.
beta
calories
255
fat
10g
protein
14g
carbs
26g
more
The Culinary Exchange http://www.theculinaryexchange.com/
When homemade pretzels come out of the oven it is such a treat! Yep, you can serve these with mustard, too!

I hope you enjoy!

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