German-Style Soft Pretzels

I’m a huuuuge fan of soft pretzels, I mean HUGE! I can’t resist them. When I actually make it to a mall (there aren’t many in New York City) my nose can sniff out the Auntie Anne’s from department stores away. I finally took it upon myself to make my own pretzels, German-style, after seeing an episode of Diners, Drive-ins & Dives on the Food Network with delicious soft pretzels (I swear I could smell them through my TV).;)

These were fantastic, we actually ended up eating the whole batch in just a few short hours. We started with two, then every hour or so we’d have two more…it was a vicious cycle of salty, chewy, soft pretzels. I’m dieting, can you tell? I’m kind of drooling while I’m writing right now.

Even though I can’t have them at the moment, you can! So I urge you to indulge, even if it’s just for me. 🙂

German-Style Soft Pretzels
adapted from Once Upon a Chef


1 cup warm milk (about 110 degrees)
1 packet active dry yeast
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 1/2 cups AP flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons baking soda

coarse sea salt (or pretzel salt)
butter for brushing on top


Pour the warmed milk in a medium-large bowl and sprinkle with the yeast. Let sit for about 2 minutes then mix in the brown sugar and 1 cup of flour with a wooden spoon. Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter and stir into the mixture. Add the remaining flour and salt and mix to form a slightly sticky dough.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, the dough should be smooth but still slightly sticky. Shape into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place until dough has doubled in size (about an hour or 2).

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray and set aside until needed. Punch dough down and turn out once again onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 6-8 pieces depending on the size pretzel you want (I did 8). Roll and stretch each piece into a 20″-25″ rope. Form into a pretzel shape (form a U-shape, then holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press lightly but firmly onto the bottom of the pretzel).

In a small, shallow baking dish dissolve 3 tablespoons baking soda in 1 1/2 cups water. Dip each pretzel in the baking soda water, arrange on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the coarse sea salt or pretzel salt. Bake until golden about 8-10 minutes. To finish melt some extra butter and brush on pretzels fresh out of the oven.


German Soft Pretzels

Best served with beer!

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8 Responses to “German-Style Soft Pretzels”

  1. July 24, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    Perfectly done!!! My son would love these before he goes off to college…a must try recipe! Your wedding is SO close…I hope you post all about it 🙂

  2. July 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    oh my gosh, these beat the pants off of any NYC pretzel! yum!

  3. July 13, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    omg those look incredible!

  4. July 13, 2012 at 5:01 am #

    What beautifully perfect pretzels my friend, very nciely done 😀
    You are a superb bread maker!

    Choc Chip Uru

  5. July 12, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    I luuuuuuuuurve soft pretzels. I can’t wait to try my own at home!

  6. July 11, 2012 at 9:56 am #

    Yum, these pretzels look amazing! I def stop by Auntie Annies frequently when I am at the mall- it is what my mom and I snack on when we shop together!

    I am going to NYC in a couple of weekends…do you have any recommendations? Food or other fun things?

    • Lacy DeVeney
      July 23, 2012 at 10:26 am #

      Hey April!
      I’m so sorry I didn’t respond sooner, little under the weather these past couple weeks. I just went to your blog and saw that you were in the city this weekend. 🙁 I wish I could have given you some suggestions but it looks like you had a pretty good plan already. I hope you had a good time while you were here! Next time I’ll try not to be such a flake on my commenting back, sorry!!

  7. July 11, 2012 at 1:19 am #

    There’s nothing better than homemade pretzels. These look incredible Lacy! 🙂