Pretzel Success

If you remember from Monday’s post, I failed miserably at my first attempt making pretzels at home. It was a sad site.

But being one not to be beaten, I decided to keep trying until I got it right. I was positive it had something to do with the baking soda bath so I read about 15 different recipes plus the two recommended ones in the comment section of Monday’s post. And then, I came across a recipe called Almost-Famous Soft Pretzels on the Food Network site. There was not boiling which was a plus for me. So I tried it. The way I had it figured, they could be just as bad as the last batch I made.

Not the case. They came out wonderful. Fantastic even. I had to stop myself from going out on the street and giving away samples and then stop myself from eating all of them. That being said, I had to use the stock picture from Food Network.

Almost-Famous Soft Pretzels
adapted from Food Network



  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt, optional


Warm the milk in a saucepan until it’s about 110 degrees; pour into a medium bowl of an electric mixer and add brown sugar. Sprinkle in the yeast and whisk together. Let the yeast mixture stand about 10 minutes or until foamy.

Using the dough hook attachment, turn the mixer on low and add 1 cup of flour to the yeast mixture. with a wooden spoon. Add softened butter and the remaining 1 1/4 cups of flour and the fine salt to make a sticky dough. Knead about five minutes or until the dough comes together. Shape into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease a large baking sheet. Punch the dough to deflate it, then turn out onto a lightly oiled surface. Divide the dough into 8 pieces of about 3 ounces each. Roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a 30-inch rope, holding the ends and slapping the middle of the rope on the counter as you stretch. Form each rope into a pretzel shape.

Dissolve the baking soda in 3 cups hot water in a shallow baking dish. The key here is to make sure the baking soda is completely dissolved and has stopped fizzing. Gently dip each pretzel in the soda solution, then arrange on the prepared baking sheet, if desired. Bake for 5 minutes and switch pans. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until golden.

Immediately out the oven, run a stick of butter over the pretzels and sprinkle with salt, cinnamon sugar or your choice of topping. They also taste great right out of the oven.


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