My kids love pretzels. Not the hard kind you purchase in a bag at the store, but soft pretzels that Auntie Anne’s sells.
Since I don’t like paying a premium for mall food, I decided to see if I could recreate soft pretzels at home. I also wanted to try the bread machine, since it makes everything so easy!
These soft pretzels rise like crazy, so make the dough thinner than you think it should be to account for the rise.
Bread Machine Soft Pretzels
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 4 cups flour you can use all white or a combination or white and wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- melted butter for brushing
- Top with coarse salt or cinnamon and brown sugar
- Add all the ingredients to your bread machine in the order recommended but the manufacturer.
- Set your machine on the dough setting.
- When the dough has finished the cycle in the machine it should look like this.
- Remove from the pan and place on a floured surface.
- Divide the dough in about 7 to 8 pieces and then roll out with your hands so the dough forms a snakelike shape about 1/2 inch thick.
- Take your “snake” and form it into a pretzel shape.
- Dip your pretzel into a pan filled with 2 cups water and 2 tablespoons baking soda. Do not let your pretzels sit in the water or they will taste nasty. Just dip and then set on a baking sheet.
- If you cover your baking sheet with parchment paper the bottom of the pretzel will not burn and it will also be easier to clean up when you are finished.
- Let the pretzels rise for about 25 minutes. (the first time I made the soft pretzels I rolled the dough too thick, so when they rose they turned into one big lump.)
- Bake in a 400 degree over for about 10 minutes. Remove pretzels from the oven and brush with melted butter. Top with coarse salt, or cinnamon and brown sugar.
If you don’t have a bread machine, you can still make homemade soft pretzels. Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes then let the dough rise until doubled. The follow the rest of the directions according to the recipe.
Bread Machine side note: Years ago I stopped baking bread in my bread machine. Even though I have a Zojirushi machine that bakes the loaves in a regular shape instead of that weird vertical loaf, I like the taste of bread baked in the oven.
You can use any bread machine to knead the dough and hold it through the first rise, which takes most of the work out of baking fresh bread. You can also use the bread machine to make delicious foods like cinnamon rolls and homemade bagels.