Fresh Flour Soft Pretzels
National Pretzel Day calls for a delicious fresh flour whole grain pretzel recipe! If fresh flour can elevate everything else's taste and nutrients, why would it be any different for this game day, comfort food staple?
Please don't let the 1 hour and 30 minutes scare you. Let me do a quick preview of the process so you can see it's mostly just rise time: first, make a yeast mixture and let it sit while you mill your flour, combine dry ingredients, add yeast and liquids, and knead. It will rise unaccompanied for 1 hour and then you just spend 10-15 minutes finishing up. Last time I made this recipe I had an over eager "helper" and they still turned our great even with stops and starts in the process. Trust us, you want to try this versatile pretzel and it's so convenient that you can make pretzel bites, pretzel pizzas, cinnamon sugar and more...yes please!
We'd love to know what you think if you try these pretzels! Please leave a comment below or tag us on Instagram @unsifted.kc
Happy Unsifted Baking!
- Keira and Sarah
Unsifted's Soft Pretzels
PREP: 30 mins
RISE: 1 hour
BAKE: 8 minutes
YIELD: 10-14 medium pretzels
|4 tsp||yeast (active dry or instant)|
|1 cup||warm water (between 100-110 degrees F)|
|3 1/3 cups||
(just under 5 cups unsifted flour)
|1/3 cup||organic cane sugar
|1 1/2 tsp||course sea salt|
|2 tbsp||olive oil, divided (alt: unsalted butter, melted)|
|1/2 cup||warm water|
|4 tbsp||unsalted butter, melted|
|**||see topping and dipping variations below|
Baking Soda Bath
|1/2 cup||baking soda|
|4 cups||hot water|
|1 cup||warm water (between 100-110 degrees F)|
Optional Egg Wash
|1 tbsp||milk (alt: water)|
- In a small bowl, add 1 tsp sugar, 4 tsp yeast, and 1 cup warm water. Stir together gently then cover and let activate/rise until foamy
- Mill 3 1/3 cup Basic Blend on "Noon" setting (will yield just under 5 cups Unsifted flour). Set 2 tbsp fresh flour aside for kneading
- In a large bowl or mixer, add remaining flour, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Mix until combined well
- Add yeast mixture, 1 tbsp olive oil, and 1 tbsp honey. Mix together with wooden spoon or dough whisk
- Add 1/2 cup warm water or until dough comes together to form a firm ball
- Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead for 7 minutes by hand, or in a mixer. Set a timer. This is a firmer dough so do not be alarmed.
Spread remaining 1 tbsp olive oil into same large bowl and cover kneaded dough with plastic wrap
Pro-tip: Plastic wrap or another sealing lid is best because it helps trap the moisture and heat output to create an optimal rising environment.
Let dough rise for 1 hour in a warm draft-free location
Pro-tip: When I'm in a hurry, I like to place a barely warm heating pad underneath my metal mixing bowl to speed up rising process. Just be sure not to make the heating pad too warm or it will kill the yeast.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and grease baking sheet.
- Pour dough onto counter and roll flat into rectangle roughly 12x18 inches. (Note: If you prefer even thicker pretzels, you should make this dough thicker here.)
- Cut dough into 10-14 pieces using a knife or pizza cutter
Shape each piece of dough
* Roll each piece of dough into a rope (about 20 inches long)
* Then either cut into shorter pieces for pretzel bites or shape into a pretzel. To make a pretzel, cross the dough's left end over the right end. Then, twist and pinch down the ends to secure them
- In a 9x13 inch pan, combine 4 cups hot water and baking soda until dissolved
- Immediately, bathe each pretzel into the hot soda water and the let excess water drip off (for approximately 5 seconds) before placing on greased baking sheet. Make sure to let all excess drip off.
Pro-tip: This step helps create the chewy texture and distinctive pretzel flavor. Some people prefer to boil the water to have added chewiness, but that is a step that I don't think is necessary with these and I prefer the convenience of using hot tap water.
- Optional: Brush pretzels with an egg wash (Lightly beat 1 large egg in small bowl with 1 tbsp milk)
- Sprinkle pretzels with course sea salt (or other variation of topping)
- Bake for 8 minutes or until golden brown
- While baking, melt 4 tbsp butter
- Brush the baked and warm pretzels with melted butter (see variations below)
- Enjoy hot or place on cooling rack and eat cool later!
- Use our variations below to switch up the favor profiles. You can even make 2-3 of each flavor in just once batch! The options are endless.
- Freezing; You can make these ahead and freeze them! Simply bake and cool the pretzels then place them in a freezer safe bag and store up to 2 months. To reheat, bake frozen pretzels at 350°F for 20 minutes in the oven or until warmed throughout in microwave.
- Refrigerating: Prepared pretzel dough can be refrigerated for up to one day or frozen in an airtight container for 2-3 months. When you are ready to make them, you should thaw the frozen dough in the refrigerator overnight. While refrigerated dough can be shaped while cold, be sure to let the pretzels come to room temperature and puff up a bit before giving them a baking soda bath and baking them.
- While baking mix the 4 Tbsp melted butter with 1 tsp garlic powder
- After baked brush each with garlic butter
- I recommend switching the organic cane sugar for sucanat (alt: brown sugar) if you are making a full batch of cinnamon sugar pretzels (or have an affinity for a touch of sweet molasses!)
- Skip the coarse salt topping and egg wash
- Bake and brush with melted butter as directed
- Combine 3/4 cup organic cane sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Dip the tops of each buttered pretzel into the cinnamon and sugar mixture
- After soda bath, sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese on each pretzel
- Add pepperoni or sausage on top of the cheese then bake
- Add the following spices in a small container and combine well. Store in airtight container for up to one year. For a finer consistency pulse this mixture in a food processor until desired consistency is met.
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons dried dill
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried chives
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- optional: 1/3 cup buttermilk powder
- After hot soda bath sprinkle the above homemade ranch seasoning over the pretzels.
- Rollout dough into 12x18 inch rectangle then cut into long strips approximately 1-1 1/2 inches wide, depending on preference
- Cut each strip into 1-2 inch pieces
- Drop all pieces into hot soda bath and use a slotted spoon to fish them out and let excess water drip off
- Add toppings for flavor desired
Dipping Sauce Ideas:
- Cheese Sauce
- Garlic Butter
- Marinara Sauce
- Alfredo Sauce
- Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Simple vanilla glaze (for cinnamon sugar)