Homemade Soft Pretzels

Super-Special Note: These also work as HAMBURGER ROLLS — which is what we did when we had Chef Patrick, a true chef and butcher, over to teach Mark and Ben how to grill. Patrick gave us the thumbs up on the pretzel rolls. Arlene’s two other very accomplished dinner helpers gave us the thumbs up. Mark and I made these together. It was so easy, because I had worked and re-worked and practiced this recipe until I had it DOWN. TO. A. SCIENCE. A science of how this works and why it works and how to make it work simply, easily, and speedily every time.


Contains gluten. And not much else. Free from eggs, nuts, soy, dairy, extremely low in nickel.

Original recipe emailed on by Abby after being made by her little brother Saul from a kiddo cookbook, Adapted out of recognition by Alison for our That Egg-Free Life Homemade Soft Pretzel Roll Perfection — THANK YOU ABBY FOR MAKING SURE I HAD THE COPY OF SAUL’S RECIPE TO RUN WITH ❤

You will need…
2 2/3 cups plus ¼ cup hot water between 110 degrees and 115 degrees
4 ½ tsp active dry yeast
2/3 cup brown sugar, divided between the first 1 tbsp and the remaining sugar
8 cups of flour
1 tbsp baking soda per 1 cup water for boiling in
Olive oil for greasing the pan

In an extra-large bowl, whisk the hot water and yeast until the yeast dissolves.

Add 1 tbsp of the brown sugar and begin the ten minute proofing period to make sure the yeast is alive and to activate it. If the yeast begins to bloom by minute 7, add the remainder of the brown sugar, whisk gently, and then continue to proof for the final 3 minutes. (If nothing happens, start again with new yeast.)

Add the flour gradually, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, 1 cup at a time. When you can’t incorporate the flour any longer, put the remainder of the flour on the counter, and begin to knead it in. Remember to dip your hands in flour, too, so the dough doesn’t stick to you too much while you’re kneading.

Knead approximately ten minutes, or until the dough is smooth and tacky.

Line cookie sheets with aluminum foil, then grease with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Set aside.

Pinch off pieces of pretzel dough about the size of golf balls. Shape into pretzels. For hamburger rolls, shape into discs, and make them smaller than your hamburger circumference because they GROW in the pretzel water!

To Boil:
Preheat oven to 475 degrees for the final bake.

Fill a very large frying pan with high walls, or a shallow wok, with cold water. For each cup of water in the pan, add 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Bring the water to a gentle boil. (Depending on the size of your pan, you will need around 5 cups of water.)

Use a heat-proof spatula to lower each pretzel into the frying pan. Count very slowly to 30. Then lift the pretzel onto the greased and salted cookie sheet. Repeat until all the dough is used. (The timing is not really an exact science.)

Put finished pretzels on foil-lined, greased and salted baking sheets.

Sprinkle more kosher salt on top of the pretzels and put them in the oven.

Bake for 8 minutes at 475 degrees, until golden-brown.


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