I’m not proud to admit this but, if it was possible to eat a soft pretzel for every meal of every day – I would do it! There is a place in St. Louis by my parent’s house called Pretzel Boyz and I will find any excuse to stop there when I am in town. Any excuse – run to the store? Sure – it is by Pretzel Boyz! So even though I already have a soft pretzel recipe on the blog, I am not ashamed to post another one, and to be honest, it is most likely not the last one that I will make. Trust me though, you won’t be disappointed by this recipe.
A few weeks ago a recipe for pumpkin beer soft pretzels popped up in my instagram feed and I couldn’t help but click on the recipe and look at it. I kept thinking about it and could not shake it from my list of things to make this fall. I went back to look at the recipe from Half Baked Harvest this week and decided that it was time to make these pretzels. I am so happy that I did, these are some of the yummiest soft pretzels that I have ever eaten. I didn’t have any pumpkin beer in the fridge, but I did have a super yummy oatmeal milk stout so I used that instead and the flavor was great. The inside was slightly sweet and nutty in flavor from the beer and the outside had the wonderful crisp texture and tang from the baking soda bath. Yum!
The first step for these pretzels is to put 1/2 cup of warm (100 – 110 F degree) water into the bowl of a stand mixer with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast. I whisked these together for a moment and then let them sit for about 5 minutes to make sure that the yeast had a chance to bloom. Then I added 4 1/2 cups (Spooned & leveled) bread flour, 1/2 cup of melted butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 1 cup of beer.
I put the dough hook onto the mixer and mixed it on low until it all came together. Then I turned the mixer up to medium and kneaded the dough for about 5 minutes until it was smooth and quite elastic. I took the dough out of the bowl and formed it into a nice ball. I sprayed the bowl with grapeseed oil spray and then returned the dough to the bowl and sprayed the top of dough before covering it with plastic wrap and putting it into my oven on the proof setting for 50 minutes to rise. The dough didn’t get really puffy or look huge, but it was soft and risen after this time.
Next, I turned the dough out onto my oiled dough mat and divided the dough into 8 equal portions. I used my hands to roll out the dough into a long rope. Think back to your favorite play-doh moments here! While rolling it out, I periodically picked up the ends and stretched it out a little as well to help the dough get longer. Then I picked up the ends, crossed one over the other, then crossed them over again. I picked up the ends and brought them down to the bottom and attached them to the base of the pretzel. I did pick up the pretzel from the top loops and stretch it out a little to make sure that the holes were as large as possible.
After the pretzels were shaped I put them onto a baking sheet. The twist is my favorite part of any pretzel, so I experimented by continuing to just twist the dough and then bring the ends together into a ring. I will probably only make twisted ring shapes in the future! I also made some ropes and cut them into little nugget shapes.
I preheated the oven to 425 F degrees. While it was preheating, I put a large pot of water to a boil and then added a 1/4 cup of baking soda to the water. Next, I dropped each pretzel into the water for 15 seconds, flipped it and let it cook for another 15 seconds. I lifted the pretzel out with a spider and let the water drain off and placed it on a parchment lined baking sheet. I immediately sprinkled salt on the top of the pretzels or cinnamon sugar on the nuggets.
The large pretzels were baked in the 425 F degree oven for 15 minutes. I was so excited about the the dark color and crust that was achieved on these pretzels. I allowed them to cool down for a few minutes and then moved them to a cooling rack to finish cooling off.
The cinnamon sugar nuggets were baked for 10 minutes at 425 F degrees and the sugar added a really nice delicate crisp to the top of these treats.
As you can see from the picture, I tried two different types of salt on the outside of these pretzels, flaky salt and course sea salt. Both were delicious but I really like the visual look of the flaky salt and would go that way again in the future. In the end, 1 of these pretzels ended up being my dinner last night and then the rest went to work with Kevin today, because although I really would eat these for every meal, I at least know I shouldn’t and got them out of our house as soon as possible.
- If you are looking for a delicious fall snack, these are excellent! I am going to make them with pumpkin spice beer next time, to give them more of a fall flavor.
- I’m pretty sure that I am going to make these for our house for Halloween night. Our new street is supposed to have sooooooo many trick or treaters and I’m pretty sure that we will need something delicious to keep us going or at least go with our beer while we hand out candy.
- The texture of these pretzels is really amazing. The dough has a nice stretch to it after it is baked, but the outside is crisp and tangy. I really don’t think I’ll make pretzels without beer in them again!
Recipe: Beer Soft Pretzels
- 1/2 cup of water (warmed to 100 – 110 F degrees)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 4 1/2 cups bread flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 cup beer
- Oil spray
- Flaky salt
- Cinnamon sugar (If you want to make a sweet version)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the warm water, brown sugar and yeast. Briefly whisk and then allow to stand and bloom for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, add the butter, flour, kosher salt and beer to the bowl. Attach the dough hook and mix the ingredients all together on low until it comes together.
- Turn the mixer up to medium and knead the dough for about 5 minutes until it is smooth and stretches easily if pulled. Take the dough from the bowl and using your hands, form the dough into a smooth ball. Spray the bowl with oil spray and return the dough to the bowl and spray the top of the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm place to rise. (I used the proof setting on my oven for 50 minutes).
- After rising, dump onto an oiled dough mat and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope and then pick up the ends and cross them twice. Pick the ends up again and bring them to the base and attach them to bottom.
- Preheat the oven to 425 F degrees. Heat a pot of water to a boil and add 1/4 cup of baking soda. Drop each pretzel into the water for 15 seconds, flip it and then remove it with a slotted spoon or a spider to let the extra water drip off. Transfer it to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and immediately sprinkle with flaky salt or cinnamon sugar.
- Bake the pretzels for 15 minutes or until the outsides are dark brown and toasty. Allow to cool slightly on the baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack.
Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest