Have you tried making homemade pretzels yet? What about Whole Wheat Pretzel Recipe? Let me tell you, you are going to love how simple these whole wheat soft pretzels are to make.
Why Make These Pretzels?
There are a lot of pretzel recipes out there, but let me tell you, this is one of the very best!
The chewy texture and flavor are what I love the most about these pretzels. They are the perfect soft pretzel that can be dipped or eaten on its own.
They are a whole wheat pretzel, so a healthier option. Don't let this worry you if you aren't familiar with whole wheat baking, these pretzels are just like the originals and no one ever notices they are made with whole wheat.
Pretzels are some of our family's favorite snacks. We are carb lovers, and these are just that.
Soft pretzels are actually really simple to make. Let me break down the process- mix the dough, let it rise, form the pretzels, boil, brush with egg wash, sprinkle with salt, and bake. Simple, right?
- Whole Wheat Flour- I used Kamut wheat flour for these I photographed. I also really like to use rye flour, spelt, white whole wheat flour, etc.
- All-Purpose Flour- My family prefers a blend of whole wheat and white flour. If you want to go 100% whole wheat, you can easily do it with this recipe. Some people use bread flour here, but I don't think it is necessary.
- Warm water- This activates the yeast quickly.
- Yeast- I used instant yeast, but you can also use active dry if you want. The measurements are the same. I know some people think this really matters, and in some recipes, it does, not this one though.
- Sugar- it only uses a touch and you can use honey or brown sugar if you prefer.
- Salt- I used kosher salt in the dough and flake salt for the top. They have pretzel salt (coarse salt) for topping, but I didn't have any on hand.
- Butter- This recipe doesn't use much, but it is worth it! You could also use olive oil if you like.
- Baking soda- this is needed in the water.
- Egg- for the egg wash
- Milk- for the egg wash.
How To Make
Start by adding your ingredients to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. I used my Bosch Mixer as I didn't want to knead this by hand. An electric mixer is easier, but either way works though. Make sure and use the dough hook attachment.
Start mixing on low speed for about 30 seconds, then increase to medium speed. Mix for at least 6 minutes until it forms a soft dough.
Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it is doubled in a warm place.
Now, let's start forming. Place a large pot of water to a boil while you are working and preheat your oven. Also, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. I used 2 sheet pans for this recipe, as this gives them ample room to expand in the oven.
On your work surface, divide your dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope about 24 inches long.
To form the pretzel shape, a horseshoe shape facing up. Twist the ends several times and bring them back down. This is hard to describe, so hopefully, the video will help.
Repeat until all the pretzels are done.
Add the baking soda to your boiling water. Then carefully, add pretzels to the water. I was able to fit 6 in at a time. Boil them for 30 seconds, then with a slotted spoon turn them over and boil on the other side.
Again with the slotted spoon, remove and place on your prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all are boiled, this process will go quickly.
Brush the pretzels with your egg wash and topping of choice. I only did salt as that is what our family likes. I will list more options below.
Move the pretzels to the preheated oven and bake until they are golden brown.
That is it! They are ready to serve. I like these plain or dipped in cheese sauce, but there are a million possibilities.
- The baking soda in the water is necessary for the traditional looking and tasting pretzel. It is what helps give it the golden brown and shiny color. Don't skip the baking soda bath.
- Boiling the pretzels gives them the instant rise, but that isn't all. It also is what will give the pretzels that chewy texture and beautiful color. Don't skip this step!!
- I only used salt for my topping, as that is what my family prefers, this is not the only topping you can use. Cinnamon sugar is really good for a sweeter pretzel. Or what about topping with sesame seeds or even poppy seeds? Just make sure to brush with the egg wash first, this will help the topping to stay.
- The pretzel dough needs to be doubled before working with it. Depending on how warm your house is, this can be anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours. The warmer your room temperature, the quicker the dough rises.
- If you love to dip your pretzels, so do we. I like a cheese dip or spinach dip. The sauce in my photos is not homemade though, it is white cheddar and jalapeno I bought. Beer cheese dip is really good too and such a classic for soft pretzels.
You sure can! Cut them into small pieces, then boil, brush, sprinkle, and bake just like the formed pretzels. These small bites are perfect for appetizers.
So much of this is really dependent on the temperature of your home and humidity. You can plan on it taking anywhere from 1 ½-2 hours. Hands-on-time is pretty minimal though.
This whole wheat pretzel recipe will stay good for at least 3 days!
Other Whole Wheat Recipes
- Vegan Graham Crackers
- Simple Snickerdoodle Bars
- Ancient Grain Salad
- Strawberry Sugar Cookie Bars
- Carrot Cake Cookies
- Honey Oatmeal Bread
- Apple Cider Coffee Cake
Whole Wheat Pretzel Recipe
- Large pot to boil water in.
- Stand mixer- this can also be done by hand, but I like to use the stand mixer if it is availble.
- 2 baking sheets
- 1 ⅔ cup water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast 2
- 2 cups whole wheat flour I used kamut, but you could also use rye, white wheat, spelt, etc.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon softened butter
Baking Soda Water
- 10 cups water
- ½ cup baking soda
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons milk
- pretzel salt or other coarse or flake salt
- Make sure and read all instructions through beofre starting.
- Add all ingredients for the pretzel dough to your stand mixer. If you are kneading by hand follow the same process just knead instead of mix in the stand mixer.
- Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds, then increase the speed to medium. Mix for 6-7 minutes on medium.
- Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled. This can take anywhere from 45 minutes- 2 hours depending on the temp and humidity of your house.
- I actually the dough to take a little longer to rise, as this helps develop the flavors better.
- Once it has doubled, turn the dough onto your work surface and divide into 12 equal portions.
- I like to get my water started boiling while I am forming the pretzels.
- Roll each piece into a 24-inch rope. Hold the ends and form a horseshoe, then twist them together to form the pretzel. I am sorry, check the video, this is really hard to explain!
- Repeat the process until you have formed all the pretzels.
- Preheat oven to 395 degrees. Add the baking soda to your boiling water. Line the 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, it makes for easier cleanup. Mix your egg and milk together to make the egg wash. Preheat your oven. I like to get everything ready and in place as the pretzels boil quickly.
- Now, add several pretzels to your pot. I had a large pot, so I was able to fit 6 in at a time. Boil for 30 seconds, then with a slotted spoon, gently flip it over. Let it go another 30 seconds on the other.
- Then, with the slotted spoon, remove the pretzels from the water and place them on the baking sheet. Make sure and give them several inches apart as they will rise in the oven and expand.
- Repeat with the rest of the pretzels. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with salt. Move to the preheated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until the pretzels are a beautiful golden brown.
- That is it! You are done and the pretzels are ready to be eaten. Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!
Be careful when adding baking soda to boiling water! My pot of boiling water bubbled up violently and boiling water spilled all over my stove and overflowed the stove top onto the floor and the kitchen counter. It left a white powdery residue all over everything. I don’t know what the solution is. Maybe add the baking soda before it comes to a boil? I was hopeful that enough of the baking soda remained in the pot and I just went ahead with the pretzels.
I had a decent first attempt! The pretzels were delicious but kind of wrinkled and ugly, LOL! I think the problem was that I didn’t like how they looked after I shaped them the first time, although they were rising and nicely puffed up as a I waited for the water to boil. So I re-shaped them and in doing so, they deflated and never regained their puffiness. Even after baking.
Also, I used only hard whole wheat flour and I Veganized the recipe (vegan butter, and brushing the tops with water instead of egg wash) and it turned out great!
Tip: if you’re not going to eat all the pretzels right away, put salt only on the ones you will eat the same day. After they sit, the salt absorbs moisture from the air and doesn’t look as nice. You can always add salt when you reheat them (brush with water, add salt, and then toast in the toaster oven).
Doris, thank you so much for the comments. I love hearing your modifications to the recipe and how it turned out! We have never had the pretzels last more than a day in our house, do that is good to know about the salt. I will have to test that out and add it in as needed. You are right about the baking soda, I always boil them in a large pan to compensate for the quick rise in the water after adding in the baking soda. I will be sure to add that into the recipe so no one else will have the same problems you did.
Happy baking! Amy
You have to add it very slowly or it will boil over.
Okay! I have always just added mine in with no issues. This is good to know. Thanks!