With their charming traditional twisted shape, these small-batch salted pretzels deliver a soft and chewy interior with a beautifully golden crust. A sprinkle of coarse sea salt on top adds the perfect touch of savory goodness. In fact, I recommend you try one fresh from the oven. That’s when they’re the absolute best.
But before we get into all the details (and I’ve got a whole bunch for you) about how to make these beauties, let’s take a quick trip back in time to explore the fascinating history of pretzels because I wasn’t exactly sure about it myself.
A Twist of History
Did you know that pretzels aren’t necessarily German in origin? I know – mind blown, right? Surprisingly, the pretzel has a pretty mysterious past. In fact, legend has it that these twisted wonders were first created by European monks in the early 6th century.
Their twisted shape, resembling arms crossed in prayer, was meant to symbolize spirituality and, of course, they’re made with humble ingredients – flour, water, and salt. So, the next time you’re munching on a pretzel my friends, I guess you can really consider it a divine experience.
The Perfect Small-batch Salted Pretzel Recipe
Now, let’s make some pretzels! My absolute favorite part about this small-batch recipe is that it yields just six pretzels, perfect for sharing with a few friends or indulging in all by yourself (no judgment here, I love pretzels SO MUCH myself).
The Short List of Ingredients
- 1 cup warm water (110°F to 115°F)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)
- 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 4 cups of water
- Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
Here’s How to Make Small-batch Salted Pretzels
- In a bowl, combine warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until frothy.
- Then, in the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.
- Next, pour in the yeast and vegetable oil. Knead the dough on low speed until it’s smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and form dough into a smooth dough bakk, Lightly oil the dough ball on all sides, cover, and let it rise for an hour in a warm spot.
- Preheat your oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Divide the dough into six equal portions. Then, roll each portion into a rope and shape about 20 inches long and shape it into a pretzel (or whatever shape you want).
- In a large pot, bring water to a boil, then add baking soda. Stir well to make sure the baking soda dissolves. Boil each pretzel for 30 seconds, then remove it with a slotted spatula and place it on the baking sheet.
- Sprinkle coarse sea salt on top of each pretzel while they’re still wet.
- Finally, bake the pretzels for 9-10 minutes until they’re beautifully golden brown.
- Use warm water: Using the right temperature is crucial for activating the yeast. It should be comfortably warm, not too hot. Usually about 30 seconds in the microwave will do it.
- Knead patiently: Don’t rush the kneading process. It’s what gives your pretzels their perfect texture. Go the full 5 minutes.
- Boiling is key: The brief boil in baking soda water gives pretzels their characteristic chewy crust and that lovely golden color. Avoid boiling for more than 30 seconds though, it can alter the flavor of the pretzels.
- Get creative: Feel free to experiment with different toppings like cinnamon sugar, sesame seeds, jalapeños, or even cheese for a unique twist.
How to Store These Salted Pretzels
Next, let’s talk about storing your pretzels (assuming you didn’t eat them all already, haha). Ideally, pretzels are best when freshly baked, but if you find yourself with some leftover, follow these helpful storage tips:
- Room temperature: You’ll want to keep them in an airtight container for up to two days. They might lose some of their crispness but will still be tasty, especially if reheated properly (see below).
- Freezing: These soft pretzels freeze surprisingly well. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap, place them in a freezer bag, and they can last for up to three months. Reheat them in the oven for that just-baked taste.
How to Reheat Soft Pretzels
So there you have it, my friends – the ultimate guide to homemade salted pretzels by yours truly. Soft, salty, chewy goodness right at your fingertips, anytime you want and in a little over an hour. Now, go on, get you some!
Small-batch Salted Pretzels
- 1/4 ounce active dry yeast (one packet)
- 1/2 tsp sugar (for the yeast)
- 1 cup water (warm, approximately 110 degrees)
- 2 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose)
- 1/4 cup sugar (for the pretzel dough)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 TBS vegetable oil (plus more for greasing the bowl)
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 2 TBS butter (melted, for brushing the tops of the pretzels)
- coarse sea salt (for dusting)
To make the pretzel dough:
- In a glass measuring cup, warm 1 cup water for 20-30 seconds in the microwave (approximately 110 degrees). Add the yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Let the yeast mixture sit for 10 minutes to activate and foam up.1/4 ounce active dry yeast, 1 cup water, 1/2 tsp sugar
- Attach dough hook to your stand mixer. In the bowl of your mixer, whisk together the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and sea salt.2 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp sea salt
- Pour in the vegetable oil and yeast mixture and mix on medium-low for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and formed into a ball.1/4 ounce active dry yeast, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 TBS vegetable oil, 1 cup water
- Once mixed, transfer dough ball to a well-greased bowl and turn the dough several times to coat with oil on all sides.
- Let dough rest in a warm, dry place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
To bake the pretzels:
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line one baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large pan, heat water and baking soda over medium-high heat to boiling. Stir to make sure the baking soda dissolves evenly.4 cups water, 1/4 cup baking soda
- While water is heating and oven is preheating, punch the dough ball down to release any air and turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Using a pizza cutter, cut dough into 6 equal pieces.
- Roll each piece of dough into a long rope, about 20 inches long. Twist and shape it into a a pretzel and place it on the baking sheet. Continue with the remaining pieces of dough.
- Once pretzels are shaped, carefully boil pretzels in the baking soda and water for 20-30 seconds, but no longer than that or the taste of the pretzels may be altered. After boiling for 20-30 seconds, carefully lift pretzels out of the water with a slotted spatula to let water drain off. Place back on the baking sheet and immediately dust with coarse sea salt (while wet). Continue with remaining pretzels.coarse sea salt
- Bake pretzels at 425 degrees for 9-10 minutes until golden brown.
- When pretzels are done baking, remove from oven and immediately brush the tops of each pretzel with melted butter.2 TBS butter
- Serve warm with homemade beer cheese.
- Store pretzels in an airtight container on the counter for 2-3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Gently reheat before serving again.