German Soft Pretzel Recipe

30 min COOK TIME
1 hr 30 min PREP TIME
8 pretzels SERVINGS


  • 1-1⁄2 cups plus 1 gallon plus 1 tablespoon warm water, divided
  • 2-1⁄2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3-1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • Coarse or kosher salt


  • In large bowl, combine 1-1⁄2 cups warm water with yeast and sugar, and let sit for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
  • In separate bowl, combine flour and salt, and whisk to evenly distribute salt. Add to yeast mixture, and blend until mixture comes together. Use your hands to form into ball.
  • On lightly floured work surface, knead dough until a smooth, sticky dough forms, a few minutes. Place dough in oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for about 45 minutes.
  • On lightly floured work surface, divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into rope 18 to 20 inches long. (Don’t over-flour hands or work surface, as this will make it more difficult to roll.) Twist each dough piece into pretzel shape by placing arc of pretzel at bottom (closest to you); next, round the two ends so they’re facing the arc and twist them around; then “paste” them to opposite sides of the arc, using a little water if necessary. Place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. 
  • Prepare water bath by combining 1 gallon warm water with baking soda, and bring to boil. Once boiling, use slotted spatula and transfer each pretzel into water; let boil for 3 minutes, flipping halfway through boiling. Drain on cooling rack, then transfer parboiled pretzels back to parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Make egg wash by beating egg with remaining warm water. Generously brush egg wash over each pretzel, then sprinkle with coarse or kosher salt.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes. Check out more traditional German recipes.

German soft pretzels pair perfectly with creamy obatzda cheese spread, or you could enjoy them plain.

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