Soft Baked Pretzels - Bakedin's June 2020 Baking Club Box

At Bakedin HQ we all loved the idea of having pretzels as one of our baking club boxes. It took a few attempts to get the right pretzel texture and flavour, playing around with different techniques, until we reached what we think is the perfect pretzel.

The pretzel dough itself is so easy to make; it’s just a case of mixing the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, kneading until smooth, and then proving. The hardest part of the process is the shaping, and with that, practise makes perfect. Our recipe makes 16 pretzels, allowing you to become an absolute pretzel-pro by the time you’re finished. We have to admit, it took Olivia and Paula a few times to get the hang of the shaping, but after watching endless amounts of videos about it, we wanted to pass our top tips onto you.

Need a copy of the recipe card? You can find it here - Pretzel Recipe Card

We wanted to let you know that we made a little typo in step 5 on the printed recipe card. In the Note at the bottom, it should say “and continue to step 6”. The digital version above has been corrected.

HOW TO ROLL AND SHAPE A SOFT BAKED PRETZEL

We have done a handy video below for you to follow while you're rolling and shaping the pretzels. You can also find instructions beneath the video...

Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. The easiest way to do this is to cut it into quarters, and then cut each quarter into quarters. We like to roll each piece into a neat little ball, similar to as if you were shaping a roll, we find it helps to roll a smoother and more even rope.

Roll each piece into a long rope. Aim for around 50cm long, this will ensure your pretzel is big enough and has a defined shape, but also ensures that the rope isn’t so thin that it snaps half way through shaping.

The next step is to curve the two ends of the rope down into an upside down ‘U’.

Twist the two ends together twice, by wrapping the left end over the right end each time. You want to make sure that the twists are at the very ends of the rope, otherwise you may end up with a pretzel with really long tails sticking out the bottom.

Bring the twisted ends up towards the top and press firmly onto the top curve of the pretzel to secure the ends. Once it’s together you can play around a bit with how the pretzel looks, if you find the holes aren’t the right sort of shape, stretch them a little to the shape you want.

In our opinion, the bicarbonate of soda bath is the most important part. This is what gives the pretzels their characteristic flavour, texture and the shiny brown crust. We found that putting the pretzels in a simmering bath of water and bicarb for 10 seconds on each side gave the best taste and consistency to the pretzels.

Despite our pretzels having a sweet coating and a chocolate dip, the possibilities are endless with how you can coat, top, and dip them. A couple of our favourite ways to transform the pretzels into a savoury delight are to sprinkle with pretzel salt (it’s best to put this on just after you remove the pretzels from the bicarb bath, before putting them in the oven - this ensures the salt sticks onto the pretzel crust), or to coat the pretzels with a melted garlic butter as soon as they’ve been removed from the oven. The garlic will infuse the butter and leave you with a delicious warm treat.

Recipe for garlic butter:

2-3 garlic cloves
45g unsalted butter
Handful of fresh parsley (optional)

Chop 2-3 cloves of garlic finely. In a small pan melt 45g of unsalted butter with the finely chopped garlic and a small pinch of salt, leave to melt slowly to allow the garlic to infuse into the butter. As soon as the pretzels come out of the oven, brush with the garlic butter and garnish with some roughly chopped fresh parsley.

Practise makes perfect, so don’t give up. By the end you will be left with delicious warm pretzels that everyone will be amazed by.