Before you go forward, I am warning you now, this step by step soft garlic pretzel recipe has a lot of photos. Because making pretzels is way harder than I had ever imagined it would be! But in the end it was worth it and we had a lot of fun in the process. We tried to follow along to this recipe we found on Pinterest. And for those of you that aren’t serving a family of 6-8 people, you might want to cut this recipe in half. This recipe will yield 16 small-medium pretzels.
Ingredients you’ll need:
For the dough
3 cups warm water (110-115° F)
2 tbsp. sugar
4 tsp. garlic salt
4.5 tsp. instant yeast
9 cups all-purpose flour
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for greasing the bowl
Large dose of patience
20 cups water
1-1/3 cup baking soda
2 egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp. water
Garlic Salt salt
8 tbsp. melted butter
Here’s my crew reading through a few recipes to find just the right one.
For the dough, mix together sugar, water, garlic salt, and yeast with a hand mixer on low speed until all of your yeast has dissolved. I ran out of my small jar of yeast, and I started to panic. Then I remembered I’m a rockstar and buy odd things in insane bulk. Like yeast, why in the world do I have this amount of yeast? Um, I was worried about 12-21-12. Yep, I thought there was a chance the world may come to an end and buy lots and lots of yeast seemed like the right thing to do. There, I said it. Not my proudest purchase, but it came in handy today. And if any of my neighbors ever need some yeast, I got their back, for at least the next decade.
Add your 9 cups of flour and try not to lose count. Do not pack your flour, scoop it lightly and do not exceed the top line of your measuring cup. This will help keep your dough light and fluffy as is bakes.
Add your 4 tablespoons of melted butter. And begin to mix. I do not have a machine mixer so this particular step was long and tedious. Once I felt I had it mixed pretty well, I removed it from the bowl and kneaded it by hand on my counter top. (And its quite possible my pretzels may have had some subtle hues of jelly or ramen noodles based on that last minute audible.)
One you have it kneaded as smooth as possible, roll it into a ball and place it in a large bowl that is lightly greased with vegetable oil. Rub a bit of oil over your dough ball as well. Cover your dough with plastic wrap and let rise for an hour.
Line your baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly dust them with cooking spray.
Once your dough has risen, separate your dough into 16 equal size dough balls. This part was kind of hard when you have 4 little boys grabbing handfuls. This is where you turn to your large dose of patience. Save some for later as well.
This step seemed odd to me, but I did it and that’s that. Bring your 20 cups of water and 1-1/3 baking soda to a boil.
This next portion of pretzel making took a heck of a lot longer than I thought it would. Actually it probably took us about an hour to get our pretzels just right. Reason being was little hands have a harder time getting the dough rolled out into long strands. Ideally try and get your strands to at least 24 inches. I’d say we averaged about 20-22. So some of our pretzels we super fat. Still equally scrumptious, just thick.
I really loved seeing the wonky pretzels my kiddos formed. To me they were the true pretzel perfection.
The boys had such a hard time getting their dough in strands, at one point my oldest son just started swinging his around, which kind of worked as it stretched out a bit. But I do not recommend this method. If you get a little too wild with your swing, your dough will break in half. And then, game over. Gotta start again. And mom has to then consume another large dose of patience. But its ok to laugh, just don’t belly laugh because that could be easily confused with shenanigan encouragement.
Here’s what the water and baking soda is for… you boil your pretzels for about 30 seconds each and place them back on your baking sheets. They sort of expanded but not by much.
Take the two beaten egg yolks and brush over your boiled pretzels and add some garlic salt.
Bake your pretzels at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes. We baked them for 10 minutes.
And TADA!! Perfectly tasty soft garlic pretzels!
With your remaining 8 tablespoons for butter, melt that down and add a few dashes of garlic salt for dipping! Of course you could also use cheese sauce, ranch, or something else you might like.