Pretzels are bread sticks looped into a knot, probably with origins in southern Germany. The tops are sprinkled with poppy seeds or grains of coarse salt. Here is a fairly straightforward recipe that is simple to prepare.
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Last modified on: October 24th 2017

Keywords for this recipe:BakeryBreadLocalSoda

For 12 Pretzels, you will need:

Change these quantities to make: 4 Pretzels 6 Pretzels 12 Pretzels 24 Pretzels 36 Pretzels

How long does it take?

Time required for this recipe:
PreparationRestingCookingStart to finish
1 hour 21 min.3 hours 30 min.30 min.5 hours 21 min.
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Step by step recipe

Stage 1 - 5 min.
Pretzels : Photo of step #1
Put in a food-processor bowl: 100 ml milk, 500 g flour, 100 g butter, 20 g yeast, 9 g fine (or table) salt and, if possible, 50 g Soured dough.

Stage 2 - 10 min.
Pretzels : Photo of step #2
Knead for 10 minutes on slow speed.

Note: For the best way to knead, see: A few tips for effective kneading at home.

Stage 3 - 2 hours
Pretzels : Photo of step #3
Gather the dough into one large ball and transfer this to another bowl, cover with a sheet of plastic.

Leave to rest for 2 hours, it's pointage (starting).

Stage 4 - 5 min.
Pretzels : Photo of step #4
After this time, cut and weigh the dough into 100 g portions.

Stage 5 - 8 min.
Roll these into balls. You can see the gesture in this video.

Stage 6 - 30 min.
Pretzels : Photo of step #6
Cover the balls of dough with a sheet of plastic and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

Stage 7 - 10 min.
After this time, roll out a ball of dough into a long "sausage" about 50 cm (25 inches) long, then wind it into the traditional pretzel shape. You can see how in the video at the side.

Make all the pretzels like this.

Stage 8 - 1 hour 30 min.
Pretzels : Photo of step #8
Arrange the pretzels on a baking sheet, cover with a sheet of plastic and leave to rest for 1 hour 30 minutes.

Stage 9 - 10 min.
Pretzels : Photo of step #9
After this time, preheat the oven to 230°C (450°F).

Bring a pan with 1 litre of water to the boil and, when boiling, add the 50 g of bicarbonate of soda (be careful, as this reacts and may well make the pan boil over, so add it a little at a time).

Stage 10
Pretzels : Photo of step #10
Turn off the heat under the pan and plunge a pretzel into the water containing the bicarbonate of soda. It will sink, then rise back up to the surface...

Stage 11 - 10 min.
Pretzels : Photo of step #11
...take it out with a skimmer and place it on the baking sheet.

Do this with all the pretzels.

This bath of bicarbonate of soda in water gives a sharp flavour to the pretzels.

Stage 12 - 3 min.
Pretzels : Photo of step #12
Scatter poppy seeds or coarse salt crystals over the top of each pretzel.

Stage 13 - 20 min.
Pretzels : Photo of step #13
Put in the oven immediately. It is important that the pretzels are still wet when they go into the oven, so that they will turn a lovely golden brown.

If you have to wait and your pretzels dry out, wet them again with a brush dipped in the pan of water and bicarbonate of soda.

Stage 14
Pretzels : Photo of step #14
Bake until they are just starting to brown and are still soft, about 20 minutes.

Leave to cool on a wire rack.


To give that famous piquancy, professionals use caustic soda (well-diluted, of course), rather than baking soda.

And to drink?

To set the right mood, a good beer.


A day or two in an airtight tin.

Nutritional information

Whole recipe
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
2,938 Kcal or 12,301 Kj71 gr404 gr115 gr
147 %27 %38 %17 %
Per 100 g
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
334 Kcal or 1,398 Kj8 gr46 gr13 gr
17 %3 %4 %2 %
Per piece
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
245 Kcal or 1,026 Kj6 gr34 gr10 gr
12 %2 %3 %1 %
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories or 8400 k-joules by day for a woman (change to a man).

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Note : These prices are only approximate.


Home made.

More recipes?

This recipe uses (among others)
FlourFlour: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Almond mug cake for Mary, Almond macaroon cake, Panettone, Sweet pastry, Savoury mini-madeleines with 2 cheeses, ... All
ButterButter: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Potato and broccoli gratin, Sandwich bread, How to prepare spinach, Sauce Normande (for fish), Turnip and Jerusalem artichoke soup, ... All
MilkMilk: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Crème de foie gras, Little vanilla, clementine and chestnut verrines, Confectioner's custard (Crème pâtissière, or French pastry cream), Crème brulée, Doughnuts, ... All
Poppy seedsPoppy seeds: You can check-out other recipes which use it, like for example: Mixed seed grissini, Seeded loaf, Canapés of red mullet with poppy seeds, Fish in a seed crust, Poppy seed and lemon cake, ... All

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