soft pretzels


Yields6 ServingsPrep Time40 minsCook Time12 minsTotal Time52 minsDifficultyBeginnerRating


Pretzel Dough
 500 g unbleached bread flour
 10 g salt
 7 g sugar
 15 g instant yeast or 30g fresh
 50 g butter, cubed and chilled
 300 g spring water at 20ºCor 50/50 water and milk
 20 g sesame seeds, poppy seeds, grey salt or pearl sugar
Lye Solution
 1000 g warm water
 60 g sodium hydroxidor baking soda*



The pretzel is an old European symbol that has become associated with bakeries. By 1440 the pretzel’s form was a symbol of good luck, long life and prosperity. They get their sheen and distinct texture and flavor from being dipped in a lye solution before being baked. In fact, pretzels can be shaped into different forms according to the theme. A prime choice for any sandwiches and burgers. This recipe makes 3 pretzels – each serves 2.

bruno albouze hamburger

Pretzel Dough

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together all ingredients but the liquid for 30 seconds or so. Add liquid and mix on low until combined – increase mixer speed to medium-high and continue mixing for 4 minutes more. Form dough into a tight ball and place in an oiled container. Cover and let ferment for about 2 hours until double in size.

Shaping Pretzels

Prepare 3 greased baking mats (do not use parchment).
Transfer dough onto your countertop (no extra flour needed), and divide into 3 equal portions. Deflate, fold and roll each portion into a tight and thick strand. Cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes or so. Then roll it back and forth against the counter top keeping the center thick and the arms thinner until you achieve the desired length. The ideal length for a large pretzel is about 40-inches/100cm. Form a U-shape with the dough and pick up the two ends and twist them around each other twice. Fold the twisted part of the pretzel over and attach these ends to the curve of the pretzel. Place pretzel on the prepared baking tray and freeze for 20 mins until firm enough to handle to be immersed in the lye solution.

Lye Solution

Lye (sodium hydroxide) is an alkaline compound that is strongly corrosive and thus must be handled with precaution. Wear gloves and glasses. Add lye in warm water and whisk.
Submerge pretzel for about 8 seconds. Top pretzel with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, salt or pearl sugar and score. Cover with plastic wrap and let proof at 80ºF/27ºC for about 60 minutes.
*If using baking soda instead of lye, bring water and baking soda to a boil. Immerse pretzel into the simmering water for 8 seconds. Using a slotted spatula, lift the pretzel out of the water and allow as much of the excess water to drip off. Place pretzel onto prepared baking tray.


Preheat oven to 500ºF/260ºC. Lower oven to 450ºF/230ºC and bake pretzel for about 12 minutes. Bake one bread at the time. If necessary, put the 2 other proofed pretzels in the refrigerator to slow down proofing while bread is baking.
Let cool – enjoy!

proofed pretzel

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