Soft Pretzels recipe photo
Soft Pretzels
Prepared by Sarah Shilhavy, Photo by Jeremiah Shilhavy

Servings: 10 large pretzels
Preparation Time: 1 hour

  • 1 1/2 cups very warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 (.25 oz) package active dry yeast
  • 22 ounces flour, about 4 1/2 cups (use about half whole wheat flour)
  • 2 ounces coconut oil, melted (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water, optional
  • salt

Pour water into the bowl of a standing mixer and stir in sugar and salt until dissolved. Sprinkle the yeast on top but do not stir. Allow to proof for 5-10 minutes, until the yeast begins to foam.

Add the flour and coconut oil to the yeast mixture. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Turn the speed up and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, around 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove dough from the bowl. Oil the bowl with coconut oil and place ball of dough back in. Lightly grease the top of the dough ball. Cover the top of the bowl with a damp towel and let sit in a warm place for approximately 1-2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Stir the water and baking soda together and bring to a boil in a large pot.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface lightly oiled with extra coconut oil and divide into 10 equal pieces. Roll out into pretzel shapes and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and greased with coconut oil.

Place 1 pretzel at a time into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove with a large, flat spatula and place back unto lined cookie sheets. Brush with optional egg wash if desired.

Bake until dark golden brown in color, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and serve with melted butter, salt, cinnamon sugar and other toppings/dips of choice.

Recipe courtesy Sarah Shilhavy

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Comments (Comment Moderation is enabled. Your comment will not appear until approved.)
For the flour, if half should be whole wheat flour, what about the other half? White flour?

I was excited to see this recipe, until I saw the flour and yeast part of it. Is there a way to adapt this to coconut flour without yeast, or at least all sprouted flour without yeast?
# Posted By smarie210 | 2/11/10 8:43 AM
Yes, half whole wheat (preferably a bread flour whole wheat) and the other half organic unbleached all purpose flour. As far as I know, there is no way to make a "real" soft pretzel without yeast and you really can't make something like this with all coconut flour. It could probably be done with a blend of different flours but I've never tried it. The recipe is as written, and I've honestly never tried making it any other way.
# Posted By Sarah | 2/11/10 5:46 PM
YUM! These were good and fun to make. I dusted them with coarse Kosher salt before baking.
# Posted By marys | 3/26/11 4:12 PM
since coconut oil worked for pretzels, I am excited to use it in pie crust. I think the mild flavor is negligible.
# Posted By elizabeth | 3/21/12 10:56 PM
For the yeast, can't you substitute with baking powder? I've never tried it that way but I imagine it could work. It may be more dense though. Maybe an acid would work too? As for the flour, are you trying to go gluten free? If so, they make GF all purpose flour. You can sub half the total amount of flour with one of your choice. I've tried it with rice flour and it seems to work fine. You just have to play around with ingredients until you find what works for you.

I love home made soft pretzels and recently started using coconut oil instead of butter (which by the way is hella good too). I substitute 1/4 - 1/2 cup of the water with agave to add extra sweetness. I roll out shorter ropes and shape the pretzel so that there is barely any holes. They expand while baking and form a solid piece that is incredible for sandwiches! But it's rare that one will ever make it past the baking sheet. They're gone before they even have the chance to cool down.

I prefer kosher salt for the dough too. I'm sure most people wouldn't be able to taste the difference but I can. For those of you that are not opposed to dairy, try sprinkling some real grated parm on top before baking. Also, brushing them lightly with melted butter as soon as they come out of the oven makes 'em extra decadent.
# Posted By Jackie | 10/13/12 11:28 AM

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