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Pretzels are a delicious snack or side dish and easier to make than you might think. Most times, you don’t even need a rolling pin or stand mixer to start. In fact, you can have delicious, buttery soft pretzels in less than an hour with a few ingredients and minimal baking supplies by following the recipe below.
What’s the origin of soft pretzels?
The history of soft pretzels began in the seventh century when the Catholic Church tightened the reins on fasting and abstinence regimens during Lent. Pretzels were a preferred food because their ingredients were accessible and they didn’t contain any food items prohibited by the church. They were baked as soft bread, just as they are today.
Soft pretzels worked their way through Europe during the Middle Ages, each country creating their own traditions and pretzel twists. There’s a theory that pretzels were brought to the Americas on the Mayflower and used to trade with the Native Americans. Around 1710, German immigrants officially brought pretzels to America when they settled in Pennsylvania.
How to bake soft pretzels
You probably already have most of what you need to make soft pretzels in your pantry. Here are the usual ingredients you need to make soft pretzels:
- Baking soda
- Sugar (brown or white)
Begin by preheating your oven to 450 degrees. Then, mix warm water, sugar and salt then top with the yeast and allow it to sit for five minutes. Next, add the flour and butter until combined then knead the dough for four minutes on a floured surface. Let the dough rise in a warm, oiled bowl for 20 to 30 minutes. Bring baking soda and water to a boil and in the meantime, form the pretzels.
Once they’re formed, dip them carefully into the baking soda solution one at a time and allow the pretzels to sit in the water for about 30 seconds. Next, place them on a baking sheet and brush each of them with egg wash and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 12-14 minutes then top with more butter if desired! Serve your soft pretzels warm with the dips below!
For the full, detailed instructions, check out this recipe from Gimme Some Oven.
Savory dips to pair with soft pretzels
- Beer cheese dip: Try making this beer cheese dip as an ode to a classic Germanic pairing. You can even use non-alcoholic beer for an equally tasty dip!
- Mustard dip: This easy recipe pairs spicy horseradish with the tang of dijon mustard for a delicious pretzel dip.
- Buffalo chicken dip: This hearty dip is filled with chicken, buffalo sauce, and a hint of blue cheese that everyone will love to try with their soft pretzels.
Sweet dips to pair with soft pretzels
- Cream cheese dipping sauce: Roll your pretzels in cinnamon sugar and enjoy them with this take on cream cheese dipping sauce, similar to Auntie Anne’s!
- Chocolate hazelnut sauce: Hazelnut and chocolate pair up in this delicious dip that can be spread over warm soft pretzels.
- Dulce de leche: This caramel dip can be made two ways and served with soft pretzels for a luscious dessert.
Ready to make your own homemade pretzels? Keep an eye out for the launch of our new homemade soft pretzel kit with all the ingredients and baking supplies you need delivered right to your door! In the meantime, check out our other at-home baking kits available for purchase now.