0 (0)

Appetizers, Breads

Hard pretzels

Hard pretzels
Katie Falkenberg / For the Times

The other day I was sitting at a local bar catching a game of football with a friend. The bartender handed us a bowl of pretzels. Noshing on a few over a beer, I got to thinking. I can't remember ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes plus rising time | Makes 3 dozen pretzels
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) package active-dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 3/4 cups warm water
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 5 cups (22.5 ounces) bread flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) rye flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • Pretzel wash (see story)
  • Toppings, as desired (see story)

Step 1In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water. Stir in the sugar and one-half cup of the bread flour. Set aside until the yeast begins to bubble, about 10 minutes.

Step 2Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining bread flour with the rye flour and salt.

Step 3Beat the oil into the large bowl with the yeast. Using the dough hook (if using a stand mixer), or a fork or wooden spoon (if mixing by hand), slowly mix in the remaining flour mixture, a spoonful at a time, until all of the flour is added and a firm, thick dough is formed.

Step 4Move the dough to a lightly floured board. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 5Remove the dough to a large, oiled bowl. Cover and set aside in a warm place until the dough is almost doubled in size, 45 minutes to an hour.

Step 6Meanwhile, prepare the pretzel wash and heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Step 7Divide the risen dough into 36 pieces, each weighing about 1 ounce. Form each piece into a ball, pinching the seams together at the base of each one.

Step 8Slowly roll each ball out into a rope. Roll out as far as it will go without springing back, then move to the next ball and start rolling it out, giving each rope time to relax. Eventually, roll the ropes out to a length of about 18 inches. Twist the ropes to form a pretzel shape, pressing each of the ends into the pretzel.

Step 9Dip each pretzel into the pretzel wash (wear rubber kitchen gloves and goggles if using lye) for 15 to 20 seconds, turning the pretzel over halfway to coat evenly. Remove the pretzel to a greased nonreactive baking sheet and top as desired (if using an aluminum baking sheet, line the sheet with parchment before greasing).

Step 10Repeat until all of the pretzels have been dipped and topped, allowing for a few inches of space between each pretzel on the baking sheet.

Step 11Bake the pretzels, 1 sheet at a time, in the center of the oven until puffed and a rich golden brown (color will vary depending on the wash), about 18 minutes. Rotate the sheet halfway through baking for even coloring.

Step 12Remove the baking sheet to a rack and set aside until the pretzels have cooled slightly before serving.


Roasted rainbow cauliflower tacos
Roasted rainbow cauliflower tacos

Tomato marmalade
Tomato marmalade

Cranberry, caramel and almond tart
Cranberry, caramel and almond tart

Poached Kurobuta tenderloin with pickled plum, shiitake mushrooms and potatoes
Poached Kurobuta tenderloin with pickled plum, shiit...

Have a specific question about a recipe or found a problem? Let us know at food@latimes.com

More recipes in Appetizers

Onion tart with anchovies and olives
Corn blini with shishito and Green Zebra tomato salsa
Almond tapenade
Polenta latkes