I’m sure I’ve talked about this on my blog before, but I got a bread machine for my birthday last year and I’ve used it at least once if not twice a week since then. We make a ton of sandwiches since we’re working from home, and I just put the bread in the machine around 8:45 am (after my required work calls for the day) and it’s done by 12:15 and has cooled by 1:00, when we normally take lunch.
I’ve never thought of doing pretzels before, though, because I always assumed they were something incredibly complicated that wasn’t for mortal souls to attempt. We had two friends over on New Year’s and one of them shared her favorite bread machine pretzel recipe with me, and we made it! They turned out fantastic. They were way easier than I thought they’d be, and once I figured out how to properly roll out the dough, it’s super quick. The longest part is waiting for the dough to be finished!
What We Changed: The only thing I changed is that I used instant yeast in my bread machine instead of active dry yeast. There are multiple conversion charts out there if you need them, but my mother-in-law gave me a huge bag of instant yeast and it’s just easier to use. Conversions aren’t hard, either, because I’ve written them down in my bread machine manual!
We also cut the dough into twelve pieces instead of six, because twelve is easier to divide among four people. And when I did it later with just Steven, I still split it into twelve. I think we’ll try for six next time, just to see how big they are!
I also let them boil in the baking soda bath for 15-20 seconds on each side instead of 30, because 30 made them a bit too salty and I could taste the baking soda in them after they were baked.
What I Didn’t Expect: It was difficult to figure out how to roll the dough out into little snakes the first time I tried! I didn’t realize that would be the hardest part of this recipe. Once you figure it out it’s pretty easy, but my way may not work for others (and it’s too difficult to explain over text).
I also didn’t realize you had to let the baking soda bath boil for a good minute or two before you start dropping pretzels into it, or else the pretzels aren’t going to puff and your first few pretzels are going to be a little sad. I’ve now figured this out and my next pretzels are going to look good from the start!
If you’re using coarse salt, it’s easy to over salt them so just sprinkle a bit on there to begin with! The baking soda bath may also contribute to the saltiness so watch your timing!
Final Thoughts: This is an incredibly easy pretzel recipe that produces delicious pretzels. I’d give it a 5/5 star rating because it’s easy from start to finish and the final product is edible every time. It was even easy to figure out how to fold them, and they actually looked like real pretzels, instantly recognizable. My one wish is that we could figure out how to get them to be the crispy-chewy that they are when we get pretzels at baseball games (that’s what we’ve missed during COVID!). Maybe next time I won’t brush them with butter when they’re done and we’ll see how they feel!
Be sure to stock up on marinara, dijon mustard, or some sort of cheese for dipping, because a sauce enhances these pretzels that much more!
Do you have any pretzel tips? Do you miss baseball games? Let me know in the comments!
And as always, keep reading.