Soft and chewy parmesan pretzels

Time flies so fast and in less than a month , it would be another year . 

So , how's life treating you so far ? 

Anyway , I've made these pretzels last week but don't have time to sort out the photos . I used Alton Brown's recipe and this is actually my second batch , the first attempt was so-so , the shape looks blah and I found the taste a bit salty . This time , I hit a jackpot for both taste and shape , well , except for the legs heh ! 

Before I tasted Auntie Annie's soft pretzels , I was hooked on Snyder's , the hard and crunchy version with lots of different flavors and are readily available in the supermarkets . Much as I love hard pretzels , I can eat only so much before the roof of my mouth starts hurting . I don't have a problem with soft pretzels except I have to make it myself since you can't buy it anywhere in our area . No more Auntie Annie's shop in the mall near us *sigh*

From what I've read at Alton Brown's Good Eats 3 book , soft pretzels are always made with yeast dough and are similar in both composition and construction to bagels . Pretzels are shaped then briefly dip in a boiling water bath before baking . There are 2 ways to make a water bath , using a lye solution which you need a bit care in handling and using a baking soda which is readily available and safe to use . The boiling method gives pretzels its unique chewy flavor and a nice golden brown color . Brown's recipe calls for a baking soda bath but I added 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar when I saw The Kitchn's pretzel recipe . The recipe listed below is half with some minor tweaks . 

The dough will be sticky for few minutes of kneading but still easy enough to handle . The boiling gelatinize the surface of the pretzel dough ( and the addition of brown sugar ) makes the boiled dough a bit sticky , so don't forget grease the parchment paper , if you have a silicone baking mat , use it instead , it'll make your pretzels easier to remove after baking .

In this recipe , I used parmesan cheese not only as a filling , though you couldn't tell when you look at the photo below , but also for the glaze and topping . The cheese snob will certainly love this parm pretzels lol  

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown's Good Eats 3 , page 52 .  Please check full recipe here

Makes 8 pretzels 

11 oz / 308 grams all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt 
1 teaspoon instant yeast 
3/4 cup warm water
1 oz / 28 grams unsalted butter , melted 

* In a mixing bowl , combine the flour , sugar , salt and yeast , use a whisk and mix thoroughly . Make a well in the center and pour in water and melted butter . Mix everything until it forms a cohesive dough , tip dough in the work surface and knead until smooth and elastic . 

* Transfer dough in a lightly-oiled mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap , let rest until doubled in size , 1 hour or so , depending on the temperature . 

* Tip dough on the work surface , knead for few seconds then divide the dough into 8 pieces ( 65 grams each ) , let rest for 10 minutes . 

* Meanwhile preheat oven to 450°F / 230°C . Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly brush with oil or use a silicon baking mat . 

* Working one dough at a time , shape dough into a square , about 4 1/2-inch , use your palm or fingertips to spread it , sprinkle top with some cheese and roll out dough into 18-20 inches . If the dough breaks while rolling , shape it again into a small ball and let it rest for a while . Make a U-shape with the rope , hold both ends and make a twist in the middle ; take the ends and press firmly into the top sides of the U ( or in the photo below , it's the other way around ) , place in the baking sheet and cover with tea towel . Continue with the rest of the dough . Let stand for 20 minutes until fluffy . 

* Bring 10 cups of water with baking soda and sugar into a boil in a wok or any straight-sided pan large enough to hold the water . One by one , place pretzels in the boiling water for 30 seconds . Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula , shake excess water and return them to the sheet pans , brush top with glaze and sprinkle some cheese on top . 

* Bake pretzels until dark golden brown in color , 12 to 14 minutes . Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving .  

For the water bath 

10 cup water 
2/3 cup baking soda
2 tablespoon light brown sugar

For the glaze : Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens 

3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted with 1 tablespoon canola oil , let cool 
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese 
1 teaspoon grated garlic 
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 

* In a small bowl , combine everything together and set aside . 

For filling and topping : 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Your bakes are always so perfect!

  2. Hi Anne,

    Now, you can officially Aunt Anne (without i before your e) because you can bake very good pretzels!!!


  3. I'm always looking for a good pretzel recipe..add the cheese, and I'm sooo there! Thanks ..

  4. Good day Anne ! Your pretzels look wonderful. Wish I can have some for breakfast. Yummm... Hope you're going to have a fabulous day.
    Blessings, Kristy

  5. Hi Anne,
    These soft pretzel looks awesome and the legs look kinda cute :p
    Can we exchange? Mine tuna buns with your soft yummy pretzel :)

  6. I am a huge fan of soft pretzels. These look perfect, Anne.

  7. I just wanna grab one of your pretzels over! Looks so inviting! With cheese, oh yes!

  8. I love pretzels too. Always buy at least 2 when I passed by the store.

  9. Hi Anne,
    I was a huge fan of Auntie Annes until an Amish pretzel stand opened up down the block. Oh my goodness, Anne was I in trouble!!!

    Alton' recipe is surly the way to go. I know boiling bagels before baking makes them oh so good. I'm sure it is the same with pretzels. I'm pretty sure the Amish stand boils them too but I will have to make note next time:)

    Your pretzels look awesome, Anne...I wonder if you could freeze the dough before boiling them? I'd be afraid to eat them all at once, lol...

    Thanks for sharing, Anne...

  10. Those pretzels look so yummy! Parmesan is a terrific topping.

  11. Oh my gosh, the look and the texture of these pretzels is so tempting! I wish, Anee if I could take a bite.

  12. i didnt know making pretzels are similar to making bagels! they look beautiful!


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