Homemade Hard Pretzels

Total Time:
3 hr 25 min
Prep:
1 hr
Inactive:
1 hr 20 min
Cook:
1 hr 5 min

Yield:
36 pretzel sticks
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
  • 1 large whole egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Vegetable oil, for pan
  • Water
  • Pretzel salt
Directions

Combine the warm water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line 4 half sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.

Place enough water into a large roasting pan to come 1/3 of the way up the sides of the pan and bring to a boil over high heat.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 1-ounce portions, approximately 36 pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 14 to15-inch long stick and place on the sheet pans, 1/4-inch apart. Cover the dough not being used with a slightly damp towel to help prevent drying out.

Gently place 6 to 8 pretzels at a time into the water for 30 seconds. Remove the pretzels back to the sheet pan, brush with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until golden brown in color and hard, approximately 55 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 20 minutes before serving. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


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    mine came out soft...
    Very unhappy with this recipe and direction. They were not easy to make and they didn't taste good at all. Very unhappy with the time me and my daughter put into making these thing
    I changed this a little and came out ok.. I did not add salt to yeast mixture I waited until flour. In pan of water I added teaspoon of baking soda. I did not let the dough rise and I think can out better then the original recipe I tried first.
    I didn't like them, either. I agree they tasted like hard bread.
    I can't believe all these rave reviews! Makes me think I did something wrong. The recipe was easy and fun to make, but after all the effort and time, I was sorely disappointed. They just tasted like hard bread. I prefer Newman's pretzels - at least they taste like something.
    This recipe is terrific! Not too hard if you have the time to think about making them. I used whole wheat flour and they came out tasting great. I also used Kosher coarse salt for the pretzel salt and skipped the parchment paper. My pretzels didn't come out as pretty as those in the picture--but came out pretty close to pretty! I made small bite size ones, long skinny ones and well--all different sizes. My kids can't get enough of them!
    My pretzels didn't look like the photo, I made them much smaller. We got a huge bag from this recipe that will last us 2 weeks! (Even though the recipe says good for 1, we'll see...)
     

     
    I used regular salt and had the other ingredients in my kitchen, minus the parchment paper. I also used egg substitute and that worked fine. I am going to make these instead of buying pretzels from now on. I like that I know what is going into them. Plus, the taste is really quite good. Much better than store-bought. Really nice!
    These are the best pretzels we've ever had - "the best in the world" says our 6 year old daughter! "We love Alton Brown" chant our kids! We made these pretzels with the kids and they loved cooking them and eating them (with mustard) and hot dogs, sauerkraut and beans for a Bavarian treat dinner! We used course sea salt to sprinkle on top because we couldn't find pretzel salt and it worked just great. We love you Alton Brown!!!!
    great recipe
    I have made AB's "soft" pretzels several times and they are just wonderful - always gone in a few minutes! So I thought I would try the "hard" version, as well. They are very good, too! As with the soft version, they are very easy to make. I would definitely make these again, but we are all really hooked on the soft ones!
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