A soft, doughy pretzel--twisted and salted--is the ultimate stadium food. But you don't need to be a season-ticket holder to get your hands on a great, hot, crusty one--you can make them at home. Malt syrup, which is made from corn and barley, is available at natural-foods stores. Serve warm soft pretzels in the traditional fashion with a crock of tangy mustard.

Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 1999


Recipe Summary

2 hrs 30 mins

Nutrition Profile:



Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • To make dough: Combine 1/4 cup water, malt syrup (or corn syrup) and 3/4 teaspoon sugar in a large bowl. Sprinkle in yeast and stir until dissolved. Whisk 7 1/2 cups flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in another bowl.

  • Add the remaining 2 cups water, buttermilk and oil to yeast mixture. Gradually add flour mixture, stirring until a soft dough forms.

  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, mix and knead the dough in a stand-up mixer fitted with a dough hook.)

  • Lightly oil a large bowl. Place the dough in bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place until just puffy but not doubled in bulk, 45 to 60 minutes.

  • Dust 2 baking sheets with flour.

  • Punch down the dough. Turn out onto work surface and knead several times. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Keeping remaining pieces covered, roll one piece into a 36-inch rope, lightly flouring work surface if necessary. Shape dough into a pretzel. Repeat with remaining pieces. Place pretzels 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Let pretzels rise, uncovered, at room temperature until slightly puffy, 20 to 30 minutes. Refrigerate, uncovered, until dough feels leathery, 10 to 15 minutes.

  • To make browning solution & bake pretzels: Place rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 450 degrees F. Coat 2 wire racks with cooking spray.

  • Combine water and 2 cups sugar in a large bowl, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Stir in baking soda.

  • Dip pretzels one at a time into browning solution and place 2 inches apart on prepared racks. Sprinkle evenly with salt. Make a 2- to 3-inch horizontal slash across the bottom of each pretzel with a sharp paring knife.

  • Place wire racks directly into oven. Bake the pretzels until browned, 15 to 20 minutes, switching position of racks halfway through baking time. Cool on the racks.


Make Ahead Tip: The pretzels are best served the day they are baked but will keep, well wrapped, in the freezer for up to 1 month. Reheat frozen pretzels on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Storage smarts: For long-term freezer storage, wrap your food in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil. The plastic will help prevent freezer burn while the foil will help keep off-odors from seeping into the food.

Nutrition Facts

345 calories; protein 8.6g; carbohydrates 72g; dietary fiber 2.3g; sugars 12.3g; fat 2g; saturated fat 0.3g; cholesterol 0.3mg; vitamin a iu 4.8IU; vitamin c 0.1mg; folate 241.8mcg; calcium 21.7mg; iron 3.7mg; magnesium 19.1mg; potassium 101.9mg; sodium 668.4mg; thiamin 0.7mg.

4 starch, 1/2 other carbohydrate