New York style soft pretzels

New York style soft pretzels

The other Saturday i woke up. Well, i say “woke up” – in reality I was barely conscious and still a bit drunk from the night before. I felt like death.

After a few more hours of remaining in the horizontal position, I dragged my tragic ass out of bed, put in my contacts and on some pants and took off to get some food to soak up the previous night’s bad life decisions. (Oh so many bad life decisions.) Now most people seek Maccas in their times of need. Not me – I seek salty and carby goodness in the form of fresh, chewy pretzels. Sitting on the bonnet of my car, in the sunshine with the remnants of last night’s makeup still on my face, munching down on the biggest, saltiest pretzel I can find, can definitely soak up the sins of the night before and wipe my slate clean in time for the afternoon.

Making pretzels is so easy. Ok, probably not the easiest when you are finding standing up straight a challenge, but on a normal day-to-day basis, they are a cinch. All you need is simple bread dough ingredients – nothing flash, basically just flour. I recommend you cheat the rising process and warm your oven up to 100 degrees then turn it off, leaving your dough to rise in the residual warm air. Nothing much will happen if you leave your dough to rise on your icy flat kitchen bench.


Makes 8 pretzels
  • 3 cups plain flour

  • 2 packets of instant yeast

  • 2 teaspoons white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup warm water

  • 35g softened butter

  • 2 tablespoons baking soda

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • a medium sized saucepan with 15cm worth of boiling water in the base

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • rock salt


  1. Mix together the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Rub the butter into the dry mix with your fingertips. Pour in the warm water and mix together until it forms dough. Knead on a floured bench for 15 minutes until the dough becomes smooth. Place the dough in a large bowl covered in glad wrap and leave to rise for one to two hours in a warm place until it has doubled in size.

  2. Roll the dough into a sausage and slice into eight pieces. Roll each piece into a long sausage about 30cm long. Bring the ends together, twist around each other twice then flip the ends back onto the main loop of the pretzel and secure by pinching the ends with the loop.

  3. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees. Dissolve the sugar and baking soda in the boiling water.

  4. Boil each pretzel for a minute then leave to drain on a wire rack while you boil the others

  5. Once the pretzels are reasonably dry, brush over lightly with the beaten egg and sprinkle with rock salt. Bake for 15 minutes until a golden brown. Enjoy!
This article first appeared in Issue 18, 2014.
Posted 9:43pm Sunday 3rd August 2014 by Sophie Edmonds.