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“for the bread machine—this is a variation of a recipe I got from my German cousins who I spent many summers with in Germany while I was growing up. I haven’t actually made this recipe myself, but took copious notes while my cousins made them—we, like so many Germans, lived off of these. For an authentic touch, serve them with some brown mustard.”
1hr 16mins
12-18 pretzels

Ingredients Nutrition

  • For the dough
  • 12 cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon malt powder preferably sugar
  • 1 14 teaspoons salt
  • 2 12 teaspoons yeast
  • For the pretzel bath
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • For the topping
  • 1 egg white (beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
  • 2 tablespoons course kosher salt (approximately) or 2 tablespoons sea salt (approximately)


  1. To make the dough, place all the ingredients in the bread pan according to the order in the manufacturer’s instructions. Program for the Dough cycle; press Start.
  2. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. When the machine beeps at the end of the cycle, turn the dough out onto the work surface and divide into 12 equal portions (you can make smaller pretzels, dividing the dough into 18 portions). With your palms, shape each portion into a 20-inch rope. To form a pretzel shape, hold both ends of the rope and bring both ends of the rope and bring both ends around into the center to form a large loop. Twist the ends together once, about 3 inches from the ends. Bring the twisted end up and over the loop and attach it to the bottom center of the loop. You will have a pretzel shape that looks rather like a heart with 3 sections. Carefully transfer the pretzel to the baking sheet. Repeat with all of the dough pieces. Let rest, uncovered, at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large, deep pan, and add the baking soda to the water. (If you want soft, breadlike pretzels, skip the boiling and go directly to Step 5 and bake in the oven. Boiling them makes for a more chewy texture and is the way I’ve seen it done when I stayed in Germany.).
  4. When the 30 minutes are up, with a large spatula, carefully lift a risen pretzel, then lower it into the boiling water. You can boil 2 pretzels at once. Leaving the water at a low rolling boil, boil for 45 seconds to 1 minute, until puffy. Remove with a slotted spoon, hold over the pan to drain, then place back on the baking sheet 2 inches apart. Repeat until all the pretzels have been boiled.
  5. Brush each pretzel with the egg glaze and sprinkle with the salt. Bake one sheet at a time, in the center of the oven, for 16 to 20 minutes, until deep golden brown. Cool the pretzels on a rack. Eat them warm or storm at room temperature for up to 3 days, wrapped in a single layer of foil.

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