Prevent your screen from going dark as you follow along.
  1. Mix the sugar, water and yeast; stir to dissolve. (If you're using instant yeast, skip this step, simply combining all of the ingredients at once.) Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Add the white wheat flour, malt, salt, and enough unbleached flour to make a soft (but not sticky) dough.

  2. Knead well, place in a bowl, and let rise until puffy, about 60 minutes.

  3. Divide the dough into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a log, and shape the logs into pretzels. (See "tips," below.)

  4. Preheat the oven to 450°. Lightly grease a baking sheet; or line the sheet with parchment and grease the parchment.  

  5. In a large pot, boil together 6 cups of water and 2 tablespoons baking soda. Put 4 pretzels at a time into the boiling water, and cook for 1 minute. Transfer boiled pretzels to the prepared baking sheet.

  6. Sprinkle the pretzels with salt, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the pretzels are well-browned.

  7. Store, well-wrapped, for up to 3 days on the counter, and freeze for up to a month.

Tips from our Bakers

  • To shape the pretzels, take each rope and make a U-shaped loop with fairly short ends. Cross the rope near the ends, twist the ends a second time, and fold the twist into the middle of the U. Press the ends of the rope on either side of the bottom center of the loop, creating the classic pretzel shape.
  • Interested in baking these pretzels with lye instead of baking soda? While wearing eye protection and rubber or latex gloves, mix 20g food-grade lye into a non-reactive bowl holding 500g cold water and stir to dissolve. Transfer your shaped pretzel to the bath and let soak for 10 to 15 seconds. Place the pretzel on a stainless steel rack over parchment to catch any excess solution. After a few minutes, transfer the dipped pretzel to a silicone or parchment-lined baking sheet. The dough can then be scored, salted, and baked. To dispose of the diluted lye solution, pour it directly down the drain, then follow with a few seconds of cold water from the sink faucet. For a guide to using lye in your baking, see our blog post, A baker’s tips for safely working with lye.