Sweet Pretzels

Sweet Pretzels

Sweet Pretzels

The weekend was quickly approaching, and I was already thinking of what to make for breakfast.  Weekend breakfast for me has become the new Sunday night dinner. At the very least, I like to experiment with different breads and pastries. Ok, so I was really cleaning out my epicurious online recipe box (I’ve saved 300+ recipes), saw the pic of sweet pretzels, and remembered that I wanted to make them.

So, it may be a little challenging to build a breakfast around sweet pretzels when you just ran out of eggs and bacon, and the sausage is long gone.  Though this was going to be a simple little nosh of sweet pretzels with coffee and tea.  To make it a little fancy, I decided to add a little blueberry compote, which I made with the last of the frozen blueberries from the freezer.

The dough is basically all-purpose master sweet dough from bon appetit.  I’m pretty sure I’ve used it before when making cinnamon rolls, but I can’t remember. The recipe called for pearl sugar, which I had, but it was the larger pearls that I typically use when making liege waffles. I simply crushed them with the back of a knife, and put it through a fine strainer until I was left with smaller pearls.  For the remaining fine sugar, I just added it to my coffee!

Back to the sweet pretzels.  They were super yum!  They were light and sweet, and tasted great with the blueberry compote. My son was very skeptical as he’s not a fan of blueberries, but was quickly won over. The only problem I had with the sweet pretzels was the color.  It seems that my oven was running warm, and needed to be recalibrated. I quickly remedied that, and now I’m ready to make another batch.

sweet pretzels

  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 5 tablespoons sugar (divided)
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (from one 1/4-ounce envelope)
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature, plus 1/2 tablespoon, melted
  • 1 large egg white
  • 6 tablespoons pearl sugar

make the dough:

  1. Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat or in a microwave until an instant-read thermometer registers 110°–115°F. Transfer milk to a 2-cup measuring cup; stir in 1 Tbsp. sugar. Sprinkle yeast over milk and whisk to blend. Let sit until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs; whisk until smooth.

    Combine remaining 4 Tbsp. sugar, flour, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. (If making Vanilla Cloverleaf Sweet Rolls, scrape in seeds from vanilla bean. If making Apricot-Anise Tarts, add aniseed.) Add milk mixture. With mixer running, add 1/2 cup room-temperature butter, 1 piece at a time, blending well between additions. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Knead on medium-high speed until dough is soft and silky, about 5 minutes.

    Brush a medium bowl with some melted butter; place dough in bowl. Brush top of dough with remaining melted butter; cover with plastic wrap. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic; chill.

    Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, 1–1 1/2 hours (or 2–2 1/2 hours if dough has been refrigerated).

shape and bake the pretzels:

  1. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment. Punch down dough; divide into 12 equal pieces.

    Working with 1 piece at a time and keeping remaining dough covered with a kitchen towel, roll dough on a lightly floured surface into a 17-inch- long rope. Form rope into a U shape. Lift top of left end; fold over or under opposite side; press together gently about two-thirds down from the top of right side. Lift right end up, fold over, and press in or tuck under, forming a pretzel shape. Repeat with remaining dough. Divide pretzels between sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Loosely cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free area until slightly puffed but not doubled in size, 30–45 minutes.

    Meanwhile, arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 375°. Beat egg white and 2 tsp. warm water in a small bowl. Brush each pretzel all over with egg wash, then sprinkle each with 1/2 Tbsp. pearl sugar.

    Bake for 10 minutes; rotate baking sheets and continue baking until pretzels are golden, 6–8 minutes longer. Let pretzels cool on a wire rack.

    Serve warm or at room temperature.

16 Comments Add yours

  1. Yay! I hope you enjoy it! This was my first sweet pretzel and I loved it! I think it would be good even adding cinnamon….

  2. They will absolutely love it! Who doesn’t like playing with food? 🙂

  3. I’ve never tried it with almond milk, but I think it should be ok. As far as the type of dip, I would use what makes me smile. For me it was nutella while my son like blueberry compote.

  4. I usually like savory ones too with salt and either mustard or cheese, but these were good too! Especially dipped in nutella 🙂

  5. I’ve never tried making pretzels- this would be fun to do with the kids!

  6. Lisa Favre says:

    I’ve been all about pretzels lately but I have never attempted to make them at home. I definitely prefer sweet ones over extremely salty ones. I have never used pearl sugar before but I would definitely like to give it a go so your recipe would be the perfect excuse for it.

  7. rochkirstin says:

    It’s only during weekends when I have the time to try baking. This sweet pretzels recipe looks quick to do and the good news is that I already have all the ingredients in my pantry. 🙂 I hope the result would be the same, too. Can I use almond milk though? What dip do you recommend?

  8. toastycritic says:

    My daughter and I love pretzels, especially the dough filled kind that are just so delicious. These pretzels do look wonderful although I have been mostly used to doing the savory and not the sweet ones. I can imagine doing the sweet ones for breakfast.

  9. alisonrost says:

    My husband and I went to the state fair today and had the most amazing pretzels! I told him on the way home that it would be a lot of fun to try to recreate them, and now I’ve run into to your post. I’m going to give them a try this weekend and surprise him! x

  10. This looks really good! I know my family will love this!!

  11. Sandy N Vyjay says:

    I would love sweet pretzels which have the flavour of blueberries. I am surprised your son was sceptical of the same. Yes every tongue is different and everyone have a different taste. The recipe looks pretty doable for me though I do not pride myself to be a great baker. Hence looking forward to my experiments with pretzels over the weekend.

  12. Karlyn Cruz says:

    I think you’re a true chef when you can make something great out of whatever is just left in your cupboard! This is fantastic! I really thought pretzels were much more challenging but you actually make it sound quite easy to make!

  13. Oh my I could go for these right about now. They look and sound so amazing. I have loved every variety of pretzel my entire life so this would be perfect for me. I don’t think I have ever tried a sweet one before but I know that I would especially since it sounds really good and looks amazing. I have to try these out now I am craving it!

  14. My son loves pretzels. He actually calls them PREN-zels. So funny!! I will have to try this recipe. I bet he would lvoe to find these in his lunch box.

  15. My kids love pretzels. I am sure they would love to make them their-selves to learn how it is actually done. These looks amazing and I can almost smell them already. I was unaware that sweet pretzels even existed!

  16. Jelli says:

    I’ve been wanting to try my hand at pretzel making for years! I’d never thought to make sweet pretzels rather than salty soft pretzels, but these sound divine. Doesn’t hurt that you made blueberry compote since my fave food in the entire universe is the ….BLUEBERRY! Can’t wait to try these for myself. Thanks for the inspiration.

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