Instructions

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, xanthan gum, and baking powder. Add the water, egg, and butter and stir until a firm dough forms, about 4 minutes in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. If the dough seems dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons water.

  2. Knead the dough until smooth, then transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise until almost doubled, 45 to 90 minutes.

  3. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line them with parchment. Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot.

  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently deflate it, and divide it into 12 equal pieces.

  5. Cover the pieces and, one at a time, roll them into 12" to 14" ropes. Shape the ropes into pretzels and place them on the prepared pans.

  6. Add the baking soda and sugar to the boiling water and wait for the foam to subside.

  7. Drop the pretzels one at a time into the water, and boil them for about 5 seconds; they should initially sink, then float to the surface in that time.

  8. Return the pretzels to the pans and sprinkle them with the coarse salt of your choice, if desired.

  9. Bake the pretzels until golden brown and finished to your liking, about 18 to 20 minutes for soft pretzels, 25 minutes for chewier pretzels, and 35 minutes for hard pretzels.

  10. Allow the pretzels to cool on the pans for 10 minutes before serving.

Tips from our Bakers

  • For extra-soft pretzels, brush warm pretzels with melted butter and serve immediately.
  • For cinnamon-sugar pretzels, omit the salt topping. Brush the pretzels with melted butter and shake in cinnamon-sugar after they finish baking.
  • When baking two pans of pretzels at once, it's a good idea to adjust your oven racks to the middle/upper and lower positions of your oven; rotate the pans halfway through the baking time.
  • For pretzel shaping techniques, see our blog post, Hot buttered soft pretzels: Twisted bliss. It's important that you use just a dusting of flour on your work surface. If there's too much flour it will be hard to roll out the dough, and the dough won't stick to itself when you form the pretzel.