Vegan Soft Baked Pretzels

soft baked pretzels (vegan) / loveandlemons.com

Jack here with my second recipe on the Love and Lemons blog. This is one near and dear to my heart – big, doughy, german-style pretzels!

Now, while Germans tend to dip their Laugenbrezel in butter, that’s not how I do it. I dip them in spicy brown mustard. And when we started working with Sir Kensington’s, the first thing I said when I opened up the sample package of Ketchup and Mayonnaise was “Where is the mustard?” Sir Kensington himself has heard my call, and here is the mustard. And its best friend – pretzels.

soft baked pretzels (vegan) / loveandlemons.com vegan soft baked pretzels & spicy mustard / loveandlemons.com

The traditional recipe for Laugenbrezel is nothing short of terrifying. Why? Because they make the dough, twirl it up and dip it in lye. As in, the stuff that soap used to be made of. As in, the stuff you wear rubber gloves and eyewear to handle. We will not be doing that. But one thing we will be doing – and what does NOT terrify me – is making dough.

Dough has become one of my favorite things to work with. Many of you may not know this, but I’m a software engineer by trade, and I like things to be… measured. When I’m cooking with Jeanine, it’s always “a pinch of this, a splash of that.” Also, Jeanine has a fairly well documented problem with waiting in lines. Well, working with dough is full of exact measurements, and waiting for it to rise may as well be waiting in line to her. So I’ve found my “thing” for the blog now, and my thing is dough.

These pretzels are wonderful and simple, because you’re essentially making fairly standard dough, using baking soda and boiling water to smooth out the outside, then baking it. That’s really about it. The hardest part, probably, is twirling the pretzel. My main modifications from Laugenbrezel are to use maple syrup instead of barley malt syrup, oil instead of butter, and baking soda instead of severe burns and lawsuits (lye).

Sir Kensington's Mustard / loveandlemons.com

And of course, serve these wonderful vegan pretzels with your favorite spicy brown mustard. Might we suggest Sir Kensington’s?

vegan soft baked pretzels
 
Serves: makes 4-6 pretzels
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ package (1/2 tablespoon) active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup water (1/4 cup for proofing, ½ cup for dough)
  • 2 tbsp oil (olive, canola, whatever)
  • 2 cups all-purpose white flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp baking soda
  • 6 cups water, in a pot (for boiling)
  • Course salt (for sprinkling)
Instructions
  1. Proof the yeast: Put ¼ cup warm water, maple syrup, and yeast into a small cup and stir until yeast dissolves. If yeast does not foam, try again with another yeast packet.
  2. Make the dough: If you have a mixer with a dough hook, put the flour, salt, oil, proofed yeast mixture, and an additional ½ cup of water (for a total of ¾ cups water) into the mixer. Run on medium low for about 5-6 minutes (until the dough pulls away from the bowl). If you don’t have a dough hook, mix and knead dough ingredients for about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Brush the inside of a large glass bowl with a little bit of oil. Form the dough into a ball and put it in the bowl. Cover and allow the dough to rise for about 40 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.
  4. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
  5. Uncover your dough and punch it down few times. Really let it have it.
  6. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper on it. Set aside.
  7. Prepare an oiled work surface. Cut the dough into 4 or 6 equal sections (depending on the size you want your pretzels), and roll each out to an approx. 18-24 inches long rope.
  8. Grab the ends of each dough rope to make a U shape, then form into a pretzel shape.
  9. Put 6 cups of water into a pot and dissolve the 2 tablespoons of baking soda into the water and bring to a rolling boil.
  10. Drop pretzels, one at a time, into the pot (get close so it doesn’t splash!). Each should sink a little then rise up. Wait 30 seconds, then lift out using a slotted spoon and place each onto the cookie sheet. While still wet, sprinkle liberally with coarse salt. Take a sharp knife and cut a 4-6 inch slit along the bottom of the pretzel. (This slit will open up during baking).
  11. Bake for about 14 minutes. Watch them like a hawk – when they’re golden brown, they’re done.

This recipe is built up of some research of multiple recipes, but is mostly based on this recipe from Saveur.

This post is sponsored by Sir Kensington’s. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep us cooking!


If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.

99 comments

  1. molly yeh from mynameisyeh.com on said:

    yummy in my tummy!!!! these look so nice and doughy!!! yay for jack the resident dough expert!!!

  2. Kelly Palmer from threvegantaff.blogspot.com on said:

    These look incredible. It’s been years since I’ve had a soft pretzel, but this looks pretty straightforward so I might just give it a go.

  3. Matt Robinson from realfoodbydad.com on said:

    You nailed it with these, Jack. They look amazing! My boys would devour these in no time.

  4. Yum! my tummy is rumbling at just the thought that these could be on my kitchen counter. Jack you are dough making genius.

  5. These look literally amazing! There is no way I could shape them this well!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      oh please, I’m sure you can shape them much better (his are a mess!). Luckily, they’re forgiving – once you bake them they take shape just fine 🙂

  6. These look like so much fun to make. It’s probably just too early in the morning for me, but I’m not sure I understand where you’re cutting the 4-6 inch slit. Along the bottom half of the pretzel’s top?

  7. Sara from itsmylittlethings.blogspot.com on said:

    *droooooling all over the laptop* *heavy breathing* haha WOW these look absolutely divine !! They are perfect, no eggs, no cream, just everything that i love and that tastes good.
    Definitely bookmarked for any future gatherings !
    Thank you a thousand times for this recipe.

    http://www.itsmylittlethings.blogspot.com

  8. Leah from georgiapeachonmymind.com on said:

    Pretzels are one of my favorites – these look great!!! We used to stop by Auntie Anne’s every time we went to the mall when I was little. I’m sure these are just a slight bit healthier 🙂

  9. I am terrified of the lye situation, so I’m glad these look amazing and DON’T use that crazy stuff!

  10. Aly from gmail.com on said:

    These turned out perfectly! I live at 10,200 feet and was worried how they would turn out but to my surprise after not changing a thing in the recipe they turned out. I love your recipes, it’s evident you’ve tried all your recipes and perfected them before posting. I appreciate that. There are so many blogs out there who you wonder if they’ve even tried the recipe they’ve posted. Anyway, thank you!

    • Jack from loveandlemons.com on said:

      That’s wonderful to hear! And yes, I decided to try the recipe a couple of times before I got it right 🙂

  11. abigail from binksandthebadhousewife.com on said:

    these look amazing!

    how long do you think they last ?

    • Jack from loveandlemons.com on said:

      About an hour before I ate all of them 🙂

      Jeanine had some that lasted a couple days – she just reheated them in the oven, but they’re best eaten immediately out of the oven.

  12. Amy from tastesavorshare.com on said:

    Oh I love Sir Kensington’s! You always have beautiful photos… will have to try this out!

  13. Rachel from goforthandeat.com on said:

    These look perfect! I’ve been searching for a recipe that didn’t use barley malt syrup. Can’t wait to try these!

  14. Pang from circahappy.com on said:

    I vaguely remember that Jack’s 1st post is banana dip in chocolate (or something like that), right? I remember telling myself, if my hubby could see that post, maybe (just maybe), he would have wanted to “contribute” to my blog as well. No luck just yet. 🙂

    I do love the recipe, and how you give us a lovely alternative. These are so mouthwatering 🙂

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  16. I haven’t had a soft pretzel since I became vegan a couple of months ago. I’m going through withdrawal. 😉 These look delicious!

  17. These are too cute to start with, but more importantly they look like something I can make—–and I never thought in a million years I could make soft pretzels. Yahoo!

  18. cher on said:

    Hi there,

    Do you think I can make these with oat flour (grinded from rolled oats) instead of all purpose plain flour?

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Hi Cher,

      It wouldn’t be the same – so I’m not sure, it would definitely take some experimenting.

  19. Pretzels are literally the key to my heart. Although the ones I’ve had were from the concession stand at football/basketball games and had that preservative laden “cheese” 🙂 I must add that as Jack has posted his second recipe you’ve got to change the “about” page that says he’s only written one post. 🙂

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      ha! good catch, will do 🙂

  20. Ashley from edibleperspective.com on said:

    Well you do dough well! These are the cutest, chubbiest, fluffiest pretzels I have ever seen. I can’t imagine how soft and chewy they are on the inside!

  21. anna on said:

    Ahh…usually I love your blog, but since I’m German I’m a bit shocked about the mustard 🙂
    Quick tip, you can use baking soda (1 cup hot water mixed with 2 tbsp. baking soda, spread a bit of it on every pretzel) instead of lye. It’s not absolutely the same, but not as dangerous 🙂

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  23. Stephanie on said:

    I just made these and I have to say I love the recipe. They are very easy and the dough texture is amazing! I look forward to more.

    • Jack from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Fantastic! Keep letting us know when our stuff comes out well 🙂

  24. Alison on said:

    The recipe is absolutely perfect! I’ve tried pretzels a couple times and they’ve never come out as well as these, thanks so much!!!

    • Jack from loveandlemons.com on said:

      I’m so happy they worked out for you!

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  26. rebecca from dancingthroughsunday.typepad.com on said:

    Literally drooling! these look delicious, and vegan too. Plus I am a mustrad freak, I could eat that mustard by the spoonful..

  27. christine on said:

    hi. can i substitute the all purpose flour with a gluten free one? thanks (:

    • Jack from loveandlemons.com on said:

      I’m not sure if you can or can’t. The texture of a soft pretzel depends fairly heavily on the glutenous nature of flour, and some gluten free flours are better at approximating this than others.

      Let me know if you’re able to get any to work and which ones do, but I’m afraid we can’t give you any real tips one way or the other on this.

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  34. Mo on said:

    Made these last night. I am a HUGE mustard fan, so any excuse to eat it and I’m game! The recipe was easy to follow and although my pretzels turned out a little funkier than yours, they were delicious!

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  38. Ines on said:

    Hi, I made these this morning and everything worked so well! 😀 Usually it doesn’t, but your recipe really is great! I used whole wheat and even that worked and well, just: Thank you so much for posting this 😀

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Hi Ines, so glad you liked them! Thanks for the tip about whole wheat flour!

  39. Justine on said:

    These are out of this world I just want to eat the whole tray. I had every intention of smearing on some nice wholegrain mustard, but dear god straight out of the oven these were so beautiful plain. Also super easy. WIll definitely be making again, am thinking of doubling the next batch and doing half salty half sweet with cinnamon and a bit of sugar.

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      so glad you liked them! mmm… cinnamon sugar would be so delicious 🙂

  40. Anna H on said:

    I love you for this recipe.
    I’ve been looking for something like this for my daughters packed lunch. And now I’ve found it.
    They are perfect. So easy and so tastefull.
    Thank you!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      so glad you liked them!

  41. Selina on said:

    Hi, these look great! Do you think I could substitute the maple syrup for honey?

    • Jack from loveandlemons.com on said:

      I don’t really see a problem with that. As long as you have a mostly-sugar syrup it should be ok. Most traditional recipes call for barley malt syrup, I just know that most people don’t have that.

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  44. Afrolems from afrolems.com on said:

    Oh i will definitely be trying this. I have been looking for good pretzel recipes and this looks like this is my stop 🙂

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  50. Hilary on said:

    These are amazing! I made them yesterday and they are so so good! I was super surprised that they worked for me but they were super easy! Thanks so much they are delicious!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Yay, I’m so glad you liked them!

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  52. Stefanie from freewildsoul.com on said:

    Wow! Thank’s for sharing this recipe! I’m excited to see how they taste different from the German Prezels!
    Many greetings from the home of pretzels (or “Brezn” as we call them)
    Munich, Bavaria, Germany

  53. Florin on said:

    2 table spoons baking soda? Is that an error? Sounds like a lot for this little dough…Anyway, I’m trying it now with 2 tea spoons baking soda and I’ll let you know how they turn out…great receipe and pictures! Thanks for posting!

    • Jack from loveandlemons.com on said:

      The baking soda does not go into the batter for the dough, it goes into the water as a substitute for lye.

      So if you’re putting any baking soda into the dough, you’re putting in too much 🙂

      • Florin on said:

        Yeah, I just figured it out 😉 Oh, well, I have to read all the instructions next time. I’m making bagels weekly, and the recipe is similar (I use 1 tbsp organic barley malt syrup for those instead of the maple syrup). And that’s why I looked at the ingredient list and just speed read the rest. My fault, sorry for the confusion!

    • Florin on said:

      Nevermind, the baking soda goes into the boiling water 🙂

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    Amazing recipe, amazing typography, amazing design. Really really love your site.

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  56. Kelly C on said:

    These look amazing! I found this recipe amid a search for vegan pretzel rolls to use for BBQ jackfruit sandwiches. If I wanted to make them into rolls/buns, do you think I could just shape the dough into balls instead of pretzels without disturbing the texture and density?

  57. Kelly C on said:

    These look amazing! I found this recipe amid a search for vegan pretzel rolls to use for BBQ jackfruit sandwiches. If I wanted to make them into rolls/buns, do you think I could just shape the dough into balls instead of pretzels without disturbing the texture and density?

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  59. Mary on said:

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I’m having a vegan Oktoberfest party at my home and want to make these. I was wondering how they freeze? It would take some stress out of the party if I could start making these well in advance. If so, can you recommend the best way to store in the freezer and thaw? Thanks so much!! Yay!!

    • Jack from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Hmm, I honestly can’t say we’ve ever tried. I pretty much eat all of them instantly. 🙂

      Since they have a nice pretzel shell, I would think that just making sure that they don’t get moist in the freezer and reheating in a low-heat oven would do the trick? Let me know how it works out.

  60. Erin on said:

    These are making me fat but very happy. Thanks, simple recipe with ridiculously delicious results.

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  68. Melissa on said:

    Made these for my son’s kindergarten class for St Patricks Day… Doubled the recipe, dyed them green and twisted them into a small shamrock-ish shape. The class LOVED them. Making them again today for us to hoard and enjoy! Thanks for the great recipe!

  69. Ella on said:

    These look amazing! Do you think I could sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on them instead of salt?

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  71. Gratia on said:

    Hi Love and lemons, I made this recipe today and I’ve been wondering why my dough didn’t rise as much as when I make loaf bread recipe. I proofed my yeast correctly and I used luke warm water to be mixed with the flour, I didn’t even use metal utensil and I added salt into the flour before combine with the yeast mixture. I made my dough twice because I was so curious then I got the same result. They also have an odd bitter taste after I baked them. I am clueless now, any suggestion? Thank you

  72. Clorinda on said:

    Hi,

    Can I use this recipe to make pretzel rolls?

    Thank you,
    Clorinda

  73. Bismeen Jameer on said:

    hello nice food…we have a catering company in india kerala we are providing good quality foods..

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