Vegan Soft Baked Pretzels

Vegan Soft Baked Pretzels are a fun homemade appetizer or game day snack! Made with under 10 ingredients, they're cute & delicious dipped in mustard.

Vegan Soft Baked Pretzels

Jack here with my second recipe on the Love and Lemons blog. This recipe 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.

Vegan Soft Baked Pretzels on a baking sheet Vegan Soft Baked Pretzels and spicy brown mustard

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

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

4.9 from 44 reviews

Vegan Soft Baked Pretzels

 
Author:
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 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda (this is for the boiling water NOT the dough)
  • 6 cups water, in a pot (for boiling)
  • Coarse 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!

160 comments

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  1. Yank in Spain
    06.11.2021

    Just made these, they are fabulous! I doubled the recipe and did six big ones and 12 smaller ones. I actually prefer the bigger ones but the smaller ones are good too. I used a 7 g packet of yeast because I didn’t want to open up a second package so it was a pretty shy tablespoon but it worked out fine. Always thought it would be a bit daunting to do pretzels or bagels but the recipe was easy and they turned out great! Thanks so much for posting x

  2. Merideth Rose
    05.12.2021

    Forgot to rate. 5 stars!

  3. Merideth Rose
    05.12.2021

    Wow! My teenage son and I made these today and 4 (1 for each member of my family) was not enough! Delicious! Easy to make. Fun. We wanted to know the logic/science behind the baking soda and boiling water. What does that do to the dough?

  4. Maria
    05.04.2021

    Could I use whole white wheat instead?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.04.2021

      Hi Maria, probably but mixture might need more water if the dough is really dry after you’ve mixed it for a little bit.

  5. Emma from littlehouselovely.co.uk
    04.16.2021

    Thank you, absolutely perfect recipe – made 4 large salty pretzels and then came back and made another batch – this time I added cinnamon and vanilla to the dough and cut into 16 pretzel sticks instead and then dipped in caster sugar for a super sweet pudding.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.16.2021

      I’m glad you loved them!

  6. Maria
    04.07.2021

    Can I use whole wheat flour or oat flour?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.08.2021

      Hi Maria, I haven’t whole wheat flour for this recipe – it’s possible that partial whole wheat flour could work but the liquid ratio might have to change. I don’t think oat flour would work here, but check out this post with lots of oat flour ideas: https://www.loveandlemons.com/oat-flour/

  7. Rowan Skinner
    04.02.2021

    Very excited to make these!

    Am I able to swap out the AP flour for whole wheat?

    Thanks !

  8. Jamie Jones
    03.26.2021

    Just made these and they were DELICIOUS!!!!!
    I 100% recommend this recipe. They are easy to make, vegan and delicious!

  9. Nancy
    03.13.2021

    Hi,

    Mine look beautiful but stuck to the parchment paper. Should I put a little oil on it next time? Thanks

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.14.2021

      Hi Nancy, you could.

  10. Diane
    02.16.2021

    Has anyone tried this with gluten free flour?

  11. Emma
    01.29.2021

    Let them rise for more like ~60 minutes; these are the best soft pretzels I’ve ever made!’

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.30.2021

      yay! I’m so glad you loved them!

  12. Jadzia
    01.26.2021

    I want to make this recipe but do not have maple syrup. Is there anything I can substitute it for?

  13. Eden
    12.30.2020

    This is a great recipe and I wasn’t able to make them into pretzels because I lack of doing that so I made them into pretzel bites and I love love

  14. evilyn
    11.12.2020

    These are AMAZING. First time baking pretzels ever and they’re so fluffy, buttery, and better than any pretzel I’ve ever bought. Plus they’re super easy to make. Thanks for doing the vegan community this great service, I’ll for sure be coming back to this recipe to blow people’s minds at how delicious vegan food is.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.13.2020

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  15. BN
    11.10.2020

    Thank you for the recipe! All the basis I needed as I never cooked pretzels before. I made mine into small lines to avoid the stress of making the classic pretzel shape and used a lot of flour to do so because they were sticky. I also overcooked them to make them that pretzel brown color which is not necessary! Some just ended up tasting over cooked. I did flip them to get the top brown and the salt held on like it was glued so the bath then salt method was super effective. Also, I added vegan butter after they were cooked but overall I just ended up finding that the recipe was spot on without trying to mess with it haha 🙂 Follow the recipe and you’ll be happy.

  16. Nina
    11.08.2020

    already my second time making these they are delicious! just wondering would you happen to know any nutritional information about them? thanks 😉

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.08.2020

      I’m so glad you loved them! Apologies, I don’t calculate nutrition factws.

  17. T
    10.04.2020

    Made these with my kids for a fun weekend project. I’ve never made a yeast dough before so if I could do it anyone can. I didn’t have maple syrup so I swapped in honey, which isn’t vegan but worked well.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.06.2020

      I’m so glad you all loved them!

  18. Sharon
    09.25.2020

    Holy WOW! I just made these and they seriously blew my mind! I always thought you needed butter to get that great flavor in pretzels, but you cannot even tell they are vegan! And they are super fluffy and delicious. I followed someone else’s advice and made one with cinnamon sugar too 😉

    Only thing was the dough came out really wet for me and the dough didn’t really rise so I was nervous how they would turn out, but they still turned out great. I might’ve added a little too much water and not proofed long enough so I’ll have to try making these again. Overall loved them! Can’t wait to make them for Oktoberfest 🙂

  19. Lisa B.
    09.19.2020

    These Pretzels Are Amazing!!!
    This us now a staple in our house.

  20. Nokutenda Sambani
    08.30.2020

    Thank you for this!!! Taste super good!!! Recommend 💓💓💓

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.