Cut Out + Keep

Large Soft Pretzels

Great British Bake Off: Learn to Bake • Posted by Ebury Publishing

These soft and chewy pretzels are delicious with dips and spreads or just on their own. Once the basic dough is shaped, you can add your choice of topping.

You will need

Project Budget


1 h 00


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These soft and chewy pretzels are delicious with dips and spreads or just on their own. Once the basic dough is shaped, you can add your choice of topping.


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    Put the flour, sugar, yeast and salt into the mixing bowl. Mix well with your hands, then pour in the lukewarm milk. Use your hands to gently press and squeeze everything together until thoroughly combined to make a very smooth, soft dough.

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    If there are any dry crumbs in the bottom of the bowl and the dough feels hard and dry, mix in a little more warm milk (or water) a tablespoon at a time; if the dough feels very sticky and clings to the sides of the bowl mix in more flour a tablespoon at a time.

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    Lightly sprinkle the worktop with flour, then turn out the dough onto it. Knead the dough thoroughly, by repeatedly pushing and stretching it, then folding it over, for 5 minutes until it feels very soft, elastic and smooth.

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    Put the dough back into the bowl and cover it with clingfilm. Leave at room temperature for 30 minutes so the dough can rest and rise.

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    Turn out the dough onto the worktop again (don’t sprinkle with flour this time). Divide into 8 equal pieces. Shape each into a ball – they don’t have to be neat – then leave on the worktop, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

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    With your hands, roll each ball of dough on the worktop to make a thin sausage about 46cm long. If the dough starts to stick, add a little flour to your hands.

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    To shape each sausage into a pretzel, first bend it into a U. Lift one end and set it on top of the base of the U on the opposite side. Repeat with the other end – the bent ‘legs’ of the U will now cross in the middle of the shape.

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    Carefully lift the pretzels onto the lined baking sheets, making sure to set them well apart to allow for expansion. Leave uncovered at room temperature for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/ gas 7. Add 1 tablespoon cold water to the egg and beat with the fork for a couple of seconds. Carefully brush this mixture over each pretzel in a thin even layer.

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    Sprinkle the pretzels with your chosen topping, or leave them plain, then place in the heated oven and bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown.

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    While the pretzels are baking, gently melt the butter in the microwave-proof dish in the microwave for about 10 seconds, or in the washed saucepan on top of the stove. Wash the pastry brush and dry on a teatowel. Wearing oven gloves, remove the baking sheets from the oven and set on a heatproof surface. Brush each pretzel with melted butter, which will give them a soft, glossy crust. Leave to cool on the sheets until just warm before eating. Best eaten the same day.