Once upon a time I worked in the mall (a year ago, actually) and I’m amazed I didn’t gain 200 pounds from mall food. More specifically, the pretzels. Wetzel’s Pretzels was my go-to spot because they were cheap and buttery and they offered a special deal to mall employees, so they were even cheaper. Seriously, those are my favorite pretzels and I strive to be able to make those calorie-filled pretzels one day…but today is not that day. Instead, today I’m sharing how to make NO YEAST soft pretzels.
Ok, I know what you’re thinking. Pretzels without yeast? Are you cray? Does that even work? Well, yes it does, but it won’t be like your average pretzel. The yeast does more than just make the dough rise, and it will make these taste a little more like bread or a dinner roll than you usual mall or fair-style soft pretzel. That doesn’t mean they’re not delicious!
These soft pretzels are very easy to make without yeast (in case you don’t have it in the house or something) and they taste wonderfully satisfying with butter and course salt on top. Trust me, they are really delicious. I ate half the batch by myself! They also reheated surprisingly well the next day, but there’s no doubt fresh-out-of-the-oven is the best you can get. Here’s how to make them…
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 tbs vegetable oil
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbs butter, cut into cubes + more for topping
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 egg
- Course salt (for topping)
First, whisk together the the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a bowl. Cut your cold or slightly softened butter into cubes and add to the dry ingredients, and mix with the whisk until the mixture is crumbly, pressing into the butter. If it’s easier, you can use your hands. Whisk in the milk and oil, stirring until well combined.
Move the dough to a floured surface and divide into two balls. Knead the ball into the flour 10-12 times (it will be sticky at first) until the dough is easier to handle. Then divide into eight balls and individually roll each one into long strings of dough, about 6-8 inches or as long as you can stretch them without breaking. Using the flour and an even surface will make this easier. Then form each into a pretzel and set on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat for each ball until you have eight formed pretzels.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Brush the egg generously onto each pretzel and bake on 425 degrees for 8-12 minutes until you barely begin to see brown. At this point, they will be very light and soft. If you bake them longer, the outside will become crunchier, so it depends how soft you like your soft pretzels.
While they bake, melt about 1-2 tbs of butter in a bowl. When you remove the pretzels from the oven, immediately spread the butter on with a brush and top with course salt for that deliciously buttery and salty flavor. Serve and eat while warm and enjoy!