Homemade soft pretzels are easier (and quicker) than you think! Give them a fall makeover and top with pumpkin spices and a drizzle of pumpkin praline.
Welcome to Sally’s Pumpkin Addiction. Where pumpkin lovers unite.
I was working on a cookbook recipe last week when this recipe came to mind. Pretzels and pumpkin? Have I gone mad? Trust me. Pumpkin-spiced pretzels, baked to soft perfection, and covered in a brown sugar pumpkin praline glaze. Snack time just got a HUGE pumpkin makeover, people.
Kevin’s family introduced me to a super-speedy and simple soft pretzel recipe and it quickly became my favorite AND your favorite as well. My 30 Minute Soft Pretzels have been one of the most popular posts of all time on my blog. They’re quick, easy, and chewy. A perfectly approachable recipe for beginners, adults, kids, and all soft-pretzel lovers.
I simply took our beloved pretzel dough recipe and tried a few different techniques on it:
- I used brown sugar in the dough, not white sugar.
- I dunked the pretzels into a quick baking soda boil. This creates that classic pretzel taste and texture to the outer layer.
- Instead of an egg wash before baking, I brushed the pretzels with butter half-way through baking (read below why) and sprinkled with sugar + pumpkin spices.
- I drizzled the tops with an easy praline topping – brown sugar, butter, milk, pumpkin puree, and confectioners’ sugar.
There is NO mixer required for the dough and all of the 5 ingredients (+ water!) are probably sitting in your pantry right now. I always urge readers to use Red Star Platinum yeast for pretzel dough. If you want your pretzels extra puffy, this yeast will get you there.
I typically use white sugar in the pretzel dough, but I used brown sugar this time. I wanted that slight molasses flavor – it pairs nicely with the butter and pumpkin spice coating. Mix the first few ingredients together and when it’s time to add the flour, do so a little bit at a time. You’ll want to add flour *just* until the dough is no longer sticky. Adding any more than that could create tough (not soft) pretzels. Poke the dough with your finger – if it bounces back, it’s ready to knead. The total amount of flour I typically use is 3.75 – 4 cups.
Before kneading the dough, I throw 9 cups of water and 1/2 cup of baking soda into a large pot. Bring to a boil as you knead.
Knead the dough for just about 3 minutes. Shape into a ball and cut off 8 even pieces, which is about 1/3 cup of dough each. Roll into long, thin ropes – about 20 inches in length. If your ropes are too thick, your pretzels won’t hold that iconic pretzel shape when they’re baked. They’ll puff up too much. Still delicious, but not the shape you’d be going for. To roll into a pretzel shape, form the rope into a “U” shape with the ends pointing away from you. Twist the ends, then bring them towards yourself and press them down into a pretzel shape. You all know what pretzels look like!
Working with one pretzel at a time, lower them into the boiling baking soda/water. Give them a nice dunk for 30 seconds. Raise them out and let some of the water drip off. Place on a lined baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the pretzels. My baking sheet only holds 4 pretzels, so I did this in two batches.
This very quick baking soda “bath” will give the pretzels a nice, golden-brown color while keeping the inside white and fluffy. I wanted a more authentic looking and tasting pretzel, so that is why I did it this time. And I’m glad I did! The baking soda bath is so easy.
You can certainly skip this step if you want to do something a little quicker – which is what I do for my 30 Minute Soft Pretzels.
Yes, my spatula is a large pink flower. And yes, my pot is pink too…
After the baking soda dip, bake the pretzels for 10 minutes at 425 degrees. Don’t brush with butter and sprinkle with the pumpkin spices before going into the oven. The butter and spices will burn and look black on top. Rookie mistake I made. Not cute.
After just 10 minutes, remove from the oven. Brush the hot pretzels with melted butter and sugar/pumpkin pie spice mixture (or use store-bought pumpkin pie spice!).
Put the coated pretzels back into the oven and bake for 5 more minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with MORE sugar/pumpkin spice. You don’t have to add this extra sprinkle, but I highly encourage it…
Now it’s time to make that pumpkin praline topping! I could drink this pumpkin praline with a straw. I literally want to put it on everything I bake. Or even dunk apple slices, hard pretzels, banana slices, pears, graham crackers, everything else into it. All you have to do to make this praline is boil and whisk brown sugar, butter, and milk together. Once it’s smooth, remove from heat and stir in pumpkin puree and confectioners’ sugar. Let sit to thicken for about 20 minutes. Then drizzle all over your pretzels.
*If you plan to use this pumpkin praline for other recipes, I suggest adding pumpkin pie spices.
I like to make the pumpkin praline before I start the pretzels. That way I won’t have to wait around for it to thicken after the pretzels are freshly baked.
A heavy pumpkin praline drizzle on your soft pretzels is highly recommended.
The pretzels remind me of buttery-sweet Auntie Anne’s pretzels. A must-stop whenever Kevin and I go to the mall. Those pretzels the only reason Kevin actually goes to the mall.
I am so happy with these pumpkin-y pretzels! Taking the extra ten minutes for the baking soda bath was so worth it. Of course, if you’re in a rush and need a soft pretzel STAT, you can skip that step. The pretzels are DOUBLE coated in sugar/pumpkin spice: once after 10 minutes in the oven and again when they are still warm from the oven. Then, of course the praline. Don’t skip the praline, you’ll thank me later.
This is, without a doubt, my new favorite way to eat soft pretzels. No matter what time of year! 🙂
Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. ♥
Pumpkin Praline Soft Pretzels
Soft pretzels are easier than you think to make at home! Give them a fall makeover and top with pumpkin spices and a drizzle of pumpkin praline.
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (60 grams) unsalted butter
- 3 Tablespoons (45 ml) milk (any kind, any fat content)
- 1 Tablespoon pumpkin puree
- 1 cup (120 grams) confectioners' sugar
Basic Pretzel Dough
- 1 packet Red Star Platinum Yeast (1 packet = 2 and 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast)
- 1 and ½ cups (360 ml) warm water (approximately 110-115F degrees)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon (15 grams) packed light brown sugar
- 4 – 4.25 cups (500-530 grams) all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
- 9 cups (2,160 ml) water
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 2 Tablespoons (30 grams) butter, melted
- 1/3 cup (42 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (or use pumpkin pie spice)
- Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- Make the praline topping first: Add the brown sugar, butter, and milk to a small saucepan over medium heat. Continuously whisk the mixture until smooth and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 1 minute without stirring. Remove from heat and stir in the pumpkin and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Set aside and allow to thicken for at least 20 minutes.
- Make the pretzels: Whisk the yeast in 1.5 cups warm water. Allow to almost fully dissolve, about 1 minute. Whisk in the salt and brown sugar until combined. Slowly add the flour 1 cup at a time. Mix with a large spoon until dough is thick and no longer sticky. Do not add too much flour or the pretzels will not be soft. After 3-4 cups of flour, poke the dough with your finger. If it bounces back, it is ready to knead. If not, add a bit more flour.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for 3 minutes and shape into a ball. With a sharp knife, cut into 7-8 sections. Roll each section into a 20-inch rope with an even diameter. Take the ends of the rope and form a giant U shape. Take the ends, twist them, and bring them in towards yourself creating a pretzel shape.
- Whisk 9 cups of water and the baking soda together in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Place a pretzel onto a large slotted spatula and dip into the boiling water for 20-30 seconds. Any more than that and your pretzels will have a metallic taste. The pretzel will float. Lift the pretzel out of the water and allow as much of the excess water to drip off. Place pretzel onto prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the pretzels.
- Bake for 10 minutes. During that time, make the topping by melting the butter in a small bowl. Mix the granulated sugar and spices together in another small bowl. Remove the pretzels from the oven and brush each top with the melted butter and generously sprinkle with the sugar/pumpkin spice mixture. Place back into the oven and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with more sugar/pumpkin spice if desired.
- Drizzle the praline on top of each pretzel. Serve warm or at room temperature. Pretzels may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Make ahead tip: Unglazed pretzels freeze well, up to 2 months. To reheat, bake frozen pretzels at 350°F (177°C) for 20 minutes or until warmed through. The prepared pretzel dough can be refrigerated for up to one day or frozen in an airtight container for 2-3 months. Thaw frozen dough in the refrigerator overnight. Refrigerated dough can be shaped into pretzels while still cold, but allow some extra time for the pretzels to puff up before the baking soda bath and baking.
- If you plan to use this pumpkin praline for other recipes, I suggest adding pumpkin pie spice.
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Here are my original 30 minute Soft Pretzels.
And my Soft Pretzel Bites.
See more pumpkin recipes.
*This is a sponsored post for Red Star Yeast. All opinions are 100% my own. For more recipe inspiration, visit their Facebook page.