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Hard Pretzel Rods From Scratch

Course Snack
Total Time 3 hours
Author Tracy


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup warm/hot water
  • Cooking spray or vegetable oil

Poaching Liquid

  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup baked soda
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar packed


  • 1 large egg + 1 tablespoon water whisked together
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt


  • Make the pretzels: In a medium bowl, stir the flours, yeast, brown sugar, and salt together in a large bowl, then add the warm water until a shaggy dough forms.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until a smooth dough forms.
  • In a large clean bowl, grease with oil or with cooking spray. Place the dough ball in the bowl and cover with a spritzed or greased piece of plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, usually an hour, but depends on how warm your home is. You can also use the a Proof setting on your oven, if you have it.
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Transfer the dough to a clean, unfloured surface and divide dough in half. Then divide each half in half and continue until you have 24 even pieces of dough. Roll each piece into a rope about 9 inches long and 1/2 inch wide (the thinner the better). Line up the ropes on the baking sheets and cover loosely with clean cotton kitchen towel. Let rise for another 30 minutes.
  • Poach and bake: Preheat the oven to 325˚F and prepare the poaching liquid. In a large wide saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, bring 8 cups water to a simmer over medium heat. Add the baked soda and brown sugar and stir until dissolved. The water should foam slightly.
  • Gently drop your dough ropes into the simmering water, just a couple at a time. Poach for 15 seconds and with tongs, gently remove the ropes and return them to the baking sheets. Brush with egg wash and generously sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes, checking every 20 minutes as they will begin to brown quickly. Bake until they're dark brown, glossy, and fully hardened. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Store the pretzels at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week.