(Scroll to the bottom of the post for a printable PDF version of the recipe)
Pretzels are super simple and are made from just a handful of ingredients: flour, salt, sugar, yeast, and baking soda. They aren't inherently unhealthy, it's just the giant portions and toppings that get us into trouble. To make them a bit healthier, I make smaller pretzels and substitute white whole wheat flour for about half of the regular flour.
Give them a try, nothing beats a soft pretzel warm from the oven!
Nutrition Facts Face-Off!
Soft-Baked Wheat Pretzels (Printable PDF Version)
Makes 8 pretzels
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1 cup very warm water (about 120°F)
Baking Soda Wash:
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- Coarse salt (optional)
- Cinnamon sugar topping (optional)*
- Parmesan herb topping (optional)**
- Dissolve yeast, sugar, and salt in warm water. Whisk together flours in a large mixing bowl, then stir in yeast mixture using a wooden spoon.
- Knead the dough for about 5 minutes by hand or machine. Form into a ball and sprinkle with all-purpose flour. Place the dough in a gallon-size plastic bag and let rise for about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450°F and lightly grease a baking sheet. To prepare baking soda wash, whisk together 2 tablespoons baking soda and 1 cup water in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for about 1 minute or until boiling. (The baking soda may not dissolve completely). Set aside to cool.
- When dough has risen, transfer to a clean surface and divide it into 8 pieces. Roll each piece out into a rope and shape into a pretzel. Let rest for about 5 minutes.
- Pour baking soda and water mixture to a shallow pan. Place pretzels in baking soda wash and let soak for 2 minutes.
- Transfer pretzels to the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt if desired. Let rest for 10 minutes, then bake for 9-10 minutes or until pretzels are golden brown.
- After removing pretzels from the oven, brush lightly with melted butter. To make cinnamon sugar pretzels, sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the pretzels after brushing with butter.
*Cinnamon Sugar Topping: Mix together 2 tablespoons granulated sugar with 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon.
**Parmesan Herb Topping: Mix together 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary, 1/8 teaspoon dried basil, and 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme.
Nutrition Facts (1 pretzel with a sprinkle of coarse salt): Calories 150, Total Fat 2g (Saturated 1g), Cholesterol 4mg, Sodium 440mg, Total Carbohydrate 29g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Protein 4g, Vitamin A 1% DV, Vitamin C 0% DV, Calcium 0% DV, Iron 10% DV
Nutrition Facts (1 cinnamon sugar pretzel): Calories 165, Total Fat 2g (Saturated 1g), Cholesterol 4mg, Sodium 440mg, Total Carbohydrate 32g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Protein 4g, Vitamin A 1% DV, Vitamin C 0% DV, Calcium 0% DV, Iron 10% DV
Nutrition Facts (1 parmesan herb pretzel): Calories 160, Total Fat 3g (Saturated 1g), Cholesterol 4mg, Sodium 470mg, Total Carbohydrate 29g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Protein 5g, Vitamin A 1% DV, Vitamin C 0% DV, Calcium 3% DV, Iron 10% DV
Today's post was written by Leia Kedem. Leia Kedem, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator covering Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion Counties. She appears weekly on WCIA-3/WCIX-49 and is a biweekly contributor to the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette. She also maintains Facebook and Twitter accounts where she regularly posts health tips and answers nutrition questions for free.