German Soft Pretzel Sticks

"I've always been a fan of any food high in salt and starch," Grant Achatz says, "and soft pretzels right out of the oven are awesome." You can eat these slightly sweet, chewy, dark pretzel sticks plain or with mustard; Achatz goes for ranch dressing.

  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: makes 2 dozen pretzel sticks


  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • Water
  • 2 envelopes active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 3/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
  • Flaky salt, such as Maldon
  • Yellow mustard, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large bowl, stir the brown sugar into 2 cups of warm water until dissolved. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vegetable oil and 3 cups of the flour. Knead in the remaining 2 3/4 cups of flour; the dough will be slightly sticky.

  2. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead until silky, about 3 minutes; if the dough is very sticky, knead in up to 1/4 cup more flour. Transfer the dough to an large, oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

  3. Preheat the oven to 450°. Line 3 large cookie sheets with parchment paper and butter the paper. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a floured work surface. Knead the dough lightly, flatten it out and cut it into 24 pieces. Roll each piece into a 9-inch stick about 1/2 inch thick. Transfer the sticks to the prepared cookie sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between them. Let stand uncovered until puffed, about 25 minutes.

  4. In a large, deep skillet, stir the baking soda into 2 quarts of water and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate. Using 2 slotted spoons, carefully transfer 6 pretzel sticks at a time to the simmering water 30 seconds, turning once; add about 1 cup of hot water after before cooking the second batch of pretzels. Transfer the pretzel sticks to paper towels to drain, then return them to the cookie sheets, spacing them evenly.

  5. Brush the pretzel sticks with the egg wash and sprinkle with salt. Bake until richly browned, about 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, with mustard.

Make Ahead

The baked pretzel sticks can be stored overnight in a plastic bag. Reheat before serving.

Contributed By Photo © Lucy Schaeffer Published December 2006

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482206 recipes/german-soft-pretzel-sticks 2013-12-06T23:27:54+00:00 Grant Achatz baking|kids-party|german-austrian-and-swiss|breads-rolls-and-muffins|20-for-a-crowd|make-ahead|staff-favorite|vegetarian|snack december-2006 recipes,german-soft-pretzel-sticks 482206

Aggregate Rating value: 5

Review Count: 1726

Worst Rating: 0

Best Rating: 5

Author Name: JanetELevy

Review Body: These are so much better - chewier and more authentic - when made with food grade lye microbeads available on-line!  I made the Peter Reinhardt Bavarian pretzels as well.

Date Published: 2016-11-18

Author Name: angeline simpson

Review Body: I haven't tried the finished product myself, but the boys love them!! My only issue while making them was how they looked at the end...but I assume the more I make them, the better outcome I will have! All in all, it's great! Easy to follow instructions, for a newbie like myself and obviously they taste great too! Thank you!!!!

Date Published: 2016-12-28

Author Name: Knorris

Review Body: This recipe did not come out well at all! Took forever and was a huge gooey mess! After boiling the pretzels in simmering water they where just goo then they cooked wrong. Only part of the dough cooked no matter how long they cooked parts in the middle remained uncooked. Huge waste of time.

Review Rating: 3

Date Published: 2016-08-21

Author Name: Bittersweeter

Review Body: Don't use the baking soda in the water to simmer the dough has a reaction and causes a greenish hue on the underside of the dough once baked and it has a very bitter taste from the baking soda.

Review Rating: 1

Date Published: 2016-10-24