These vegan soft pretzels contain a ratio of all-purpose and whole-wheat flour for a delicious wholesome result. Perfect straight out of the oven!
This year between September 22nd and October 7th, millions of people will be flooding Munich’s Theresenwiese to celebrate the city’s iconic Oktoberfest. Traditional music and costumes, fun rides, pretzels and of course beer make this event one of the coolest party I’ve ever attended. But also one of the most overwhelming at times (hello obnoxious drunk people haha).
I’ve been meaning to share my vegan pretzel recipe for 3 years now. I was trying to make it coincide with the Oktoberfest but never succeeded because of our numerous peregrinations. But this year, I wrote it in big letters on my white board and managed to at least publish before it’s over, just in time for the Day of German Unity. And I’m super excited to finally share it with you!
Did you know that pretzels are incredibly easy to make? Seriously, once you make these, you’ll be wondering why you haven’t been making them all your life! I started making vegan soft pretzels after our first trip to Germany back in 2013 (time flies!!!).
However, living in Deutschland has granted me unlimited access to ridiculously cheap fresh pretzels and I stopped making them. You might not know this, but soft pretzels like the ones I’m sharing today are not traditionally German.
At least I have never ever seen them anywhere. People here eat Laugenbrezeln, which contain milk and butter and are dipped in lye (Lauge in German) before baking. They’re also quite soft, but the crust is completely different.
So to keep things simple, I decided to go ahead and make soft pretzels because they’re much simpler and just as delicious! They require minimal kneading, only 30 minutes of rising time and are baked in under 15 minutes.
They’re also healty-ish thanks to the addition of whole wheat flour. I really try to avoid refined flours, but I feel that you really need it here to achieve the best texture.
Which flour to use?
I made this recipe with 2 cups of whole wheat flour & 2 cups of all-purpose flour, and then with 1.5 cup ww flour and 2.5 cups ap flour and, though they were both delicious, the second batch was much fluffier. You can play around with the ratios and try to find what works best for you.
I also recommend eating them on the day they’re made or at least reheating them the next day. If you know you won’t be able to eat the whole batch, then you could freeze them once shaped and bake them later.
The making process
As for the making process, it couldn’t be easier. There’s no need to proof your yeast in liquid first. Just combine all your dry ingredients in a large bowl, add the oil and then about 1 cup of warm water and mix with a wooden spoon or a spatula. I like to use my dough scraper. You might need to use up to 1.5 cup of water, so go progressively to avoid turning your dough into a wet mess.
I’ve noticed that European flours need way less hydration than North-American flours which is why I’m not comfortable giving you an accurate amount of water. But the great thing here is that you really can’t mess anything up. If you end up adding too much water, sprinkle some flour on your dough until you can handle it easily.
Regarding kneading time, I’ve seen anywhere from 1 minute to 15 in other recipes. I tend to knead for 5 minutes, folding the dough on itself directly inside the bowl until I have a smooth ball that bounces back when poked.
I then lift the dough, gently oil the bottom of my bowl and place the dough back. I cover the bowl with a plate (I haven’t bought plastic wrap in about 5 years, there is always a way around it!) and put it in the oven, turned off but with the light on.
After 30 minutes, I take the bowl out of the oven and preheat to 450F (220C). I bring the water and the baking soda to a boil while I shape the pretzels.
How to shape the pretzels
To do so, I turn the risen dough onto a clean surface, shape it into a large log and divide it into 8 equal pieces. One at a time, I roll each piece into a long rope, about 24 inches (60 cm) long.
I make a U with the rope and bring the ends down twisting them once. I gently press the ends onto the bottom of the U to form the pretzel and transfer it to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Boiling in a baking soda solution
Once all 8 pretzels are shaped, they’re ready for a swim in the boiling water & baking soda solution, one by one for 30 seconds. I remove them using a large spatula and let drip a few seconds to remove excess water before returning them to the baking sheet.
Once they’ve all been boiled, I brush them with melted vegan butter and sprinkle with coarse salt. Then off in the oven they go for 12 to 15 minutes. For a beautiful crust, you can even broil them for a minute (but keep an eye on them!).
More bread recipes
- Homemade Multigrain Bread
- Maple-Glazed Raisin & Oatmeal Buns
- One-Bowl Vegan Banana Bread
- Vegan Pumpkin Beaver Tails with Cream Cheese Frosting
There are many other things you can make with pretzel dough. Stay tuned for more delicious ideas!
If you try this recipe, make sure to snap a picture and share it on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #valisesetgourmandises. I wanna see your creations! And don’t forget to leave a comment below :)
Whole wheat vegan soft pretzel
- 1.5 cups whole wheat flour 200g
- 2.5 cups unbleached all purpose flour 320g
- 7 g instant yeast
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons raw cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 to 1.5 cup water warm
- melted vegan butter for garnishing
- coarse salt for garnishing
- 4 cups water for boiling
- 1/2 cup baking soda for boiling
- In a large mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients with a whisk.Add the oil and one cup of the water. Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until your dough starts to come together. If needed, gradually add more water until there's no flour left at the bottom of the bowl. Your dough should be soft, not too wet/sticky nor dry.
- Knead for 5 minutes, directly in the bowl or on a clean surface. Your dough is ready once it's nice and soft and bounces back when poked.
- Lightly oil the bottom of your mixing bowl, put the dough back in and cover with a clean plate. Place in the oven, turned off but with the light on and let rise 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with a silicon mat.Take the bowl out of the oven and preheat to 450F (220C). Bring the water and the baking soda to a boil while you shape the pretzels.
- Turn your risen dough onto a clean surface. Shape into a large log and divide into 8 equal pieces.
- One at a time, roll each piece into a long rope, about 24 inches (60 cm) long.
- Make a U with your rope, bring the ends down twisting them once. Gently press the ends onto the bottom of the U to form the pretzel.
- Transfer to the baking sheet.Once your 8 pretzels are shaped, you're ready to boil them, one by one for 30 seconds. Remove them with a large spatula and let drip a few seconds to remove excess water. Return them to the baking sheet.
- Brush them with melted vegan butter and sprinkle with coarse salt.
- Bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes. For a beautiful crust, you can even broil them for a minute (but keep an eye on them!).
These pretzels are best warm out of the oven and eaten the same day. Or reheated the next day. You could also freeze the shaped pretzels and bake them later.