EASY Pretzel Bread Soup Bowls

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Pretzel bowls are sweet, fluffy, chewy, and delicious. You can use them for soup bowls or simply to eat. This SAME recipe can be used to make just regular pretzels as well. WHHhaaat?! yeah!

I am the first one to admit, I looOve bread. Making bread was one of my first loves when I started to learn how to cook. I was a vegetarian at the time and I had to get creative in order to enjoy my food. I learned about herbs, breads, and sauces. Then, mastering that and transitioning to meat, came to be a ménage à trois. Nonetheless, pretzel bread was amongst the first to learn.

How I use these pretzel bowls

You can use ANY soup, yet, I have found—a CHEESY or rich soup is the best! I used a Squash and Roasted Caulifower Soup with A LOT of sharp cheddar cheese (recipe to be posted soon!). BEER CHEESE squash soup would have been amazing addition to the bowls too. They’re are links below 👇 at the end of the page many of my favorite soups that would work so well with these Pretzel Soup Bowls.

The Good ‘ol Times

I remember making these with Phoenix when she was little. I was so stressed at the time with 3 kids and working full time as a new ICU Nurse. Kneading bread was therapeutic. I needed (kneaded) an outlet; and I needed my kids.

This was such a special time in my life, ahhhh. 😍

So here I am with you, hoping it’s just as therapeutic to you as it is to me. Truly, it’s not as hard as it looks. And, your kids will think you are magical.

Here is how to make pretzel bowls:

You’ll need about 3 hours total –come and go time. So I usually set to do the first process before they get out of school; or on the weekends, at about 1-2:00 pm. You need 2 hours to rest and rise, then 1 hour for the second rise. Add 30 minutes to boil and cook, then voila! done. Honestly, do this at any time of the day. It’s good for a snack or a meal! At least I would just need it for a snack😂. Can I get an Amen? 🙏

It may seem like a long time but when you squeeze this in between laundry and watering plants, you end up getting so much done! There is no end to the things you can do while the dough is rising!

This can be to fill your next yummy soup or you can shape them into regular pretzels. The recipe is the same!

To get started.

  • get out your supplies. I like to get a large measuring cup so you can use it to activate the yeast. You will need, a large measuring cup, a small measuring cup, a mixer or bowl, a spatula for scraping sides, and a bowl for the flour.
  • First, activate the yeast. You will put the (1 cup) warm water with the (1/2 cup) brown sugar and the (2 1/2 tsp) yeast together in the large measuring cup.
  • Second, melt the butter in the smaller measuring cup with the vegetable oil.
  • Third, with the mixing bowl, add the flour and the salt. (note: salt cannot touch yeast initially because it will inactivate the yeast. Therefore, we keep it with the flour)

Mix pretzel ingredients to make dough in the KitchenAid

I like to use my mixer (although mine is so old I couldn’t find it 😆) with the dough hook for this. It makes for a super simple process. Yet historically, I have enjoyed just making a “well” in the flour and adding the liquid to it (love this original way). This technique is discussed here. But today I’ll be using the mixer

First, you will take the dry ingredients and put them in the mixer (or counter). Second, slowly add the wet ingredients to it, and watch it combine. I like to use a spatula to scrape the bottom and side if you see them not naturally combining. Sometimes there is a random CHUNK that needs a little assistance, so push that guy back in and let it integrate.

You are looking for the mix to come together and start pulling from the sides. ONCE you see this, stop. You don’t want to overmix. Overmixing makes for hard bread/pastries/cakes.

Let it rest–5 minutes. Then, take a look and make sure there aren’t pockets of flour randomly hanging out. You can try to incorporate them if it’s sticky enough (which it should be more often than not–can depend on your flour), but if it’s not very sticky then you can just discard them.

Put it back into the bowl, and cover it with a clean dish towel or plastic wrap (my favorite way to use it)–just make sure it’s not SUPER tight. It needs to breathe in order to rise.

Let Rise for 2 hours

This is the time to go get laundry done, vacuum, dye your roots, or take a shower–the options are limitless in a 2-hour span. Yet honestly, I wouldn’t leave the house. Anytime I have left the house, little people start poking at the dough or peeking. It really needs to be left alone and let it work its magic. So that leads me to dough rules.

Dough Making Rules

  1. Watch out for over-mixing. Mix the wet into the dry and combine until pulling off the edges of the bowl. Once the edges are clean and you have a ball–DONE!
  2. Cover the rising dough with a clean linen or plastic wrap LIGHTLY over the top. NO POKING 👉😆🫣
  3. Don’t leave the house. People/animals/felines tend to attract to dough like a magnet. Put it in a dark, warm place so it can do its job. Protect your dough-baby.
  4. Must have a second rise. This is where your shaping starts. How you shape is how it will rise and look like. For example, if you make a ball that is loose and sticky, it will look sad in the final product.
  5. Make sure your baking soda is active and bubbling when you pour it into the semi-boiling water.
  6. use a spatula to travel back and forth to the hot water and back to the pan.
  7. Don’t live by the rules. Break the rules you can break and leave science to science. God made his part and we can make the rest.
  8. Have fun and don’t stress!! It’s not worth it.

After 2 hours, you’ll see the dough has doubled in size. Yay! The hardest part is done.

Dividing

Get your cookie sheet or pan ready with parchment paper.

Throw a large pinch of flour on a clean counter space. Pull toward you and make it into a ball. Flatten the ball to about 2 inches high. You should have a soft, pliable dough that is irresistibly soft and fluffy.

Cut (with a bench scraper or bowl scraper) with a knife into 6 squares. Take each square and make it into a tight little ball and pinch the bottom where you stretched it to. Lay your pinch side down.

Cover with the plastic or towel you had covering the bowl. (VERY IMPORTANT–it will dry out and not rise right if not covered)

Let rise for 1 hour. No poking. I know it’s temping 😆👉

Start your water and oven.

We have to boil this. I’m sorry. There is no way around it. In order to get that chewy crust, it has to be boiled in water with baking soda. This part is messy but it’ll be ok.

Get a large pot of water to a light boil. Add the 1/4th cup of baking soda. It should bubble quite well (this is exciting to me every time haha).

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Using your slotted spoon or spatula, take each one and put in the boiling baking soda water. Cook for 30 seconds on each side. NOT TOO LONG! then it may turn into mush.

Put back on the parchment-lined pan (with your slotted spoon) DRY. Careful, water can try to sneak in here.

Add pretzel salt.

Cook pretzel dough for 30 min.

Peak about halfway through just to check on them. They should be getting golden brown and firming up. Sometimes if it’s summer, they only need about 20-25 minutes. Keep an eye out.

You did it!! Reap the reward and forget about all the steps that went into it. The more you do it the easier it gets and the less time it takes. Everything takes longer the first time!

Want to use the recipe as just REGULAR pretzels?

Absolutely! The only thing you will do differently is shape them before the second rise–when you are dividing them.

You will cut the dough into 12 sections, cutting them into strips. You will lay them on your floured workspace and roll them from the center out into about an 8-inch rope. Bring edges into a circle, loop around, and pinch the edges into the dough. ADD salt. (pictures coming!)

Boil them and dry them as suggested above. Also, cook the pretzels at 350 degrees but decrease the time to about 20 minutes.

Love you guys!!

Farmer Fran

Have questions? Comment below 👇😘

Check out some of my favorite soups to put in these pretzel bowls:

like this Potato Leek soup with Bacon -add some hot honey to it and call it a day!

or like this Thai Butternut Squash Soup! My hubby’s favorite.

or this Sweet and Spicy Carrot Soup! Don’t judge it by its carrot 🥕👀!

or how about Roaster Cauliflower and Gouda!! yes, yes, yes! I love soup.

EASY Pretzel Bread Soup Bowls

Recipe by Lisa Via BryanCourse: dinner, after school snacks
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes
Calories

300

kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 2 1/2 tsp yeast

  • 1 cup warm water

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 4 tbsp butter, melted

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 3 cup flour

Make the dough

  • Get out the supplies: a large measuring cup, a small measuring cup, a mixer or bowl, a spatula for scraping sides, a bowl scraper or bench scrapper (alt. A knife), 1 sheet pan, and a bowl for the flour.
  • Activate the yeast. You will put the (1 cup) warm water with the (1/2 cup) brown sugar and the (2 1/2 tsp) yeast together in the large measuring cup.
  • Melt the butter in the smaller measuring cup with the vegetable oil 30 seconds to 1 minute in the microwave.
  • Add the flour and the salt to the mixing bowl. (note: salt cannot touch yeast initially because it will inactivate the yeast. Therefore, we keep it with the flour)
  • Now, take the dry ingredients and put them in the mixer (or counter). Second, slowly add the wet ingredients to it, and watch it combine. I like to use a spatula to scrape the bottom and side if you see them not naturally combining. Sometimes there is a random CHUNK that needs a little assistance, so push that guy back in and let it integrate.
  • Look for the mix to come together and start pulling from the sides. Once you see this, stop. You don’t want to overmix. Overmixing makes for hard bread/pastries/cakes.
  • Let it rest 5 minutes. Then, take a look and make sure there aren’t pockets of flour randomly hanging out. You can try to incorporate them if it’s sticky enough (which it should be more often than not—-can depend on your flour), but if it’s not very sticky then you can just discard them.
  • Put it back into the bowl (or use the current bowl), and cover it with a clean dish towel or plastic wrap (my favorite way to use it)–just make sure it’s not SUPER tight. It needs to breathe in order to rise. Let rise for 2 hours or doubled in size.
  • Divide
  • Get out the cookie sheet or pan ready with parchment paper.
  • Throw a large pinch of flour on a clean counter space. Scrape the dough onto the counter. Take the dough, pull it toward you, and make it into a ball. Flatten the ball to about 2 inches high. You should have a soft, pliable dough that is irresistibly soft and fluffy.
  • Cut (with a bench scraper or bowl scraper) with a knife into 6 squares. Take each square and make it into a tight little ball and pinch the bottom where you stretched it to. Lay your pinch side down on the parchment paper. And shape the rest. Keep even space between them so they don’t rise into each other.

    Note: if you are making regular twist pretzels, this is the step you make the 6 squares —rectangles instead. For each rectangle, roll your palms across it from the middle to the outside making a rope.
    Once you have a rope about 8-12 inches long, shape into a pretzel by looping around and pinching the ends with the bottom.
  • Cover with the plastic or towel you had covering the bowl. (VERY IMPORTANT–it will dry out and not rise right if not covered)
  • Let rise for 1 hour. No poking lol.
  • Boil the water
  • Get a large pot of water to a light boil. Add the 1/4th cup of baking soda. It should bubble quite well (this is exciting to me every time haha).
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Using your slotted spoon or spatula, take each one and put in the boiling baking soda water. Cook for 30 seconds on each side. NOT TOO LONG! then it may turn into mush.
  • Put back on the parchment-lined pan (with your slotted spoon) DRY. Careful, water can try to sneak in here.

    Notes: if it seems they are too wet, let them dry off on a cooling rack, then put back onto the parchment paper.
  • Add pretzel salt.
  • Cooking in the oven
  • Cook 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Check on them about halfway through just to check on them. They should be getting golden brown and firming up. Sometimes if it’s summer, they only need about 20-25 minutes. Keep an eye out.

    NOTE: for regular pretzel twists, reduce time to 18-20 minutes.
  • Let cool on a cooling rack for about 5 minutes and DIVE IN to deliciousness!!

Notes

  • ~I suggest doubling or tripling the recipe. They get eaten faster than expected.
  • ~Can they freeze? yes. You can freeze the dough or the cooked pretzel itself. If you freeze the dough, thaw on the counter and when it comes to room temperature, divide, do the second rise, boil, then cook. I suggest freezing the divided dough. It will just have to go through the second rise then boil and cook.
  • ~Can you freeze the boiled pretzel? Probably not unless you were able to drain almost all the water off the dough. This would be easily prone to freezer burn.

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