Pumpkin soft pretzels

Pumpkin soft pretzels

This is another one of those recipes that makes people all looney and shit. Probably because most people have only ever known those rubbery, imitation soft pretzels you get in movie theaters. And those things are gross, so I really can’t blame them. A pretzel is supposed to be crunchy on the outside, and a soft, pillow of goodness on the inside. Not rubbery. Ever.

I have a love/hate relationship with this recipe becuase a) it’s a lot of work, and b) people are always asking for more. One time we had an Oktoberfest celebration and I wound up making these pretzels (sans the pumpkin) far too many times to keep count. I literally spent the entire party in the kitchen making pretzels for a bunch of drunk people. In hindsight, it worked out favorably becuase I woke up the next morning feeling like a normal human being while they were all nursing super massive hangovers. Chalk one up for the lady who partied in the kitchen all night!

Pumpkin soft pretzels

I’m not going to lie, shaping the dough is a total b- i- t- c- h-. Which is why I eventually resorted to rolling the pretzels into tiny balls. But all of the work is so worth it once you bite into a warm, homemade pretzel you just pulled from the oven. So freaking worth it. I ate two for breakfast and two for lunch. And I have yet to see the repercussions. Which means the gluten gods must love me today.


2/3 c. pumpkin puree
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 c. warm water
, divided
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp fine sea salt
4 c. unbleached flour

Baking soda
Coarse sea salt

In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the pumpkin puree, sugar and 3/4 cup of the water. Bring to a light boil then remove from heat; set aside and let cool for 20 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the yeast and remaining 1/4 cup of water. Sprinkle with a pinch of sugar then let set for 10-15 minutes.
Lightly coat a large mixing bowl with oil; set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, combine the pumpkin mixture and yeast mixture. Add flour 1 cup at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Once you’ve added 3 cups of flour, add 1/4 cup at a time just until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl (I used the full 4 cups). Allow the mixer to work the dough for an additional 5-6 minutes. Place dough in the prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm area for 90 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450˚F. Line two large baking sheets with silicon mats or parchment paper; set aside. In a large saucepan, prepare the baking soda water bath by combining 2 teaspoons of baking soda with every 1 cup of water (i.e. for 10 cups of water you’d add 20 teaspoons of baking soda). Bring the mixture to a boil. Tear off pieces of dough about the size of a lemon, roll into a long, skinny rope between your hands and the counter (a little thicker than a sharpie) and twist into a pretzel shape. Submerge into the baking soda bath for 10 seconds then transfer to the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt, if desired. Bake at 450˚F for about 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. The pretzels are best served right away, but you can store them in an air-tight container for a day or two and reheat them in the oven as needed. You could also bake them for 3-4 minutes, let them cool then store them in the freezer until ready to bake completely. 
Yield: 8-10 pretzels


14 thoughts on “Pumpkin soft pretzels

  1. eff yeah! These look killer! And there's pumpkin in them too. That's just genius. I haven't used yeast in years though.I'm down for a party in the kitchen any night, alcohol or not. So long as there's some good trance music to fist pump to. (I really don't like trance music, but it's funny to dance to. Like Madonna's music).

  2. Do I need to get drunk now in order to partake??? I'll bring over my Madonna CD (do they still sell those?!) as long as you and Isobelle are there. I will fist pump with you 2 in the kitchen and eat pretzels until the wee hours of the morning…

  3. Can you taste the pumpkin in these? Hoping so! I LOVE pretzels and I LOVE pumpkin, and so does my little guy.I'm glad MoFo is over because I need relief from dreaming about your pumpkin recipes. Seriously.And my son also wants me to make your spider web pumpkin pie, oh, and I want to make it, too.Sheesh!!XODawnVegan Fazool blog

  4. I can not believe I only just found you today. Where have you been all my life? I love your aesthetic and your attitude toward delicious vegan food!Has anyone tried to make these gluten free? I have to bake GF for the safety of my clients and for a family member too. I intend to try making these GF and then I will report back! The only problem I anticipate is in the shaping. GF yeasted doughs so often want more moisture than the traditional sort, and then they are hard to shape because of it. The extra moisture also may make it hard to get something cohesive enough to throw in the water bath for parboiling. I expect I will want to use millet, sticky rice flour, sorghum flour, tapioca, and arrowroot starch in my flour blend for this one, and probably a little xanthan gum. We shall see.But I am an intrepid baker and I know that I can make this happen! Even if I also end up resorting to making them into little balls instead of lovely knots or braids.Thanks for the inspiration!

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