Saturday, April 21, 2012

Auntie Anne's Pretzels: Copycat Recipe

I don't know about you guys, but the last few times I have been to the mall there has been NOTHING cool to speak of. I mean, seriously, nothing is even worth trying on. Last time, my sister and I drove almost an hour to get to a decent mall and didn't get a single thing. Stopped at Target on the way home- found a dress within eight seconds. Not to mention the Target sunglasses, purse, books, dinnerware, make-up, chocolate, and etceteras that I am currently basking in. Seriously, it just gets better and better every time I go there.

I have to say though, there is no way that any lack of coolness could ever completely keep me away from that wasteland. You know why?

Mall pretzels. That's why. They're just SO GOOD. So buttery and warm. So chewy and soft. So salty and delicious. But, since I'm not wasting my life there so much these days, I decided I would have to make my own. If anything, they could only be better. I mean, I hate when they hand you one that's been sitting there five hours and you just want to say, "Excuse me, my good sir, but I just spent my last few bucks on this instead of buying a pair of earrings on clearance. The least you could do is give me one that's been made this century."

Anyways, they WERE better. They were just like Auntie Anne's only you can eat them right out of the oven. So hot that you burn your fingers. Plus they take less than two hours to make. Can't beat that.

It starts out with some dough.

You must roll them thin. Very thin. The more Auntie Anne-ish you want them to be, the thinner you will roll them.

Then dip them in some baking soda and water. That's what really makes it into a pretzel. It gives it that chewy brown crust.

Someone was hungry. That's what the bowl says. And it was true. So I worked fast.

Sprinkle on some salt. The bigger the better. I had Kosher which worked marvelously.

Then the big secret is dipping them in butter at the end. Now you know they must be as good as I'm making them out to be.

Like seriously good. And if you want cinnamon sugar ones, just mix together a little cinnamon and sugar and dip the pretzels in in right after you dip them in the butter. If you want something to dip them in, I just used the extra dipping butter and mixed it with a handful of powdered sugar and a splash of milk to make a little icing. Waste not want not.

Then serve them on your really cute Target plate as seen above.

Auntie Anne's Pretzels: Copycat Recipe
Makes 12 Adapted from Food Network

2 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
6 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons fine salt

1/3 cup baking soda
3 cups warm water
Coarse salt
 8 tablespoons butter, melted in a shallow dish

Warm up the milk in the microwave or on the stove for just about one and a half minutes. It should be about 110º. If it's too hot it will kill the yeast. You should be able to comfortably keep your finger in it. Stir in the yeast and let it sit for about 3 minutes. Add the butter and sugar. Add the flour about 1 cup at a time and the add the fine salt. Kneed for about 10 minutes with a stand mixer, or by hand. Put it in a greased bowl and cover with greased cling wrap. Let rise for 1 hour in a moist, warm place until doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 450º. Punch down dough and divide into 12 lumps (I like to divide it in half, then divide each half into three, and then divide each remaining one in half again). Roll them all out as thin as you can. Combine the warm water and baking soda in a wide bowl. Form the dough into pretzel shapes, then dip in the baking soda water. Place on a greased baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for about 7-11 minutes or until browned. Dip each in the melted butter while hot. Serve with cheese sauce.

For Garlic Cheese Sauce:
(A Yammie original)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
3 cloves minced garlic
1 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
a pinch cayenne pepper
8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded (Not pre-shredded. Do it yourself.)
In a saucepan, combine the butter, flour, and garlic over medium heat. Whisk until lightly browned. Whisk in the milk, paprika, and cayenne pepper and continue whisking until thickened. Add the cheese and whisk until melted. Can be reheated in the microwave.
Note: Some people have said in comments that they needed to add 3/4 cup more flour. I have made these several times and have never found this to be the case, but if your dough is way too wet, you should probably try it.

 Now if you liked these, you'll love these pretzel buns which sprouted from the same recipe!


  1. I regrettably just made a half recipe of these and now with just 1 left .... I will not be making that mistake twice. These were so amazing. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I'm drooling and saving this link in to-bake-list.

  3. These look really good, it's been years since I've had one of those mall pretzels so it may be time..this time at home! Thanks for sharing.

  4. OH MY GOSH! AMAZING! Just made half a batch and there's only one left! These are SPECTACULAR!

  5. Just made these for the kids for lunch, so easy and turned out great! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  6. These were amazing! I've been wanting to make pretzels for a long time but never got around to it. Whenever I find a new recipe, there is usually a battle of who knows best in my kitchen (my husband is a chef and I've just been baking pretty much ever since I was old enough to be trusted in the kitchen.) I think when he gets home from work tonight he will love them too :)

  7. These were incredible! I read the comments and decided to make the full batch. I'm very glad now, too. And you are right: the thinner they are and the more butter you put on them, the closer they taste to Auntie Anne's. ;)

    Thanks so much!

  8. I make these about once a month now. My family loves them! Sometimes we make them for dinner and wrap the dough around XL Kosher Hot Dogs to make Pretzel Dogs. :)

  9. Did you pack the flour when measuring? Or loosely measure? That could be the reason the reason for the difference with others...

  10. Hi from Australia! I followed the recipe exactly and just added a little extra flour (enough to not have a sticky mess when kneading). These turned out absolutely amazing! Dipped them in the butter right out of the oven and made the cheesy garlic dipping sauce too. I couldn't get them as thin as you though. Best thing is the ingredients are super common, just had everything laying around at home. Thanks so much for sharing, I'll definitely make these again!

  11. Just made these. They DO taste like Auntie Anne's :) Thanks for sharing!

  12. I don't comment on anything but...OMG these are awesome! Make the full recipe or you will regret it.

  13. Bread flour or AP? Baking novice

  14. Just made these! And they were so good! Easy to make also! I added about half a cup of extra flour and it was perfect thank you!

  15. I'm making these right now and I just want to say that they are AMAZING! Just like the mall ones, but there's no need to go out! Thanks for the recipe! :)

  16. These are absolutely amazing! This is my second time making them today. I'm 8 months pregnant and have been craving them all week, definitely well worth the back pain I now have from kneading the dough ;)

  17. These are so good Iam so happy I made them absolutely amazing

  18. What type of flour did u use

  19. These were so good! I ended up having to use about 3/4 c. More flour. After I dipped the cooked pretzels in butter I dipped them in cinnamon sugar!

  20. I am just curious how you measure flour? I'm a pastry chef and was always taught to whisk the flour bin a few times and scoop from the bin into my cup measure and level off. I am in the process of making these right now, and am at 6 cups of flour and only finally getting a smooth, elastic, pliable dough. The ratio of 2 cups liquid to only 4-1/2 cups flour seems off. Definitely looking forward to the finished product, but curious about your method. Thanks!

  21. Yammie, looking back at the Food Network recipe you linked to, they say only one cup milk, and you've listed two. Is it a typo or did you really double the milk? They look amazing and after my triumph with your pineapple rolls I want to do everything you say.

  22. Am I The Only One Who Had Gooey Dough. I Count Even Form Anythin. I Ended Up Adding My Flour But It Still Was Tough To Work With.

  23. Has anyone made these with gluten and dairy free substitutions?

  24. This is my go to recipe! I have used this for over 6 years and my family still begs me to make pretzels! Thank you for such a timeless recipe!

  25. These are delicious. I made half a batch. They needed a little extra flour but no big deal. Mine were a bit fatter than the ones pictured.