Thursday, September 3, 2015

Auntie Anne's Pretzels - Copycat recipe

Tick tick tick... As my timer was counting down from 10 minutes, I was staring at the pretzels baking in my oven, hoping that my Auntie Anne's like pretzels were going to be ok!


Auntie Anne's pretzel
My almost Auntie Anne's pretzels

Phew... Feeling relieved that I have baked these pretzel?

Sure I am.


Actually, I was quite traumatized after I baked my first pretzel using this Bobby Flay's recipe for Cook like a Star (
Bobby Flay) event during November last year. Promise me that you won't laugh... These are the super FAT pretzels that I had baked...

Using this Bobby Flay's recipe, I have baked these super fat pretzels during November last year
Like most pretzel recipes, I boiled my pretzels in baking soda ...
... and yielded these super fat pretzels with tough texture and bitter aftertaste!

"Ewww!!! What are these buns so tough and bitter?" asked my husband.

"Not buns... They are pretzels!" I was trying to defend myself and these bun-looking pretzels.

"Pretzel? No way!!!" Next, this remark came along with never ending series of ha ha ha and fail fail fail.

"You guys are so mean." I felt sad that I baked these lousy pretzels and felt even worse after all these teasing... Lesson learnt. Next time, I shall toss my failures into the bin before displaying them on our dining table. 

Months have passed and I have not bake pretzels again...

... until now, Lena from Frozen wings has suggested this for our bake-along with Joyce from Kitchen Flavours.

Lesson learnt. This time, I shall use another pretzel recipe and go easy with the baking soda coating! From here, I know that I can't omit the baking soda coating as it is essential to make pretzels looking and tasting good. 
And so, this is how I baked my improved pretzels...

Instead of boiling my pretzel dough in soda water, I'm dipping these pretzels in warm soda water.
Warning: This pretzel dough is sticky! Make sure that your hands and rolling surface are well-floured for shaping.
Making sure the ropes have uniform thickness is quite difficult as the dough is soft and difficult to handle.
By the time, I dipped the shaped pretzels into baking soda solution, they fell apart... Arrrgh!!!
After losing two pretzel because of this step, I brushed the rest of pretzels generously with soda water instead.
Next, I sprinkled the pretzels with Murray river pink salt flakes.
... and baked.
After baking, I brushed the pretzels with melted butter and they look lovely!
Testing testing... I dipped half of one into warm chocolate fudge sauce.
mmm... It tastes as good like Auntie Anne's pretzels.
I dipped another half into easy caramel sauce.
It is awesome!
No worries!
... because this bake is not ha ha ha or fail fail fail!

This almost Auntie Anne's pretzels recipe is mostly adapted from Food Network and

Makes 6
1 cup (250ml) milk, lukewarm
1 3/4 tsp instant dry yeast
2 1/4 cups (340g) all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
3 tbsp (30g) light brown sugar
1 tsp fine salt
2 tbsp (30g) unsalted butter, soften at room temperature, plus more for brushing
2 tbsp baking soda
2 tbsp coarse salt

To make the pretzels:

Warm the milk in a saucepan until lukewarm about 110°F or 40°C. Pour milk into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Allow yeast to dissolve into milk, about 2 min.

To knead using an electric mixer with a dough hook or bread maker (with a dough setting), combine the yeast mixture, 2 1/4 cup flour, sugar, salt and butter in the bowl of the mixer or breadmaker and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Allow dough to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hr.

To knead dough by hand, add brown sugar, 1 cup flour, fine salt and butter into the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour to form a sticky dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if needed, until smooth but still slightly tacky, about 5 mins. Shape into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hr.

Preheat the oven to 450°F or 230°C. Line baking trays with baking papers.

Punch the dough to deflate it, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a 30-inch rope. Form each rope into a pretzel shape. See the above picture or here for instructions.

Arrange pretzels on the prepared baking trays. Dissolve the baking soda in 1/3 cup (80ml) warm water and brush each pretzel generously with the soda water. Then, sprinkle with the coarse salt. Bake until golden brown for about 10 to 12 mins.

Brush the freshly baked pretzels with melted butter. Transfer the pretzel onto a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve the pretzels warm with warm chocolate fudge sauce and salted caramel sauce.

Happy Baking
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Please note that the linky tool for bake-along is no longer available.


  1. When I see Aunty Anne's, I go crazy already.. I like to have 2 things from there - pretzels with (toffee?) caramel sauce and their sausage+cheese buns.. Ok, sounds crazy buying sausage+cheese buns from Aunty Anne's at RM10++ per piece, BUT the sausage is really good, big fat juicy ones..

  2. Zoe, I love Auntie Anne's pretzels! I must have at least two hah..hah... I wonder why it must be dipped/brushed with soda water. Quite mafan lah this step. But still, I am very tempted to bake these pretzels!

  3. Stunning! I love pretzels! Especially salted once!

  4. Hi Zoe, do you mind if I'm putting on my old post?>o<

    1. Hi Kristy,

      Can I check with Lena and Joyce first?


    2. Hi Kristy,

      Are you referring to a post that you published 2 days ago? If no, we prefer not. Sorry!


  5. zoe, i have also used the same recipe from food network :D but i did changed to boiling method ..instead of dipping them into the soda solution, i dropped them into a pot for 30 sec. yeah, getting the rope with the same thickness is not easy..!

  6. I love pretzels! These looks so soft! Yummy!

  7. Hi Zoe, your salted pretzels are so nicely baked :D Well done !

  8. Zoe, I love them.
    They turned out delicious.

  9. I am not a pretzel fan but ur post esp. the pics are making me it

  10. Your salted pretzels not only look good but I know they taste good too! Now I am too lazy to bake anything for 2 old folks! Lol!

  11. Perfectly baked and absolutely yummy pretzels ...... :)

  12. I didn't want to miss this one, Zoe. There used to be an Aunty Anne's near us and I often treated myself to one rolled in cinnamon sugar. But the sour cream onion variety was pretty good too! Thanks for reminding me. Now all I need is a rainy day!

  13. I love Auntie Anne's! This is a great bake-along activity, Zoe. Best ever. Can't wait to see all the recipes being posted for this one. ^.^

  14. OMG so nicely made pretzels <3 i am going to def try it

  15. Hi Zoe,
    My pretzels are fat too! But no one's complaining, phew!! Hahaha!
    Your pretzels are wonderfully baked! And dipping them with chocolate looks so yummy! Some of my pretzels went out of shape after boiling them in the soda water. We did enjoy eating those pretzels! :)

  16. Hi Zoe, your second try on the pretzels look so perfect and good! I'm glad you did not give up :) Next time I'll be trying your recipe!

  17. Can I use bread flour???

    1. Hi,

      I have NOT tried making these pretzel using bread flour but I guess that it might work and can't be 100% sure. Cheers!


  18. Hi Zoe, was wondering is it bcos u are brushing the soda water to the pretzel i/o dipping that's why you are using only 80mls of water to 2 tbsp of baking soda??? Thanks.

    1. Yes. If you need to dip the pretzel in boiling soda water, you will need a lot more. Cheers!

  19. Hi Zoe, what's the purpose of brushing with or dipping into soda water. I feel it left a bitter aftertaste of the baking soda. What will happen if we skip that step? Thanks.

    My pretzels started to raise and doubled in size and looked totally obese by the time I finished shaping all 6 of them. Sad!

    1. Hi Zoey, The purpose of brushing or dipping the pretzel dough into soda water will make the surface of pretzels nicely brown colour and crusty after baking. You can skip this step but your pretzels will be lighter in colour and won't be crusty and taste so characteristic like pretzels. Cheers!

  20. Hi Zoe, just wanted to say 'Thank You' for your pretzel receipe. Tried it today and my family loved the soft and yummy pretzels. Pretzels look ok but not as good as yours, need to brush up on my rolling snd stretching skills! Thanks again.

    1. Hi, Thanks for your comment. I'm happy that you like this recipe :)