Whole Wheat Pretzels
Whole Wheat Pretzels made with 100% whole wheat flour! They’re fluffy and delicious, and coated with cinnamon sugar.
Every time I post a bread recipe on Fifteen Spatulas, I almost inevitably get at least one person asking me this:
“Can I make this bread with whole wheat flour instead of white?”
Oh how this question would pain me, because I would have to break the bad news.
You see, you can’t just swap the two whenever you want, and expect the same results.
The reason it doesn’t work is because whole wheat flour has significantly less protein than white flour, which means less gluten-developing ability. Which is why even for my Homemade Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns, we use a mix of both flours.
For recipes like Whole Wheat Pancakes or The Very Best Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies made with whole wheat, it doesn’t matter since we don’t want to develop gluten.
But with bread, gluten is practically everything. It’s why we spend 10 minutes working that dough, so we can develop a big strong web of gluten-rich dough that can hold in the gas bubbles that the yeast make, and give the dough rise.
Translation: Without gluten, bread would be heavy and dense, instead of light and fluffy. The yeast would be producing its gas bubbles, but there would be nothing to catch and hold those gas bubbles in.
One of the most popular recipes on Fifteen Spatulas (and one of my personal LOVES) is Hot Buttered Fluffy Pretzels, and well, apparently today is my happy day because now if someone asks me, “Joanne, can I use whole wheat flour instead of white flour for this recipe?” I can say….YES!!!! Thanks to some super magical yeast =)
This super magical yeast I used is this Platinum Superior Baking Yeast. It has dough enhancers that strengthen the dough, and give the bread more rise and oven spring. The minute I got my hands on some of this yeast, I knew I had to test out the Hot Buttered Fluffy Pretzels…made with 100% Whole Wheat Flour.
It turned out to be a total kitchen success. I discovered that I was able to make the soft baked pretzels entirely out of whole wheat flour.
And it still had the pretty yeast bubbles, but with more of the whole grain goodness:
I could still roll them out into a long rope:
And shape them into pretzels, without stickiness on my hands.
And after a little dip in baking soda wash,
they went onto the sheet pan for 15 minutes and puffed up like crazy.
This time for the whole wheat version, I decided to make them cinnamon sugar pretzels.
It’s not that I don’t like the hot buttered ones…it’s just I’m crazy for cinnamon sugar tossed ANYTHING. Long ago when I’d go to the mall and get lured into the perpetually long line at Auntie Anne’s, I always got the cinnamon sugar one. Because that darned cinnamon smell in the air is what got me every time.
You just toss it in cinnamon sugar afterward so it sticks to the buttered dough =)
And because these are made from whole wheat flour, that means it’s totally okay to turn these into cinnamon sugar pretzels. You totally earn it with that 100% whole wheat part. Or so says my brain.
Whole Wheat Soft Baked Pretzels
For the Dough:
- 12.5 oz whole wheat flour, by weight (2.5 cups, measured)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 packet Platinum Red Star Yeast
- 1 cup very warm water 120-125 degrees F
For the Soda Wash:
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp baking soda
For the topping:
- vegetable oil for greasing the sheet pan
- coarse sea salt for sprinkling
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Combine all the dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer, and mix with the paddle attachment until somewhat combined (or just mix by hand with a wooden spoon). Change to the dough hook and knead on medium low for 10 minutes. The dough shouldn’t be sticky, just slightly tacky to the touch. Place the dough in a ziploc bag and let the dough rise for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, and lightly grease a baking sheet with vegetable oil. You could also do parchment paper if you can find one that’s rated high enough (most parchment papers I’ve seen only go up to 420 degrees F).
- Remove the dough from the bag and place onto a clean countertop. Divide the dough into 8 pieces (just cut it with a knife).
- Whisk to combine the warm water and baking soda and heat in the microwave for 1 minute. FYI it’s not going to dissolve completely, and that’s okay.
- Roll each of the eight pieces into a long rope, and shape each one into a pretzel (see the step-by-step photos on the blog post to see how to do this).
- Dip each pretzel into the soda wash and place onto the greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt, then let them rest for 10 minutes.
- Bake for 9 to 10 minutes until the pretzels are golden brown, and prep the cinnamon sugar by whisking the sugar and cinnamon together. Brush the pretzels with the melted butter while they are hot out of the oven, then toss in the cinnamon sugar. Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
434 Comments on “Whole Wheat Pretzels”
Must one use the platinum yeast or is it just better with it.
i can’t wait to make the hot.buttery pretzels!! Have company coming & will try them out then!! My favorite dough to make is either pizza dough or sweet dough for homemade cinnamon rolls!! (My moms recipe)
Your recipe says that you use 12.5 ounces of flour, but then it says 2.5 cups… 12.5 ounces is only 1.5 cups though. How much flour is needed for this recipe?
My favorite bread is Cinnamon Swirl. I used to make this bread once a week for my family when I was 16 years old. I was the bread maker to save money since my dad was the only one that worked in a family of eight.
I love making homemade whole wheat bread, always have, to share with friends. Must admit, though, that I will be trying your whole wheat pretzel recipe to share with friends! I sure appreciate your discovery of the platinum Red Star yeast!
Hope you enjoy, Cheryl!
LOVE the little Hawaiian rolls…warm with honey-butter, as cheeseburger or pulled pork sliders, chicken salad sandwiches, or all by themselves!
These look amazing! And I LOVE that they’re 100% whole wheat. 😀
Am I being really silly here or is there no “view older comments” button? I even had my husband look and we can’t find it.
I wanted to ctrl + F for white whole wheat 😉
oh boy, are we excited about these pretzels! i run a dycare in Upstate NY and the kids love coming after a long day at school and sitting down to a snack of hot pretzels..it’s definitely a favorite. Unfortunately, NYS regulations changed as of 1/1/14 and we now are required to serve only whole wheat or whole grain items. As you can imagine, the kids are less than thrilled by this but Ithink that these fluffy beauties with choice of toppings are going to be a hit~we’ll find out tomorrow!
Thanks Redstar and 15 Spatulas!
Hope they go well Nora!
We love making homemade dinner rolls and buns. When we go fishing the sandwiches hold together better without getting mushy.
We now have been doing gluten free baking. It took some time to know what it was supposed to look like before baking. Totally diff. Mo kneading. Dough is wet. The rise only goes to the rim before baking. Otherwise there is a nasty volcanic overflow! Lol learning as I hope.
Love your site and your videos.
Hi Joanne 🙂
Silly question… I don’t have a stand mixer so do I still kneed the dough by hand for 10 minutes or for a different amount of time? Also, would whole wheat pastry flour work for these or should I stick the non-pastry variety?
Hi Jennette, I think it will likely take a similar amount of time to knead by hand, but you should look for visual cues to see when the dough is cohesive. I actually am not familiar with whole wheat pastry flour…I don’t think I’ve seen it at my store! Hope you enjoy =)
I love pretzels with salt and butter fresh out of the oven! I have always boiled my pretzels before cooking them. I am excited to try your recipe.
Hope you enjoy the pretzels Valerie!
Oh my, I remember growing up and smelling Challah. My mom loved to bake, cook and keep the house the one everyone wanted to come over to.
I bake bread regularly, and a house favorite it always cinnamon raisin swirl for breakfasts or my garlic, Italian herb and parmesan bread to go with our meal for pasta nights!
Just for those people asking about the normal yeast, you can use normal yeast if you use Vital Wheat gluten added when the flour goes in…. just a teaspoon or so will do the trick… i believe that is what they add too that special yeast. You can find it in Bulk at big supermarkets, or by Bobs Red Mill. PS I miss the Soft Pretzels at Costco and these taste exactly the same!!! Way to go!!!!
I am looking forward to experimenting with this recipe, as well as the fluffy buttered recipe. I am diabetic so I tend to stay away from wheat products. I am hoping this would work with oat flour (I just buy old fashioned oatmeal and put it in my bullet to create flour). I’m still playing with this idea with varying success because I just love breads.
Hi Katrina, unfortunately I don’t believe oat flour will work for this recipe because of the inability to create gluten (which is essential for the pretzels to hold together). I’m sorry to hear you are diabetic, that must be challenging to adjust your cooking and baking.
Hmmm . . . perhaps 50/50 oat flour and wheat flour with that new yeast. Or using regular flour. Eventually I will get around to it. 🙂