Pretzel Bagels

pretzel bagel in the hand

A stack of pretzel bagels

I must have pretzels on the brain because I have made not one but two pretzel themed items this past week. These pretzel bagels were the first. The salted caramel pretzel cupcakes were the second.

Hard to decide which one was better.

Pretzel Bagels PRE baking soda bath

No seriously. It was.

These pretzel bagels were a little slice of heaven each morning, with a bit less guilt than the cupcakes.

I do think that I killed the yeast with water that was too hot, as these didn’t get to be big fluffy bagels. But truthfully, it didn’t matter. I loved them anyway. I will, however, be paying more attention when making the next batch.

These bagels make great “buns” for sandwiches, fabulous sides to delicious soups, and stand perfectly tall on their own.

Impress yourself (and everyone you know) by making these pretzel bagels. And then come back and tell me what you paired them with!

pretzel bagel in the hand


Yields 6-12

Ridiculous Rye Pretzel Bagels

2 hrPrep Time

18 minCook Time

2 hr, 18 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 2 1/4 tsp (1 1/4-ounce package) active dry yeast
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • Coarse sea salt or kosher salt, for sprinkling


  1. Combine 11/2 cups lukewarm water (110 to 115 degrees), yeast and honey in a large bowl; stir to combine.
  2. Combine rye, whole wheat, and all-purpose flours with kosher salt and add to the water and yeast. Stir to combine.
  3. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 12 to 15 minutes, adding up to 1/4 cup all-purpose flour if needed, until the dough is soft and smooth but not sticky. (Tip: to prevent dough from sticking to hands, rub a small amount of melted Earth Balance or vegetable oil on them.)
  4. Lightly brush a large bowl with oil. Shape the dough into a ball, seam side down, and transfer to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise in a warm spot for up to 90 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  5. Lightly brush two baking sheets with oil.
  6. Punch down the dough and place on a lightly floured surface.
  7. Cut into 12 pieces.
  8. With your hands, roll one piece into a ball and push your thumb through to make the hole in the center.
  9. Transfer to baking sheet.
  10. Repeat with remaining dough.
  11. Let the pretzel bagels rest 15 to 20 minutes.
  12. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  13. Meanwhile, bring 10 cups water to a boil in a large pot.
  14. When the pretzel bagels are ready, stir the baking soda into the boiling water.
  15. Gently lift 2 or 3 pretzel bagels and drop them into the bath.
  16. Poach for 30 seconds, turn them over and poach 30 seconds more.
  17. Using a long-handled mesh strainer, transfer the pretzel bagels to the baking sheets. Sprinkle freely with sea salt.
  18. Repeat with remaining pretzel bagels.
  19. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes, until dark brown.
  20. Transfer to a cooling rack until just cool enough to eat.
  21. Devour immediately.

Allergen Information

Nightshade Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Soy Free, and Corn Free.


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More about Emily Levenson

Emily Levenson is a meditation encourager, mama, and Pittsburgh enthusiast. She recently launched a podcast called Nourish + Flourish and is a co-pilot at Propelle.


  1. Reply A tablespoon seems like A LOT of salt to go into the dough... is that supposed to be a teaspoon?
    1. Reply Surprisingly, that's what the original recipe from the NY Times called for. You are welcome to drop it down to 1 tsp if that feels better for you!
  2. Reply Can you use just one type of flour?

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