Whole Grain Pretzel Dogs and Soft Pretzels

Many warm memories from my childhood involve the enjoyment of consuming huge, chewy, salty, golden-brown soft pretzels. Plain or with mustard, our family loved soft pretzels and shared them often, especially when we went to the city.

Of course, my view is that homemade is best and whole-grain is the bestest of all.

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Over the years I have made many variations of soft whole wheat pretzels, even combining them with organic hot dogs, and many were received well, but this version I offer you here is the absolute BEST according to my family.

Thanks to my friend Charley Cooke of Cooke’s Frontier for her recent post about her homemade Pretzel Dogs and Sausages and her reference to Alton Brown’s famous soft pretzel recipe,  as she gave me the inspiration to once again delve into the chewy goodness of homemade whole grain soft pretzels AND pretzel dogs.

First, mill whole wheat berries into flour using the WonderMill or the Wonder Junior Deluxe mill. I use hard white whole wheat berries.

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Yield: 12 Pretzel Dogs PLUS 8-10 soft pretzels

Pretzel Dough:
3 cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
2 TB organic molasses (not blackstrap)
4 cups whole wheat flour, freshly-ground (I prefer hard white wheat berries)
1 TB organic apple cider vinegar
1 rounded TB instant yeast
2 TB organic sucanat
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 TB Kosher salt
1/4 cup vital gluten flour (optional)
Additional whole wheat flour, freshly-ground

Boiling Liquid:
16 cups water
2 TB organic molasses (not blackstrap)
1 cup baking soda

2 large egg yolks mixed with 2 TB water
Kosher salt

In a large mixer or mixing bowl, place the warm water, 4 cups of flour, molasses, apple cider vinegar and the yeast. Mix until well-combined and smooth. Cover and let sit in a warm place until doubled. Stir down the batter and add in sucanat, oil, salt and vital gluten, mix well. Add in enough additional flour to create a study, but moist, pliable dough and knead by hand for 10 minutes, by machine 4-5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Bring water, molasses and baking soda to a boil in a wide pot.

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Remove the dough from mixer and divide in half, weighing each portion for accuracy. Cover the portion not being used and for Pretzel Dogs divide the remaining portion into 12 equal portions, weighing about 2 ¾ ounces each. For Soft Pretzels, divide the dough into 10 equal portions, each weighing about 3 ounces each OR 8 portions weighing about 4 ounces each.

Pretzel Dogs:
Roll each portion out and flatten. Wind the dough around the hot dog and crimp the ends. When all the hot dogs are covered with dough, drop several at a time into the boiling water mixture. They will sink to the bottom and float to the top. Let boil only about 30-45 seconds and remove with a slotted spoon to a towel.

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When all the Pretzel Dogs are boiled, transfer them to 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, brush with egg yolks and water mixture and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake at 450 for 12-14 minutes, or until deep brown. Remove Pretzel Dogs to a cooling rack.

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For Soft Pretzels:

Roll each portion out to a 20-inch rope and twist in traditional pretzel shape. Drop by 2’s into boiling water mixture. They will sink to the bottom and float to the top. Let boil only about 30-45 seconds and remove with a slotted spoon to 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Brush with egg yolk and water mixture, sprinkle with coarse salt and bake at 450 for 12-14 minutes or until deep brown. Remove to a cooling rack.

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About Vickilynn Haycraft

Vickilynn Haycraft of Real Food Living has been an avid and passionate student of health and nutrition for over 30 years. For the last 25 years Vickilynn has been well-known for her experience reviewing and personally using different tools of the homemaking vocation, focusing on the areas of health and nutrition. Vickilynn is a radio show hostess, magazine columnist, trusted product reviewer, cookbook author of Wrapping It Up! and  co-author of Naturally Healthy Cuisine, Real Food for Real Families. She is also a popular and frequent guest on radio shows, expert panels, speaking engagements as well as being full-time wife, home educator and mom of 5 children. 
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9 Responses to Whole Grain Pretzel Dogs and Soft Pretzels

  1. Kim says:

    These look incredible!! I can’t wait to try them! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Kim says:

    Is the vital gluten flour optional?

  3. Hi Kim,

    YES! The vital gluten is optional. Thanks for the reminder, I’ll change it in the recipe.


  4. Rina says:

    How long does the first mixer(flour, molasses, vinegar and yeast) take two double?

  5. Rina says:

    I want to freeze them. Should I freeze them when the dough is raw and wrapped around the turkey dog or after they are baked?

  6. Rina says:

    Should they be thawed before baking when taken out of the freezer

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