How To Make a Rich and Chewy Pretzel Loaf

Recently I published a video for little pretzel rolls which turned out to be quite a nice project and a well-received one too. One of my good friends in baking, Lan, turned that dough into a whole loaf of pretzel bread. That inspired me to make this video.

Thinking about it, we could probably give the pretzel treatment to many differently shaped and sized breads. There are a couple crucial things to consider in order to make it happen. The dough must not be too loose so that it does not get distorted when handled and boiled. The pot must be large enough to accommodate the dough. If I had opted for an oblong loaf, it would not have fit in the pot that I used.

It is the boiling process that gives the crust a chewy texture. The added ingredients in the boiling solution are responsible for the colour of the crust.

You can divide this dough and shape it in whatever you like. Experiment and have fun with it!

Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.


For the scald –

50g (1.75oz) white bread flour

8g (0.28oz) salt

8g (0.28oz) malt powder

25g (0.88oz) butter

255g (9oz) boiling hot beer


For the main dough –

4g (0.14oz) instant dry yeast or 4.8g (0.17oz) active dry yeast or 12g (0.42oz) fresh yeast

350g (12.35oz) white bread flour


For the boiling solution –

2L (0.5gal) water

50g (1.75oz) baking soda


To learn more about no-knead bread dough temperature control click here.

The flour I use has a protein content of 13%. If your flour is weaker, then you may need to lower the hydration. 

If you are using active dry yeast, then you may need to let it sit in the water for 10 minutes before adding the other ingredients or else it could take a lot longer to raise the dough.


  1. Make the scald. Bring the beer up to a boil (use more than the recipe specifies to account for evaporation). Mix the flour, salt, malt, and melter butter. Add the beer and mix until smooth. Cover and leave to cool down completely.
  2. Make the dough. Add the yeast to the scald and mix well. Add the flour and mix to a dough. Mine turned out a little cool, so it took longer to ferment. If you aim for the regular 24C – 25C (75F – 77F), it will ferment more rapidly.
  3. Cover and ferment for 45 – 60 minutes.
  4. Fold.
  5. Ferment for 45 – 60 minutes.
  6. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and pre-shape. Rest for 20 minutes.
  7. Roll the dough into long strands and braid the loaf.
  8. Cover and proof for 30 minutes.
  9. Boil the loaf in the water and baking soda solution for 30 seconds per side.
  10. Place it on to a non-stick paper lined baking tray and brush it with some of the boiling liquid. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  11. Bake at 160C (320F) for 40 minutes.


Keep in mind that the conditions in each kitchen are different, so fermentation times may vary for you. It is up to the baker to control the bread and react accordingly.

Your oven may be different too, so your baking time may vary.

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