Signature Pretzel Bread

As promised, here is my recipe for the finished pretzel bread.  It’s seriously quite popular in my office, and that means I did something right.

Mike’s Signature Pretzel Bread - makes 2 small loaves

2 ¼ tsp yeast
1 cup water (110-120 degrees)
2 Tbsp room temperature milk
1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
3 Tbsp butter
1 tsp kosher salt
2 ½ – 3 cups bread flour

4 quarts water
½ cup baking soda

Kosher salt to taste
2 Tbsp melted butter

Add yeast, water, milk, brown sugar and butter into a large bowl, whisking until all ingredients are combined.  Let mixture rest for 10 minutes for yeast to activate.  Mix in kosher salt.  Start by adding two cups of the flour to the bowl, combining it with other ingredients.  Add more flour as it’s needed, reserving just a bit for coating the dough mat later.

The dough should form a slightly tacky, but firm ball.  Oil the bowl, place the dough ball in the bowl, and cover with a damp towel for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, knead the dough by hand or machine for at least 5-10 minutes until the dough is elastic and satiny.  Place dough back in the bowl and recover for 1 hour. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bring the 4 quarts of water to a boil.  When the water is boiling, slowly add the baking soda.

Remove the dough from the bowl and gently degas it.  Form two separate balls of dough, forming them into the shape you want.  Drop one of the smaller balls into the baking soda bath for no longer than 30 seconds, turning it once to guarantee both sides covered.  Drain the excess water from the dough and place it on an oiled baking sheet.  Repeat with second ball of dough.

Sprinkle the kosher salt over the bread to your specific tastes, and make sure to use a knife to cut a small incision on the top of the bread so the dough has somewhere to expand.

Cook the bread for 22 minutes, rotating the baking sheet once.

Once removed from the oven, immediately brush the melted butter over the loaves to guarantee a soft crust.

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141 Responses to Signature Pretzel Bread

  1. Michelle says:

    Great recipe. I love making it….I used to work at a local Country Club and this is one of the breads we made DAILY…as little rolls for bread baskets. I make it at home too! Thank you!

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  3. YaBoy says:

    Just used this recipe for probably the fifth time, absolutely love it! Doubled the recipe this time and kneaded it to death, not quite sure it ever got “satiny” but the crust came out perfect!

    Thanks for sharing this recipe with the world :) I tell my friends about it, and they get jealous, thinking I’m making it with my bread maker. When I tell them they can do it too, they are blown away.

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  5. Kimberly says:

    I make bread in large quantities for family and friends. The first time I made the 2 loaves…..since then I have doubled, tripled and quadrupled this recipe. It always turns out beautifully. Thanks so much.

  6. NorthernPayne says:

    Fan-flippin-tastic recipe!

  7. Sigrun says:

    Oh, fantastic recipe! Thank you so much!

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  9. Honeytiger says:

    Like another reader, I lived in Germany too and vielen Herzlichen Dank (thank you, thank you, thank you!!!) for this absolutely perfect recipe. While in Bavaria, my favorite snack on Saturdays were Kaese Stangen – and your recipe has given me the EXACT dough to make them at home!! In case you want to try them, pinch off enough completed dough to make rolls. Take a lump of dough and roll it out into an 8″ or 9″ log. Follow your recipe to bake, but run a knife down the center longways for steam expansion. Once the stangen have baked and cooled some, split them open length-wise (leave only a little bit of bread holding them together) and thickly sprinkle with grated swiss cheese (Emmenthaler would be best). Then pop them under the broilder until the cheese melts and turns golden. Yum, yum!!

  10. mazbp says:

    What video. On my newsletter I received a black rectangle which I assume was the video.

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  12. MollieB says:

    I just finished thisrecipe, and there are no words for me to tell you how amazing this is!!!
    I was wondering if you have any suggestions for baking this in a bread pan? The loaves I just made are 6″-8″ rounds about 2″ tall, and I want to slice this type of bread for sandwiches. I was just going to put it in and monitor it for cooking time, but thought I’d ask on case you’ve tried this with this recipe.

    • TwobitMe says:

      Mollie,

      I’ve put it in a bread pan countless times. Instead of forming a perfect circle, just form a more oblong shape and use the bread pan. It should rise up into loaf form without any problems.

      • MollieB says:

        It worked well, although it was difficult to handle the full batch for boiling and into the bread pan part of the process. Next time I’ll split the batch as you do in the recipe.
        We did grilled reubens on pretzel bread and they were to die for!!!
        Thanks so much for the recipe. It’s now a staple in my house. I’m making a batch this weekend done as sandwich rolls for a holiday party!!

      • John Minarik says:

        if you put it in a loaf pan, is it only one? seems too small to make two.

      • TwobitMe says:

        It is only one, unfortunately, but it’s still delicious!

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  15. Rose says:

    it is not rising and i used all new ingredients. i bake a lot and followed the recipe to perfection

    • TwobitMe says:

      Do you live in a high altitude/low altitude place? That could be one reason. I, of course, have no clue how to adjust for that. You could always try adding a bit more yeast to see if that has any effect. Just make sure the water is at 110 or so degrees as mentioned. If it’s too cold, you could stop the rising process altogether.

      • liz in albuquerque says:

        I live in a high altitude & had trouble with the dough rising, You suggested that I decrease the amount of yeast. It didn’t help so I just live with flatter bread. It tastes the same, but I might try putting it in a loaf pan now.

  16. Kristen says:

    I just made this bread, it is so good! I may eat the whole loaf tonight.

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  19. wypadek drogowy says:

    Das war wie ein hilfreicher Artikel! Ich bin gerade erst mit meinem Blog und ich hoffe, es wird so gut wie Ihre. Grüße!

    • TwobitMe says:

      Ich bin froh, dass Sie meinen den Artikel und viel Glück in Ihrem Blog! Die einzige deutsche ich weiß, ist: “Wo ist die Toilette?” und “Die Toilette ist auf dem Flughafen um die Ecke.” Ich hoffe, Google übersetzt den Rest dieses richtig zu übersetzen!

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  22. Steph B says:

    I did what the recipe said, but my dough didnt rise or cook right. It was very doughy and didnt rise in oven. What did i do work? please help!!!

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  24. Margie says:

    The bakery at my grocery store has started to occasionally sell pretzel bread, and I fell in love with it and decided to look for a recipe. I made this for the first time tonight, and it was fantastic. It was a perfect recipe in that following it exactly gave me two loaves that looked just like the ones in the picture. This tasted soooo much better than what they sell at my grocery store. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipe!

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  26. Nicole says:

    I made this recipe after pretzel bread mania hit my family this summer. I did not like the recipe that my Uncle and Mom had been using so I decided to find my own. I found this recipe and my husband and I were shocked at the difference. I’ll let the rest of the family stick with their bland, over-cooked bread and we’ll stick with this. Delicious!

  27. Liz in Albuquerque says:

    They work very well for me. There are 5 of us and the smaller size cuts down on the fighting. Everyone gets a few.

  28. This recipe is fricken awesome. I made 10 loaves at the beach house. Drinking beer, wine and tequila and everyone raved about it. All ten loaves were gone in a day and a half. Thanks for the recipe. My girlfriends uncle gave up eating bread, but he couldn’t help himself. He jumped off the wagon and devoured 2 loaves by himself. It was a hit. Very delicious recipe!

    • TwobitMe says:

      Glad you all liked it! Especially awesome, for me, that I got to bring someone to the dark side and start eating bread again. Thanks for commenting!

  29. Georgie says:

    TRYING IT FOR THE FIRST TIME NOW MADE THEM INTO 16 SMALL ROLLS AND BATHED THEM THEY ARE NOW IN THE OVEN. CANT WAIT I HOPE THEY COME OUT GOOD! I NEED TO STOP GOING TO QT FOR THEIR HAM AND CHEESE ON PRETZEL BREAD!

  30. Rufina Baber says:

    Fantastic blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely confused .. Any recommendations? Many thanks!

    • TwobitMe says:

      I’d recommend a free one at first. Hell, this one is still based off a free one. Most importantly, write about what you like. Don’t force yourself into a corner. Many a time, I’ve almost regretted writing only a food blog because there’s so much more I do. That’s why I have a couple different blogs out there (that no one reads) just so I can get it out there.

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  32. Ann says:

    Can I make this receipe as rolls instead of a load of bread?

  33. Kelly says:

    Great recipe! I love to take it to large gatherings, always rave reviews. If I don’t need as much, can you freeze the dough? Would you do it before the bath or after? Any tips for baking using frozen dough?

    • TwobitMe says:

      I don’t see why you can’t freeze it. Just take it out and let is sit over night. I’d definitely freeze it before the bath though. Do everything up to the bath, freeze it, thaw it, bathe it. Good to go!

  34. Diane Barto says:

    I made this last night and the bread was PERFECT! I can’t imagine how it could be better.

  35. Karen says:

    Oh dear, I think I did something wrong! My first time trying to make it and the dough was still sticky after the second rise. One loaf even tried to fall apart in the soda bath.

    Methinks I need to add more flour at the beginning and probably knead it longer. I was guessing using the dough hook on my mixer because I hadn’t made bread outside a bread machine in many years.

    • TwobitMe says:

      Definitely sounds like a flour issue. It should just be slightly sticky as it is after the first mixture. If it’s still that sticky after a second rise, either the yeast or the flour didn’t take.

  36. Tonya McCord says:

    Does it have to be dark brown sugar? I have light. Does anyone know if I can use that? Thanks

    • TwobitMe says:

      Don’t worry about it. You can totally use light brown sugar. You could probably use white sugar if need be. I just use dark brown for that little extra hint of molasses.

  37. Robin V says:

    Love love love it!! Thanks!!

  38. John says:

    Mike, like you need another comment :) but thanks for making me a pretzel bread addict! I even made a batch last week in Germany for my girlfriend’s family and they couldn’t get enough – that says it all right there!

  39. Della says:

    Dear Mike,

    I just made my first batch of pretzel rolls, and they are absolutely beautiful and taste beyond delicious! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  40. Linda G says:

    When you remove the dough from the bowl, you say to gently degas it. How does one “degas” dough?

  41. Dayna says:

    I’ve made these twice. After the first batch turned out so well, I made a second. That time, I multiplied the recipe by 2-2/3 so that I could use one stick of butter, and I added one cup of ground flax meal.

    Let me say, I got waaay more dough than I expected! My husband and I tried making pretzel buns and braids and something that even looked like a spacecraft out of Star Wars.

    We ran into some trouble with the baking soda bath, though, ’cause in the water, the shapes wanted to untwist or fall apart. When mentioning that to someone else, she suggested just using a small container of boiling water-soda and brushing it onto the pretzels and buns, etc. Has anyone else tried that successfully?

    • Dayna says:

      Also, using a serrated knife is better than a butcher or santoku knife. If your blade isn’t super sharp, it’ll just dent/deflate your raised dough. With the serrated knife, you can avoid that.

  42. Pamyla says:

    This is a fabulous recipe. Thank you for sharing it. I made it right away and loved it. Than I made some for a lactose intolerant friend. I used olive oil and soy milk. The bread turned out just as fabulous. This is the best pretzel bread recipe I have found. So I will no longer be tryi ng or looking for new recipes. THANK YOU

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  44. Gen says:

    Simply amazing! I think this may be the only recipe out there on the Web…I have been making it regularly for the last month. I am actually making a double batch right now for a party, Everyone loves it! Thanks so much for sharing!

  45. Jen says:

    Hi!
    I just made the pretzle bread and it is incredible!!! i love homemade bread and have made many (many) attempts at different kinds, and usually they taste alright but don’t rise properly, etc…but this turned out perfectly! Thanks so much for a fantastic recipe! I’m going to pass it on right now!

  46. Liz says:

    Mike, thank you so much for this recipe! I used to buy pretzel rolls at the farmer’s market for a buck each. I’m high altitude, around 7 thousand feet so I have to add up to a whole cup more flour & increase the oven temperature to 450. I also deflate the dough, tip it out onto the counter & using a pizza cutter, slice the dough into 8 wedges which I shape into rolls & bake for 15 minutes. Everyone who eats these rolls begs for more. Can this recipe be successfully doubled?

    • TwobitMe says:

      Glad you like it Liz! One of the reasons I cooked up the recipe was because we were spending too much money on loaves at farmers’ markets and Trader Joe’s.

      I would think you would be able to double the recipe without a problem. Let me know if you have any success.

      • terri says:

        I double the recipe all the time with no problem at all. I start with a cup less flour than doubled, then add as needed, if any additional is needed.

        I’ve made rolls, hamburger buns, oblong loaves, round loaves, big loaves and small loaves – even bagels and pretzels! They all work really well.

  47. Katie says:

    So do you cut the bread before you put it in the bath? or after??

    Thanks!

    • TwobitMe says:

      Cut it right after you take it out of the bath. If you do it before it could possibly leak it’s delicious bread goo.

      • Harris says:

        So i tried the recipe last night, and im pretty sure i followed everything according to schedule. I even did the yeast test someone mentioned, it failed, so i went out and bought new yeast. everything went perfect, the pretzel browned nicely in the oven, but when we took it out, the dough in the middle was raw as can be. any ideas or areas beginning breadmakers usually mess this up?

        thanks!

      • TwobitMe says:

        Hmmmm, if anything I would check to make sure the oven is heating evenly. I know that I’ve had that problem before. Anyone else have any ideas?

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  49. Emily Papera says:

    This recipe has been great the two times I’ve tried it. My husband loves pretzel bread and he’s enjoyed two weeks of the ‘rolls’ I did however want to know how to get you height (Leavening) in it. Have you ever tried to do the wash and let it rise a little again to see if that worked> It is perfect, I just wouldn’t mind a little more height on it. Thanks so much though!!

  50. Jeannette says:

    Hi,
    Can this whole recipe be done in the breadmaker or is the baking soda bath crucial to the process?

    • TwobitMe says:

      The bath is definitely essential to get the pretzel crust and flavor. What I would recommend is taking it out right before the baking process, doing the bath, and tossing it back into the machine.

  51. Martha says:

    Thanks so much! I have made it two weeks in a row. It went so fast the first time that I double the recipe this week. YUM.

  52. a and m says:

    btw m8 these look like beetroots!!!!!!!!
    haha

  53. Kim says:

    Great tasting..but looked horrible once baked and didn’t stay nice and round and browned like yours..they looked great risen and pre-water/baking soda bath, but after I did the water bath and after i baked them, they got small and yucky looking…help?

    • TwobitMe says:

      Hey Kim,

      I haven’t dealt with the shrinking issue before. Maybe the yeast ended up being too old?

    • terri says:

      is it possible that you sliced the tops for the escaping air after they had risen and bathed? The only other reason I can think of is that they may have been punctured and deflated some while in the bath.

      I forgot to cut the tops once and even after allowing them to rise again after I sliced them, the results were as you described.

  54. Chris says:

    This recipe has been touted on AllRecipes and mentioned frequently on the Recipe Exchange. I have made it 2 or 3 times and just found the source. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! We love it.

  55. Cindy says:

    Wow. It sounds awesome. I am going to give it a whirl!

  56. Keri says:

    Like Kennedy, I found this recipe and your site when it was passed around on a recipe web site. The first time I made this bread, I formed it into 8 smaller rolls instead of two loaves and we loved it! I will be making it again today, and I’m especially excited because I now have a Silpat to bake it on! Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

  57. Suzanne Boyle says:

    What a great recipe. I used my bread machine as you suggested and it worked very well. Thanks for including that info. I ate pretzel bread in Chicago from a bakery and hoped that this recipe would duplicate it – and it surpassed it my expectations.
    As the food editor at a daily newspaper, I hope you keep up the good work!

  58. Comedy Blog says:

    Just a tip. Pitch the yeast in the water with the sugar and wait to see if it bubbles, then add the milk and the butter. This way if it doesn’t work, you don’t have to throw all of it out.

    • TwobitMe says:

      Very true! If you’re not getting the yeast bubbles within a couple minutes, it’s time to say a small prayer over your yeast and buy some fresh stuff.

  59. jimmyg says:

    sorry if this is a stupid question, i’m new to bread -making(!) – is the recipe for fresh yeast or instant/fast? If its fresh, what would you do to make it with instant?

    thanks! Can’t wait to try it!

    Also, i presume i should use normal Strong White Bread Flour? Thanks!

    • TwobitMe says:

      It can be used for either. I’ve used fresh and instant the same way. With instant, you don’t have to worry about the 15 minute yeast raising. Just mix the ingredients together before mixing into the flour.

  60. Kennedy says:

    Hey guys!

    I just wanted to thank you for the great recipe. I saw it passed around a lot on another website, so I looked for the original and came across your blog, and it looked fantastic! I have a photo taken with mini loaves and a Guinness…. ultimate beer and pretzels! :) Great recipe and blog… thanks for sharing it online!

    • Kennedy says:

      And, by the way…I made the recipe, again, today, but I made them into “pretzel bites” and served them with a GREAT alternative to the “neon” cheese served at theaters and ball games….it’s a new(to me, anyway, I usually am a “homemade” girl) product by Tostitos called Smooth and Creamy Cheese Dip. It’s NOT a Queso or a pepper cheese, it’s just cheese. Thank you, again!

      • Kim says:

        Hi… I’ve read many of the responses… I love “pretzel bites” & I’m excited to try this recipe… My only question is when you made the dough into bites… approximately what size did you form the dough to & how long did you bake?

        Thanks for sharing the info! ;-)

      • TwobitMe says:

        If you cut them into bites, you may have to play it by ear. Start at 11 minutes and keep adding 5 minutes until it’s browned to where you want them.

    • TwobitMe says:

      Oh, this would go great with some fried pretzels and guinness. Damn. Now I’m hungry!

      • Kennedy says:

        Try it..trust me, your just baked, buttery pretzel bites, a Guinness and that lovely bright orange cheese product(it IS real cheese, at least ;) are just waiting for a football game… these WILL be on our Sunday rotation, I assure you. You have my email, if you want the pics, just give a holler! Thank you, again, for the recipe.

  61. terri says:

    This all started when a friend mentioned she wanted to find a recipe for pretzel bread. I’d never heard of it, so I started looking, found a few, liked the sound of this one and did a test recipe to see how it turned out before sending it to her.

    I LOVE this recipe. I’ve used it for bread, pretzels, bagels and pizza dough. I’ve never even looked at the other pretzel bread recipes I’ve found. It couldn’t be improved.

    I make bread at least once a week with various recipes. This has become my favorite.

    I’ve made single loaves rather than dividing it, braided it and made small dinner rolls.

    It’s so light and fluffy unlike a lot of homemade bread. It’s perfect for sandwiches.

    You can’t go wrong with this recipe. Try using the smaller amount of flour first and only add the add’l if it’s really needed. I have a KitchenAid mixer, so I knead it only 3-5 minutes max. I like to keep my dough fairly soft, so it never quites forms the full ball around the dough hook, but it’s close. Just a bit still around the base of the bowl.

    5 stars all the way!

  62. Nicole says:

    Haven’t tried the recipe yet – one Q:
    Should the butter be cold, room temp, cut in pieces, melted??

  63. Mic says:

    I used this recipy and made small folded pretzels, as we had a finger food event. They tasted great and went down a treat! I sent this link to those who asked for the recipy. Easy to do and delicious to eat. Thank you for the clear instructions. Even in the sweltering South African heat the pretzels are great!

  64. AJ says:

    This bread is amazing! One of my co-workers brought this in & it was so good I ate most of it. I asked her for the recipe and she sent me this link. Can’t wait to try this at home!

  65. Amanda says:

    I’m so glad I found this, going to hopefully try this today. I used to live in Vegas, and there was a restaurant inside the Sunset Casino in Henderson called Sonoma Cellar. They had pretzel rolls that were so awesome, these look very similar :) I made something called Bretzel Rolls last year and those were very good, but not quite the same. Am hoping for closer results with this one, thanks!

  66. clarissa says:

    thanks so much for the recipes. it’s delicious and so easy. i will never buy pretzels again!

  67. janj says:

    I’ve made this bread several times and so has every member of my family. This is one of the only recipes on the internet for this bread and we sure do thank you for taking the time to post it!

  68. Julie Welch says:

    Just made this on a rare rainy day here in Southern Cal.
    The loaves are gorgeous!! I ran the ingredients through 2 cycles on the dough setting of my bread machine, then followed rest of instructions normally.
    Thanks for recipe!

    PS. I wonder…can you save baking soda water til next day and make again?

    • TwobitMe says:

      Glad you liked it! And I’ve wondered if you can do the same thing with the water, or if it just becomes unusable. I guess that’s something to research for both of us!

      • terri says:

        The first time I made the bread, we ate almost every bit of it within an hour – it was so good. Had to make more the next day.

        I saved the water, added just a bit more to bring it back to 4 qts and didn’t add any more baking soda. It worked just fine.

      • TwobitMe says:

        Great tip on saving the water!

  69. Rocco says:

    This bread is phenomenal! What a great recipe. It’s the only bread I bake since i discovered this recipe. I recently got a tonsillectomy and this soft and comforting bread is the only solid food I can eat… Yummy!!!
    Thank you very much!

    • TwobitMe says:

      Rocco,

      Glad you like it! And hope you feel better! I was unlucky enough to have my tonsils out at a late age, so I appreciate the need for some soft foods.

  70. Andrew says:

    Never had pretzel bread before spending the summer in Chicago and getting it from Trader Joe’s and Farmers Mkts. This recipe is perfect – helped me recapture some of the joy and taste of Chicago.

  71. janj says:

    Thank you for posting this recipe…looks great, I’m trying it now.

  72. Schube says:

    I made your bread today and my family thinks it is fantastic. Thank you for posting your recipe!

  73. Vanessa says:

    I just made these the other weekend and I can’t tell you how awesome they tasted! However, they looked like crap. I would like to know how you keep the bread from deflating when you put it in the baking soda bath? Mine was waterlogged and deflated. It definitely didn’t have the nice ball shape that Mike has pictured above, but they still tasted fantastic. I just want to perfect the look of them so that people aren’t scared to try them. :)

  74. Sarah says:

    Oh my god best recipe ever! Thank you for posting it! Although it takes a little time to make definately worth all the work and wait! I am going to try it next sans salt and add cinnomin and sugar!

  75. gerry says:

    followed recipe
    when removing from soda bath the dough didnt seal all the way
    cooked for 22 min and was raw in middle
    cooked some more ,but had to cut it to cook
    did i do sometheting wrong?
    was still good but not like picture:(

  76. Laura says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I lived in Germany for several years and ate pretzel bread at least once a week. Since I’ve been back in the States, I’ve never been able to find good pretzel bread anywhere – even in “authentic” German bakeries! This recipe is AMAZING!! I divided the dough into six small balls – to be more like the broetchen of Germany – and they came out absolutely perfectly. I can’t thank you enough for this recipe!!

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  78. erick says:

    seriously awesome!

  79. Jeff says:

    This bread turned out fantastic. I highly recommend that you give it a shot. You won’t be disappointed!

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  82. PauL says:

    OMG, WHen I was in Switzerland I feel in love with this bread and had it every morning for Breakfest. Thank You so much for this Authentic recipe. I will cherish it the rest of my life!!!

  83. Drew says:

    AMAZING….

    This was the first pretzel bread that I ever attempted, and it came out PERFECTLY. It smelled fantastic baking in the oven, and my wife couldnt believe how great it tasted. (Frankly, neither could I)

    I will definitely be making this again!

  84. Angelene says:

    This is the BEST recipe! We devour the whole batch as soon as it’s out of the oven! Everyone we’ve introduced to this recipe has fallen in love with it too. Mike’s a bread genius!

  85. Len says:

    Great bread – my family loves it and is requesting more. Thanks for the recipe!

  86. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for the great recipe! Everyone at my office loved it too!

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