Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels

These pretzels may be even more dangerous than store-bought frozen pretzels. Yes, they are whole wheat. Yes, they have much better nutrition stats than your typical frozen pretzel. But no, you will not be able to stop eating them. Hence the danger.

Thank you to Branny for suggesting vital wheat gluten as an ingredient in whole wheat pretzels. A quick search turned up several whole wheat pretzel recipes, and this recipe from Baking Bites was the one of the few that met both criteria that I was looking for: all whole wheat and contains vital wheat gluten.

(Notice, I made pretzels and ran fast yesterday.)

The whole wheat flour makes the pretzels quite filling and gives them a great texture. To my surprise, I also found the whole wheat pretzel dough to be much easier to make and to work with than the white pretzel dough. Win. Win. Win.

Next time I will definitely double the recipe because these will not last long at all at Duke’s House.

As an aside, if you are shying away from this recipe because of the vital wheat gluten, don’t. You can find it in the baking aisle of most grocery stores and it is not a “scary” ingredient to work with.

From Baking Bites.


  • 2 cups warm water (100 – 110 degrees)
  • 3 1/2-4 cups whole wheat flour, divided
  • 2 tbsp vital wheat gluten
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • coarse salt, for topping


  • In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of whole wheat flour, vital wheat gluten, active dry yeast, and sugar.
  • Stir in warm water, then let sit, covered with plastic wrap, for 40 minutes for batter to rise.
  • Stir in honey, salt and 1 1/2 cups more whole wheat flour.
  • When dough comes together, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gradually work in the remaining flour 1 tbsp at a time, until the dough is moist, but not sticky, and elastic (about 5 minutes).
  • Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 additional hour.
  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Dissolve baking soda in warm water.
  • Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and pat into a rectangular shape.
  • Divide, dough into 10-20 even pieces depending on the size of pretzels you desire.
  • Working with one piece at a time (leaving the others covered with a towel or plastic wrap), roll each piece of dough into a long rope (longer means thinner pretzels, shorter leads to breadier pretzels) and make an “X” with the loose ends and turn “X” down to meet the center of the dough rope, forming a pretzel shape.
  • Dip each shaped pretzel into baking soda mixture and place shaped pretzels on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly greased, leaving 1-2 inches between pretzels to allow for further rise.
  • Sprinkle each with coarse salt, to taste. (For pretzels with a glossy finish, beat one egg and brush pretzels with egg before salting.)
  • Bake pretzels for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown, then cool on a wire rack.

Servings ~ 10
Calories ~ 200, Fat ~ 1 g, Carbohydrates ~ 44 g, Protein ~ 8 g

Servings ~ 20 (I made my pretzels into 20 servings which yielded similar size pretzels to the white flour pretzel recipe that I tried.)
Calories ~ 100, Fat ~ 0.5 g, Carbohydrates ~ 22 g, Protein ~ 4 g

  1. lifeisbeachykeen said:

    Oh yum! I think that wheat gluten scared me. I’m glad you said you can find it in most grocery stores. The best part is I have all those ingredients in my kitchen except the wheat gluten! yay!!

    • Brit said:

      They were super easy to make and they taste awesome! I may try to turn this recipe into whole wheat bagels. Chris is a two bagel a day guy, so it would be awesome to start making them instead of buying them!

  2. What is this “vital wheat gluten” stuff?

    The texture of these looks outstanding!

    • Brit said:

      It is the protein found in wheat. It is in powdered form, or mine is anyway. It lightens the texture of whole grain bread products.

  3. Lisa said:

    Soft pretzels = awesome! Soft pretzels that may be pretty healthy = double awesome 😀 glad to see you got your gold track foot today!

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