Guinness Soft Pretzels

by Erin

Homemade pretzels do take a little extra effort but the pay off is worth it. Especially when you use beer instead of water.

Guinness Soft Pretzels 1

I may never make pretzels with water ever again. The smells that were wafting through the air while I prepared these things… dude. Thankfully those smells were not deceiving because they tasted just as good. These were made for a friend’s fondue party last weekend. Originally I had planned on making a Guinness cheese dip to pair with them but decided the cheese fondue would be sufficient. And oh it was. A few people dunked the entire thing into the cheese resulting in what looked like a heavily frosted cinnamon roll. And now I want to make savory pretzel cinnamon rolls. This is how my brain works folks.

Guinness Soft Pretzels 2

One year ago: Reuben Mac & Cheese

Two years ago: Nutella & Oreo Car Bomb Lasagna

Three years ago: Small Batch Green Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Six years ago: Nutella Fruit Dip


Makes 16 large or 32 miniature


2 cups warm (100-110°F) Guinness stout beer

3 Tbsp sugar, divided

1 packet (2-1/4 tsp) active dry yeast

5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp salt

2 tsp canola or olive oil

1/4 cup baking soda

1 egg lightly beaten with 1 Tbsp water

Coarse salt


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (or a large bowl) stir together warm beer and 1 tablespoon sugar (will foam up, allow foam to settle). Sprinkle with yeast, and let sit 10 minutes or until foamy.
  2. Add 1 cup flour to yeast and mix on low until combined (alternatively in a large bowl stir with wooden spoon). Add salt and 4 cups more flour, and mix until combined. Beat on medium-low until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Add another 1/2 cup flour if the dough is still sticky, and knead until combined and smooth.
  3. Pour oil into a large bowl and swirl to coat sides. Transfer dough to bowl, turning dough to completely cover all sides. Cover with a kitchen towel, and leave in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until dough has doubled in size.
  4. Heat oven to 450°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  5. Punch down dough to remove bubbles. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Knead once or twice, divide into 16 pieces for large or 32 for miniature pretzels. Cover with plastic wrap.
  6. Roll one piece of dough at a time into an 18-inch-long strip for large or 10-inch for miniature. Twist into pretzel shape; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Let pretzels rest until they rise slightly, about 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, fill large, shallow pot with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Add baking soda and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and reduce to a simmer. Add three to four pretzels to water and poach 1 minute on each side. Use slotted spoon to transfer pretzels to prepared baking sheets. Continue until all pretzels are poached.
  8. Brush pretzels with egg mixture and sprinkle with salt. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on wire rack, or eat warm*.

* Pretzels are best when eaten the same day, but will keep at room temperature, loosely covered, for two days. Do not store in a tightly covered container or they will become soggy.

Source: Adapted slightly from my Homemade Soft Pretzels.

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Winslet March 20, 2017 - 3:45 am

These pretzels are looking so delicious and mouth watery. I too agree making them is tiring job but they are worth it. Being a baking lover I can prepare this dish after a lot pain also.

Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen March 9, 2017 - 11:41 am

OMGGGG! I just make pretzels for the first time last week and homemade pretzels are INSANE. I can’t even imagine how delicious they’d be using Guiness. This is total genius :)

Susan March 9, 2017 - 10:46 am

I’ve never paid attention to pretzel-making before (it’s the beer that got me), and I find it interesting that they have the poaching in common with bagel making. Now I need an occasion to make them for, since they won’t keep long enough for us to eat them at a reasonable pace. :-)

spiffycookie March 9, 2017 - 11:25 am

Yes very similar to bagels! And are you saying that eating the entire batch yourself isn’t reasonable? O:-) Haha you could freeze them.


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