Kim Boyce's Soft Rye Pretzels

January 21, 2014

In anticipation of this year's Piglet, we'll be sharing articles, recipes, and tips from past winners over the next three weeks. First up: Kim Boyce's Good to the Grain. Learn more about this year's tournament here, or head to Provisions to add some of the titles to your bookshelf!

Today: After you've made your Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies, you'll want something savory. This is it.   

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These pretzels are soft, chewy, and flavorful, with a slight sourness that comes from boiling them in a baking soda bath. The baking soda also gives the pretzels their traditional dark mahogany color. Be sure to boil only a few pretzels at a time and to use the bath for only a single batch of the recipe -- otherwise the baking soda water reduces too far and leaves a metallic bite to the dough. A simple dusting of sea salt, especially flaky Maldon salt, is the best finish to these. Serve a basket full of them with a pot of whole-grain mustard. 

More: Here's how to make that mustard yourself.

Soft Rye Pretzels

Makes 12

2 tablesoons unsalted butter, melted, for the bowl and the baking sheets
1 package active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup rye flour
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 cup baking soda
Coarse sea salt, such as Maldon

See the full recipe (and save it and print it) here.

Photo by Quentin Bacon  


The Piglet—inspired by The Morning News' Tournament of Books—is where the 16 most notable cookbooks of the year face off in a NCAA-style bracketed tournament. Watch the action and weigh in on the results!


See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Brian
  • tc
  • JohnSkye
  • twinjadojo
Kim Boyce

Written by: Kim Boyce

baker/cookbook author


Brian March 1, 2014
Hey everyone, I taught my dog a new trick!! He makes pretzels twice a day, sometimes three times, FREE for the taking, just stop by the yard and grab one or two.
tc February 9, 2014
they look like shit
JohnSkye February 9, 2014
may i suggest they don't look all that appetizing?
twinjadojo January 21, 2014
Yes, yes, yes! These are spectacular, and will make you feel like some sort of baking superhero. May I suggest serving these with caramelized onions, kraut and kielbasa, all loaded up with the grainiest mustard you can find.