Football Playoff Recipe Series: Pittsburgh Vegan Soft Pretzels

Hey Everyone! As part of the Football Playoff Recipe Series, we’re back with our sixth and final recipe, featuring Pittsburgh Vegan Soft Pretzels. If you’ve been missing those Pittsburgh soft pretzels, this recipe will be sure to make you feel like you’re back in the Keystone state. We looked at classic recipes unique to each region where an NFL team made the playoffs and converted them to plant-based alternatives. Take the plant-based playoff challenge and see how many of these meals you can create. This is the last of a 6 part series.


Serves: 5 pretzels

Vegan Pretzel Dough Ingredients:
1 tablespoon brown sugar (or maple syrup)
1/2 tablespoon dry yeast
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons avocado oil (This is delicious) (or olive oil)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

To prepare the pretzels:
6 cups water
2 tbsp baking soda
Coarse salt (for sprinkling on top)


Pittsburgh Vegan Soft Pretzels Instructions

  1. Proof the yeast: Take 1/4 cup warm water, yeast and brown sugar into a cup and stir until yeast dissolves. If yeast doesn’t foam, try again with a yeast packet
  2. Prepare the dough: Using a mixer with a dough hook, put the salt, oil, flour, proofed yeast mixture, and an additional 1/2 cup of water (for a total of 3/4 cups water) into the mixer. Run on medium low for about 5-6 minutes (until the dough pulls away from the bowl). If you don’t have a mixer, mix and knead dough ingredients for about 8-10 minutes
  3. Brush the inside of a large glass bowl with a small amount of oil. Form the dough into a ball and place in the bowl. Cover and allow the dough to rise (approx. 40 minutes), or until it has doubled in size
  4. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
  5. Uncover the dough and punch it down a few times (it’s ok to be rough)
  6. On an oiled work surface, cut the dough into 5 equal sections, and roll each into a rope about 18-24 inches
  7. Grab the ends of each dough rope to make a ’U’ shape, then form into the shape of a pretzel
  8. Pour 6 cups of water into a pot and dissolve the 2 tablespoons of baking soda into the water, then bring to a rolling boil
  9. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper on it. Set aside. (for use in step 10)
  10. Carefully drop each pretzel (one at a time) into the pot. Each will sink a little then rise up. After 30 seconds lift out each pretzel using a slotted spatula and place onto the cookie sheet. While still wet, sprinkle with coarse salt (as much as desired). Take a sharp knife and cut a 4 inch slit along the bottom of the pretzel. (Slit will open up during baking)
  11. Bake for about 14 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. If they’re golden brown, they’re done
  12. For a quick dipping sauce, I like to mix yellow mustard with BBQ sauce. It provides a great, sweet mustard flavor for the pretzels!

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