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Soft Whole Wheat Raisin Pretzels


  • 1 1/2 cups warm water — 100-110 degrees F
  • 1 packet active dry yeast — (1/4 ounce or 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons vital gluten*
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 large egg


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Set aside two baking sheets covered in parchment paper or a silpat mat.
  2. Plump the Raisins: Place raisins in a small bowl, then cover with boiling water. Let stand 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. Make the Dough: In a large bowl (or the bowl of stand mixer), combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Stir and let sit for 1 minute. The yeast should be foamy. (If it is not, the yeast did not activate properly and this step must be repeated). Stir in the kosher salt and orange zest.
  4. With a wooden spoon (or the mixer’s paddle attachment), slowly stir in 1 cup of the white whole wheat flour, then the vital wheat gluten, then the remaining 1 cup of the white whole wheat flour. Stir in plumped raisins.
  5. Stir in 1 cup regular whole wheat flour. From here, continue to stir in whole wheat flour, a few tablespoons at a time, until the dough is no longer sticky and bounces back when poked. (I used 8 tablespoons—1/2 cup—additional whole wheat flour total). Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface (or switch to your mixer’s dough hook). Knead for 5 minutes and form into a ball. Lightly coat a large bowl with cooking spray. Place the dough into the bowl, turn to coat, and let dough rise for 10 minutes. Once dough has puffed, lightly flour a knife and cut the dough into 4 equal parts. Then, cut those 4 parts into 2 parts each. No need to be exact about this: use any amount of dough to create whatever size of pretzel you wish.
  6. Roll each piece into a rope of even diameter (the longer the rope, the larger your pretzel will be. I rolled mine to be 16 inches.) To form the pretzel, lay the rope horizontally, then pick up each end and draw them upwards as if you were forming a circle, cross the ends, then draw them down to form a pretzel shape. Lightly press the dough ends to hold the shape.
  7. In a shallow bowl or pie dish, beat the egg and with 1 teaspoon of water to create an egg wash. Dip each entire pretzel into the egg wash and coat both sides. Place each pretzel on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven to broil for 3 minutes to brown pretzel tops. Watch closely to prevent burning. Let cool slightly.
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Homemade Pretzel Recipe, Soft Whole Wheat Raisin Pretzels

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