Caraway Pretzel Recipe

By Marcus Samuelsson |

I’ve had a life-long love for street foods.  One of my earliest memories is traveling to Berlin with my parents and sisters.  The scent of the caraway was enticing and left me wanting more of the same.

Often you see sweet incarnations of this German staple, but for me, the combination of Cheddar cheese and caraway seeds can’t be beat.

Prep Details

Servings: makes 12 pretzels


1 tbsp active dry yeast

2 tbsp granulated sugar

2 tbsp packed light brown sugar

2 1/2 tsp plus 1 tbsp sea salt

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tbsp baking soda

1 large eggmixed with 1 tbsp water, for egg wash

2 tbsp shredded Cheddar cheese

1/4 cup caraway seeds


1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the yeast, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and 2 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and flour and mix until a dough forms. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and leave overnight at room temperature to rise.

2. On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough evenly into 12 pieces. Roll out each piece into an 8-inch long rope and then shape into a pretzel. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let sit in a warm place to rise, about 45 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

4. Combine 4 cups water with the baking soda in a large pot and bring to a boil. Working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot, drop the pretzels in the water for 20 seconds each. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to another parchment lined baking sheet.

5. Brush the pretzels with egg wash and sprinkle with the cheddar cheese, caraway seeds, and 1 tablespoon salt. Place in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.