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July 7th, 2002

Soft Pretzels

What’s the best soft pretzel you’ve ever had?

While I grew up near Philadelphia, known for their soft pretzels almost as much as their cheesesteaks, and thoroughly enjoyed many a good Philly pretzel at a Phillies game, I’d have to say that my overall favorite soft pretzel experience comes from a most unusual place: The Dutch Wagon Market. The Dutch Wagon is a shop run by the Pennsylvania Dutch who come into town two days a week and sell their incredibly tasty food and candy. But the real treats are their soft pretzels: warm, squishy with butter, and topped with flavoring. That may sound like an Auntie Anne’s pretzel, but the Dutch Wagon has a special recipe (which my family managed to get from an “insider”) which results in the best tasting pretzel one will ever have.

It’s always comforting to know that there’s one thing big business can’t duplicate: the small touches and “home recipes” that result in some of the tastiest food around.

Posted in Food and Beverage

FROM: Dave Walls
DATE: Tuesday July 9, 2002 -- 11:18:24 pm
Oh Lord, I remember having pretzels from there..I'm a Delaware native, and I remember having those from time to time throughout my childhood. Sure beat those rubber tires in the paper bags they called "pretzels" at Phillies games.

At least those rock hard pretzels made good projectiles for bad 80's Phillies baseball. (2 words: Steve Jeltz)

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Wednesday July 10, 2002 -- 12:01:35 am
Steve Jeltz! Wow... there's a name I haven't heard in a while. And Juan Samuel. I loved that guy.

I always thought the pretzels in Philly were pretty good... maybe 'cause I was a kid I had more tolerance. Who knows.

FROM: Dave Walls
DATE: Wednesday July 10, 2002 -- 5:40:03 pm
At least Juan Samuel had some talent. ;-) Steve Jeltz had a lifetime average of .210!! And he was a STARTER..That sums up the 80's Phillies. ;)

FROM: roy autrey
DATE: Monday October 21, 2002 -- 6:56:48 pm
I am from Philly living in Okla. I miss Philly pretzels and CHEESESTEAKS do you have any recipes? I have not found the perfect ones as of yet but keep trying for those childhood taste memories. Thanks

FROM: Joseph Kerr
DATE: Friday January 3, 2003 -- 6:15:41 pm
I have not yet tried the pretzels which you are speaking about. Do you have this recipe online, some way I can find it, or will you email it to me? I would greatly appreciate it.
Thanks, and Happy New Year.

FROM: Stephanie
DATE: Saturday February 8, 2003 -- 6:07:32 pm
Can you please supply me with your recipe for soft pretzels, my kids and I love top make them at home, and I have been looking for a great recipe.

FROM: Karen
DATE: Friday March 7, 2003 -- 4:51:48 pm
I have been searching for a recipe for soft pretzels similar to the origional Aunt Annies pretzel. Could you email me the recipe you mention? This is my first time to your web-site. Thank-you!

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Saturday May 31, 2003 -- 12:23:03 am
Now normally, we don't supply recipies, pictures, free pens, or anything of the sort....

But today, YES TODAY, is your lucky day! For I, Dave Walls, will now reveal the secret formula in making authentic Philadelphia street vendor style pretzels. Share with all, and enjoy.


Rubber Tires. Salt.


Salt Rubber Tires. Sell as pretzels
outside Veterans Stadium in a paper
bag. If someone says they taste like
rubber tires, run like hell.

FROM: who made pretzels [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday June 13, 2003 -- 12:30:49 pm
who made pretzels before everyone else???

FROM: ngm
DATE: Monday June 23, 2003 -- 1:08:29 am
hi :)
i've been trying all sorts of different recipes for pretzels (unfortunatly i'm from the UK and so have never tasted penn. pretzels :( )
anyhow.. keep trying to back pretzels but end up having some funny tasting bread :S.... tried the variety with boiling first or backing straight off.. no luck... can anyone pleeeeeeeeeease give me a good decent recipe that actually tastes like pretzels? (doesn't have to be the secret one.. although that one will be much appreciated;) )
thanx a bunch!!!

FROM: BB\'s school mate
DATE: Monday June 23, 2003 -- 11:07:19 pm
Agree that Steve ( BB)* Jeltz was not exactly the most formidable hitter in Philly Land. But how do we ponder this anomaly: a paltry five home runs in eight big league seasons, yet two of them were hit in the same game, from different sides of the plate. Go figure.

Reminds me of Al Weiss, the weak hitting utility infielder for the 69 Mets who slammed two against the hapless Bleacher Cubs during the Met's glorious run to the top in the twilight of the season (9 ˝ back in early August, and they walked away).

But nah, Jeltz never came close to lumber heroics, but a mighty fine glove he did have.

*His Boyhood nickname was B.B. (as in B.B. King).

FROM: jk
DATE: Monday June 23, 2003 -- 11:26:56 pm
Who made pretzels? I believe the Germans did, and they call them Brezeln. Check out Sturgis Pretzels and I bet that will answer all your Qs. I love pretzels with ice cream.

FROM: jk
DATE: Monday June 23, 2003 -- 11:31:11 pm does indeed have a recipe for pretzels!

FROM: jk
DATE: Monday June 23, 2003 -- 11:32:19 pm
Oh, this recipe is not for soft pretzels. Sorry. Why not try it anyway?

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday June 23, 2003 -- 11:45:22 pm
Close enough. :)

That would be a fun field trip, the pretzel factory. Herr's Potato Chips does tour from their facility in PA, and you can even sample warm chips right as they come out....that is GOOD. :)

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Monday June 23, 2003 -- 11:54:53 pm
Ah yes, Steve Jeltz's banner year of 1989, with 4 HR and a career high BA of .243.

Certainly an improvement over the year before, starting in 32 more games, and batting a paltry .187.

Someone tell me why I know all's quite disturbing, really. I
feel like I should be walking around like Dustin Hoffman in "Rain Man".

"Yeah...yeah....Steve Jeltz...20 career triples, but only 5 homers....yeah, yeah...weird, yeah..."

FROM: jill
DATE: Tuesday November 11, 2003 -- 9:47:05 am
i want that secret recipe for annies pretzels , or that one close to it. can you email it to me thanks

FROM: Chele
DATE: Tuesday December 16, 2003 -- 10:04:54 pm
If you don't mind could you please email the pretzel recipe to me!

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Tuesday December 16, 2003 -- 11:22:18 pm
Just as soon as our crappy towing company picks up the company vehicle that's hauling the free pens and Progeria pictures, you got it!

In other words, no. Go to Auntie Anne's, ask for the recipe, see what kind of reaction you get.

C'mon people..

FROM: Lisa
DATE: Sunday February 8, 2004 -- 1:14:58 pm
too bad no one can write the recipe up

FROM: Paul
DATE: Sunday February 8, 2004 -- 1:36:40 pm
Yeah, because this is a recipe site, and all.

DATE: Friday May 7, 2004 -- 1:50:14 pm
These pretzels sound alot like annie's pretzels and my family loves soft pretzels. Can you please email me this receipe for the flavored soft pretzles.

DATE: Friday May 7, 2004 -- 1:56:01 pm

FROM: Paul
DATE: Friday May 7, 2004 -- 2:52:38 pm
Can you please email me this receipe [sic] for the flavored soft pretzles [sic].

Just as soon as we get the free pens and progeria pictures in.

FROM: UPS Guy [E-Mail]
DATE: Saturday May 8, 2004 -- 9:33:04 am
Hello Sir/Madam

We drooped by today to deliver your pens and progeria pictures you had ordered, but you were not in, we will return with your shipment the next time the planets align.


FROM: Cathy
DATE: Wednesday August 4, 2004 -- 12:55:43 pm
Please would someone send me the receipe for soft pretzels. We were in Florida recently on honeymoon and tried them for the first time from Autie Annie's and they are fantactic!! Nothing like that in Ireland - need to make them myself if I can. Many thanks!!

FROM: Cathy
DATE: Wednesday August 4, 2004 -- 12:59:01 pm
Please would someone send me the receipe for soft pretzels. We were in Florida recently on honeymoon and tried them for the first time from Autie Annie's and they are fantactic!! Nothing like that in Ireland - need to make them myself if I can. Many thanks!!

FROM: Todd
DATE: Friday August 6, 2004 -- 7:16:07 am
Please send me recipe would like to make at home Thanks

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday August 6, 2004 -- 8:15:24 am
Folks, no one's going to send you a recipe.

FROM: Rob [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday August 6, 2004 -- 11:06:35 am
You're holding out on everyone, Ryan. You have the recipe, just like you have all those pictures of the Olsen twins naked.

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday August 6, 2004 -- 11:22:24 am
...and Maury's email address, too...C'mon, cough it up. ;p

FROM: ron
DATE: Wednesday August 11, 2004 -- 1:32:33 pm
i need pretzel recipe

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday August 12, 2004 -- 11:12:06 am
Hint: buy a pretzel recipe book rather than posting random sentence fragments on web sites.

FROM: Debbie
DATE: Sunday October 10, 2004 -- 3:58:13 pm
Can i get this pretzel recipe from you please!!! Thank you!

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Sunday October 10, 2004 -- 8:29:38 pm
For the last time people.....JESUS CHRIST...There is NO PRETZEL RECIPE HERE!

For GOD'S sake....I swear there's no hope for the other 90 percent of humanity.

FROM: Magdalene Cher
DATE: Wednesday November 24, 2004 -- 10:49:08 pm
Can you have your soft pretzel recipe please.

FROM: stachichach
DATE: Friday November 26, 2004 -- 2:38:40 pm
Well I see nobody is going to post a soft pretzel recipe here. I am from Philadelphia and now live in the midwest, working as a research and development chef for mid sized restaurant company. I will be working on the soft pretzel project this coming week when I return to work from the holiday, and will make my finished recipe available online. Trust me it will beat the heck out of the Auntie Annie thing. Keep in mind people, if you have a recipe, its not just the baking that gives you the desired flavor. How long it sits out after baking, how it is stored, the temp of the pretzel when it is stored and using a paper bag to keep them in are all critical. They bake these babies starting at like 2am just around the corner from my former restaurant in philly. Funny I never thought to take a job there just long enough to steal the recipe, but like I said it wont be too difficult to figure out. I will post this recipe on my site when it is complete. Screen name is the same as here, this is the link.

FROM: CWalker
DATE: Thursday February 3, 2005 -- 7:45:11 pm
There is a recipe for pretzel bread in "The Bread Bible"
by Rose Levy Beranbaum that uses a lye (that's right, lye!) dip and the results are exactly Philadelphia style soft pretzels. Her recipe makes many tiny little breads. Instead I made the whole recipe turn out about 22-24 pcs. They were each 3" long by 1 1/2" wide and they were glorious! The crisp tough crust, the chewy inside....I ate the whole batch! With yellow mustard of course. I am a native Philadelphian and these took me right back home.

FROM: Judy Bridges
DATE: Monday February 13, 2006 -- 2:26:55 pm
Please email me recipe for the pretzel that is close to Aunt Annie's. The nearest place to purchase Aunt Annie's is an hour from where I live.

FROM: Paul
DATE: Monday February 13, 2006 -- 3:57:15 pm

You will need:

- mode of transportation (feet, bike, car, train, bus)
- grocery store (or convenience store)
- money (to exchange for goods and services)


1. Use mode of transportation to get to grocery store and use money to purchase pretzels.
2. Open bag or box and eat.
3. Post stupid thing on internet without reading anything, hoping someone will ignore your stupidity.

FROM: Nat Minardi
DATE: Monday May 29, 2006 -- 9:52:28 pm
oh, great recipe for the rubberized philli pretzels, tastes just like the true vendors make!

Dyly Love April 19, 2007, 7:33 am

Hey, c’mon. Steve Jeltz wasn’t so bad. You may not know this, but he has the interesting (thought distinctly weird) distinction of having the highest triple-to-hits ratio in modern baseball history.

Jay May 9, 2007, 11:52 pm


Do you still have that recipe for the best pretzels?

Terri May 31, 2007, 9:13 pm

Would you e-mail a copy of both pretzel recipes? Thanks!

Char June 24, 2007, 2:23 pm

Really don’t think Ryan has a recipe for soft pretzels. Period.

Ryan June 25, 2007, 4:47 am

Oh, I’ve got one. I’m just not sharing. Because I’m a dick.

Chrmann December 17, 2007, 6:28 pm

Sorry everyone is having a hard time!!

Here is the recipe. Good-luck!

Aunt Annie’s Pretzel Recipe

1 1/2 C. warm water
1 1/8 tsp active dry yeast (1 1/2 pkg.)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/8 tsp salt
1 C. bread flour
3 C. regular flour
2 C. warm water
2 Tbsp baking soda
To taste, coarse salt
2 – 4 Tbsp butter (melted)
Sprinkle yeast on lukewarm water in mixing bowl; stir to dissolve. Add sugar, salt and stir to dissolve; add flour and knead dough until smooth and elastic. Let rise at least 1/2 hour.

While dough is rising, prepare a baking soda water bath with 2 cups warm water and 2 tbsp baking soda. Be certain to stir often.

After dough has risen, pinch off bits of dough and roll into a long rope (about 1/2 inch or less thick) and shape. Dip pretzel in soda solution and place on greased baking sheet. Allow pretzels to rise again. Bake in oven at 450 for about 10 minutes or until golden. Brush with melted butter and enjoy!

After you brush with butter try sprinkling with coarse salt.

Or for Auntie Anne’s famous Cinnamon Sugar, try melting a stick of butter in a shallow bowl (big enough to fit the entire pretzel) and in another shallow bowl make a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Dip the pretzel into the butter, coating both sides generously. Then dip again into the cinnamon mixture. Enjoy!

Yumyum July 9, 2008, 3:25 pm

Great Pretzel recipe!

Now does anyone have the recipe for cinnabon cinnamon buns?

Thanks in advance.

Dave Walls December 24, 2009, 11:42 am

Oh, *NOW* you’re just being greedy…

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