So I like playing with my food. I especially like making turtle shaped foods whenever I can. I attempted turtle shaped pretzels a long time ago. It’s something I’ve been wanting to revisit for a long time to improve on my first attempt.

These turtles came out much cuter than my first attempt. I rolled the dough out into ropes but then instead of shaping them like pretzels, I rolled the dough into a spiral shape. After that I pinched the front to shape a head, and pinched the sides to form feet and tail. The first time I had used separate pieces of dough for the face and feet, but this led to the dough falling off.

For the eyes, I was thinking of putting little dollops of chocolate, but I was too lazy to melt chocolate and instead I cut a little slit and stuck a brown colored sprinkled inside for each eye. I am pretty happy with the end result.
I am submitting this post to Yeastspotting.
Turtle Soft Pretzels (adapted from Alton Brown)

Yields: approx 16 small pretzels

1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg


1. Combine the warm water, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. Add the flour and butter and using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl. Remove the dough from the bowl, and place the dough in a glass bowl oiled with vegetable oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

2. Divide the dough into 16 pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 12 inch rope. Wrap the dough into a spiral shape. Pinch a large piece of the dough in the front to shape a head. Pinch little pieces where the feet and hands should be to form feet and hands and a small piece at the end for the tail.

3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

4. Using a large sauce pan, fill with water and bring and the baking soda to a rolling boil.

5. Place the pretzels into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Place pretzels on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat mat.

6. Beat one large egg. Brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 6-7 minutes. After pretzels have cooled, add eyes to turtles. You can put drops of chocolate. Or you can stick sprinkles in for eyes. I cut a small slit and stuck sprinkles inside.


18 Responses to “Turtle Soft Pretzels”

  1. myra — March 1, 2011 at 1:27 am

    Adorable! And they look so yummy too.

    • Kirbie replied: — March 1st, 2011 @ 9:48 am

      I like how they turned out and the shape didnt take away from the taste.

  2. Rosa — March 1, 2011 at 10:00 am

    My first attempt at making soft pretzels came out okay taste-wise but man, did they look ugly. I couldn’t get them to hold shape! They would just pull back into a blob… I think I’ll try the turtle shape…may have better luck than the traditional twist.

    • Kirbie replied: — March 1st, 2011 @ 10:13 am

      Hmm, I wonder why. When you make the rope, it needs to be even and smooth and very thin. 12 inches for small pretzels and 24 for big ones. Sometime it’s hard to roll the rope out so long but I think that is the best size for creating the pretzel knot after and having it rise properly after it boils.

  3. Morgan — March 1, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    These are so cute!

    • Kirbie replied: — March 1st, 2011 @ 10:21 pm

      Thanks! I think they are so much more fun to eat this way.

  4. Goldie — March 2, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    I was wondering if there was an alternative to using the stand mixer? Would it be better to hand mix everything or to use a handheld electric mixer?

    • Kirbie replied: — March 2nd, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

      The stand mixer is mainly used for kneading the dough. I don’t recommend using a handheld mixer. You can knead the dough by hand. I did that before I bought my mixer.

  5. Goldie — March 2, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Oh! and approximately, how long do these pretzels keeps for?

    • Kirbie replied: — March 2nd, 2011 @ 2:37 pm

      I’m not quite sure how long they last. I’ve always finished them within 2 days. You can make them in small batches and freeze the remaining dough. (Freeze after letting it rise and shaping.). But I think they should be able to keep for a few days if you store them in a container.

  6. Jessica — March 5, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Great creativity. I would love to do this with the kids. They would get a kick out of it.

    • Kirbie replied: — March 6th, 2011 @ 2:37 am

      This seems like a great recipe to try with kids!

  7. jill — February 12, 2013 at 8:18 am

    my dough is so sticky its glued to my hands i cant shape it into anything

    • Kirbie replied: — February 12th, 2013 @ 9:27 am

      The dough shouldn’t be sticky. I’ve used this recipe many times and the dough should not be sticky at all to work with. It sounds like your dough might be too wet. Maybe too much water or not enough flour. Did you try adding some flour to your board when you roll out the dough?

  8. jill — February 12, 2013 at 9:32 am

    adding a ton more flour worked. thanks

    • Kirbie replied: — February 12th, 2013 @ 9:35 am

      I hope your pretzels turn out!

  9. Joy — March 14, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    Would these work to use as pretzel rolls? Can you slice them through the center above the legs to open up, or will they come apart?

    • Kirbie replied: — March 15th, 2015 @ 8:31 pm

      you can use this to shape any way you wish

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