Different Types of Pretzels

German pretzels have always inspired awe and wonderment of all who enjoy them throughout the world; with so many varieties and types of pretzels available for consumers to choose from, there are sure to be an option available for even the pickiest eaters. There are several types of pretzels that you can choose from including soft pretzels, hard pretzels, and specialty pretzels.

History of Pretzels

The first thing that you should know about the different types of pretzels available is a little history about how pretzels came about in the first place. In the early 1600s, an Italian monk used some leftover dough that came from the Lenten season. He formed shapes out of the dough, and baked the dough in a way that maintained these shapes. The shapes are meant to represent hands, which are folded into prayer and were called “small reward” or pretiola in Latin. In the years following this discovery, pretzels became popular all throughout Europe, though they are usually associated with Austrian and German bakeries. Some names they have come to be known as include, brezn, brezl, and bretzels in the German language, and each variety of German Pretzels has its own name.

Soft Pretzels

Soft pretzels are the original type of German pretzels available; the pretzels that the Italian monk made were in the form of soft pretzels. This variety can come in many shapes, sizes, and flavors, which you can choose from. Usually the soft pretzel will come in the twisted shape first discovered in the 600’s. The dough is pretty basic; you can use the dough from regular bread or from pizza dough in order to make a soft pretzel.

Hard Pretzels

The invention of the hard German pretzels did not come around until the 17th century, and when it did appear it was by accident. The legend states that an apprentice to a baker fell asleep while at work and the pretzels, which he was making, were overdone. The baker was originally going to throw out the batch because he believed that they were ruined; however, he decided to taste one from the ruined batch first and fell in love with this crunchier type of pretzel. The hard pretzel soon because very popular because of its crunchy taste and because it could be stored for much longer than the soft pretzels.


There are many varieties and option available between these two types of pretzels, both in the hard pretzel variety and in the soft pretzel variety. The soft pretzels may include options such as salt, flavorings, and butter while the hard pretzels may include options such as chocolate and yogurt dipped. Both can come in variety such as whole wheat and organic if you choose.

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