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German Pretzels

As a snack with mustard or beer cheese, these German pretzels are chewy and salty deliciousness!

Winni Recipes | German Pretzels

Ingredients:

Pretzels

· 1½ cups water (lukewarm, between 100-110°F/38-43°C)

· 2¼ teaspoon active dry yeast (or instant dry yeast, 1 packet)

· 1 teaspoon salt

· 1 tablespoon brown sugar (or granulated white sugar)

· 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (melted and slightly cooled)

· 3¾ cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled, plus more for work surface)

· 1 pinch coarse salt (for sprinkling on the pretzels)

Baking Soda Bath (*See Note)

· ½ cup baking soda

· 9 cups water

Instructions:

Make The Dough

1. For the best flavor possible, spread your ½ cup of baking soda over a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper and bake for 30 minutes - 1 hour at 350°F (175°C). Afterward, set the baking soda aside to be used in the baking soda bath later (Optional step - *see note).

2. To get started, whisk the yeast into a bowl containing warm water. Then, allow the mixture to sit for 1 full minute.

3. Next, whisk in the salt, brown sugar, and melted butter. In 1 cup increments, slowly add in 3 cups of flour while mixing with a wooden spoon (or a dough-hook attachment on a stand mixer) until you have a thick dough.

4. Add in the remaining ¾ cup of flour until your dough is no longer sticky. If it is still sticky, you can continue to add flour (up to ½ cup more) if needed. You'll know the dough is ready when you can poke it with your finger, and it bounces back!

5. Transfer the pretzel dough onto your floured work surface. Gently knead the dough for 3 minutes before shaping it into a ball. Lightly cover the dough ball with a towel and allow it to rest for 10 minutes (*see note).

Form The Pretzels

1. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400°F (205°C). Prepare the 2 baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper (or silicone baking mats). Then lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.

2. After your dough is done resting, use a sharp knife to cut the dough into ⅓-cup portions.

3. Using one of the ⅓-cup dough sections, roll it into a rope that is about 20-22 inches in length. Bring the two ends of the rope together to form a circle and then twist the ends together. Grab the twisted ends and pull them back down to the opposite end of the circle, pressing them down, to form a classic pretzel shape. Repeat with the remaining dough portions.

Baking Soda Bath

1. In a large pot, add the water and ½ cup of baking soda. Stir to combine and then bring the mixture to a boil.

2. Once boiling, drop one or two of your formed pretzels into the pot for 20-30 seconds (*see note).

3. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the pretzels out of the water, allowing any excess water to drip off. Transfer the pretzels onto the prepared baking sheet. Then, sprinkle them with coarse salt. Repeat the process with the remaining pretzels.

Bake

1. Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake the pretzels at 350°F (175°C) for 12-15 minutes, or until they have turned a nice golden-brown color.

2. Once baked, remove the pan from the oven and serve while warm.

Notes

· Baking the baking soda in the oven raises the pH level of the baking soda and really makes them better and more like a real, authentic German pretzel.

· It is recommended to use a baking soda bath as it helps to give a wonderfully chewy texture and their classic pretzel flavor!

· If a baking soda bath is not used, simply brush the pretzels with egg wash before sprinkling on the salt and baking.

· To save time, prepare the baking soda bath while the dough is resting!

· Do not let the pretzels sit in the baking soda bath for any longer than 30 seconds, as it can cause them to have an odd, metallic taste.

· You can salt these pretzels or, if you want a sweet twist, leave out the salt and brush the pretzels with melted butter when they come out of the oven. Then coat them with cinnamon sugar!

· If you would like to make these in advance, after taking the pretzels out of the baking soda bath you can cover them and store them in the fridge for up to 1 day before baking.

· To store: Cover your pretzels and store them at room temperature for up to 3 days.

· To reheat from room temperature: To warm up the pretzels, pop them in the microwave for a few seconds or heat them in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for 5 minutes.

· To freeze: Let your cooked pretzels cool completely before placing them into a freezer-safe storage bag. They can be frozen for up to 3 months.

· To reheat from frozen: The cooked and frozen pretzels do not need to defrost. Simply bake them in a preheated oven and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 20 minutes.

To freeze unbaked dough: Freeze the unbaked, formed pretzel dough for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Allow the dough to thaw in the fridge overnight before baking.

 

Source: “German Pretzels”. Recipe. www.bakeitwithlove.com. N.p. Web. 8 Aug. 2023.

 

By Recipe Contributor

 

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