Making homemade German pretzels isn't as hard as you might think. This recipe is easy to follow, and yields the most chewy, dense, flavorful German pretzels. Serve with a side of stone ground mustard and maybe a beer - these are delicious.
- for the pretzels:
- water - 1 1/2 cups, warm
- sugar - 1 tbsp
- salt - 2 tsp
- yeast - 1 package dry, or 25g fresh
- all purpose flour - 4 1/2 cups
- butter - 4 tbsp (55 g), melted
- for the bath:
- water - 10 cups
- baking soda - 2/3 cup
- for the wash:
- egg yolk - 1, beaten
- water - 1 tbsp
- pretzel salt
- In a small bowl combine the water, sugar, salt and yeast - then set aside until the yeast foams.
- Put the flour in a larger bowl, then add the yeast mixture and butter and use an electric mixer with a dough hook attached to mix on low speed until combined.
- Increase the speed to medium, and mix until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl - about 5 minutes.
(if you don't have a dough mixer attachment, you can put the dough on a floured surface, and knead it for about 10 minutes, until it comes together and becomes elastic)
- Form the dough into a ball and put it back in the bowl - drizzle a little oil over it and roll it around well, oiling the ball of dough and the inside of the bowl.
- Cover with a damp kitchen towel, and leave in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a boil in a large pot.
- Preheat the oven to 450 F (225 C)
- Line two baking sheets with baking paper, and grease the paper.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal size balls, then roll each one out into a 2 ft (24 cm) long rope.
- Form a U shape with each rope, then cross the ends down to form a pretzel shape.
- Gently place each pretzel into the water, one at a time, and boil for about 30 seconds, then remove carefully with a slotted spoon, and place on the prepared baking sheets.
- Use a fork to mix the egg yolk and tbsp of water together in a small bowl, then brush each pretzel well with the mix.
- Sprinkle the pretzels with pretzel salt (I couldn't find any pretzel salt, so I used fleur de sel, and it worked great) and bake in the oven for about 12 - 15 minutes, until golden brown.