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Home » Recipes » Breads » Yeast Breads » Bavarian Soft Pretzels

Bavarian Soft Pretzels

Making German style soft pretzels at home is not difficult at all. As a matter of fact, you’ll love just how easy…and delicious they are!

Bavarian Soft Pretzels from Cosmopolitan Cornbread

When we lived in Germany, there were food trucks that you would see here and there that had some of the most amazing foods you could imagine. The ice cream truck with the super-creamy fresh, hazelnut ice cream, or the Greek truck with the gyros, or the Pommes Frites – ahh…. Another favorite were these fresh, soft Brezl that we would get at the fests – they are traditionally served with mustard, along side a pint of Bier!

The other day when I made these, my husband literally got down on his knees and begged me to make a whole ‘nother batch for him to take to work the next day.

I did.

Where’s my Super Wife cape?

How to Make Homemade Pretzels – Bavarian (German) Style

To begin, place 1 1/2 cups of warm water in a mixing bowl, with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.

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Sprinkle 2 1/2 teaspoons of active dry yeast over the top of the water, and let it sit about 10 minutes until it gets bubbly.

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Place your bowl under the mixer, fitted with a dough hook, and add in 4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

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and 1/4 cup of melted butter. Let the mixer run for about 4 minutes, until the dough comes away from the bowl and is nice and smooth.

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Form the dough into a ball, and place it in a clean, oiled bowl, Turn the dough to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap, and let it rest in a warm place for an hour, or until the dough is doubled in size.

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When the dough is risen, grab a large pot, and put 2 quarts plus 2 cups of water in it, along with 2/3 cup of baking soda. (Traditional pretzels are given a bath of lye water – but frankly, lye is terrifying to me. This option is much more doable.) Bring the water to a full boil.

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Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, and lightly spray the paper with oil. Set aside.

Now grab your dough while the water is heating up. Turn it out onto a lightly oiled surface.

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Cut the dough into 8 equal portions.

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Take one portion and roll it into a long snake, about 2 feet long.

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To shape the pretzel, bring the ends up,

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Twist once, and then again.

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And turn the ends down towards the bottom, and press the ends gently against the dough where it crosses.

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With a slotted spatula, gently place the pretzel in the boiling water for 30 seconds.

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Left the pretzel out, and place it on the baking sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining 7 pretzels.

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Grab an egg, and separate it. Beat the yolk with a tablespoon of water, and brush the tops of the pretzels with the mixture.

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Sprinkle with some pretzel salt (if you can find it) or some kosher salt.

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Bake the pretzels for 12-14 minutes or until dark golden brown. Enjoy!!

Bavarian Soft Pretzels from Cosmopolitan Cornbread

Bavarian Soft Pretzels

Bavarian Soft Pretzels

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Rising Time: 1 hour
 Baking Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 54 minutes

Making German style soft pretzels at home is not difficult at all. As a matter of fact, you'll love just how easy...and delicious they are!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c warm water (110-115 degrees)
  • 1 Tb brown sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c butter, melted
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 quarts + 2 cups water
  • 2/3 c baking soda
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tb water
  • pretzel or kosher salt

Instructions

  1. To begin, place the 1 1/2 cups of warm water in a mixing bowl, with the brown sugar and 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.
  2. Sprinkle the active dry yeast over the top of the water, and let it sit about 10 minutes until it gets bubbly.
  3. Place your bowl under the mixer, fitted with a dough hook, and add in the flour and butter.
  4. Let the mixer run for about 4 minutes, until the dough comes away from the bowl and is nice and smooth.
  5. Form the dough into a ball, and place it in a clean, oiled bowl. Turn the dough to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap, and let it rest in a warm place for an hour, or until the dough is doubled in size.
  6. When the dough is risen, grab a large pot, and put 2 quarts plus 2 cups of water in it, along with the baking soda. Bring the water to a full boil.
  7. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  8. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, and lightly spray the paper with oil. Set aside.
  9. Now grab your dough while the water is heating up.
  10. Turn it out onto a lightly oiled surface. Cut the dough into 8 equal portions.
  11. Take one portion and roll it into a long snake, about 2 feet long.
  12. To shape the pretzel, bring the ends up, twist once, and then again.
  13. Turn the ends down towards the bottom, and press the ends gently against the dough where it crosses.
  14. With a slotted spatula, gently place the pretzel in the boiling water for *30 seconds.*
  15. Lift the pretzel out, and place it on the baking sheet.
  16. Repeat the process with the remaining 7 pretzels.
  17. Beat the yolk with a tablespoon of water in a small dish, and brush the tops of the pretzels with the mixture.
  18. Sprinkle with some pretzel salt (if you can find it) or some kosher salt.
  19. Bake the pretzels for 12-14 minutes or until dark golden brown.
  20. Enjoy!!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 352 Total Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 38mg Sodium: 5813mg Carbohydrates: 58g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 2g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 9g
Nutritional Disclaimer: Nutritional data is provided as a courtesy and estimated by a service called Nutritionix. That is a web-based nutritional calculator and is not guaranteed to be accurate. If the nutritional information is vital to you please verify it using your favorite trusted source.

27 thoughts on “Bavarian Soft Pretzels”

    • Maybe the pretzels you are familiar with were from a different part of Germany than where we lived. Or could be you are looking for the type that are given a lye bath. I'm sorry you were disappointed, but these are a huge hit around here :)

      Reply
  1. Conni, you definitely deserve that "kick ass wife cape". Your pretzels are absolute perfection – even better looking than the ones you find in bakeries! I've always been intimidated by pretzel making and your recipe and step by step photos are totally helpful. Maybe I can master pretzel making too! I adore your giant marble slab, it must be awesome using it to prep food.

    Reply
  2. Mom recently commented when we were dining out how much she liked soft pretzels. i'll be making her a batch of these as soon as I can stand to turn on the oven again. Your hubby's co-workers are a lucky group.

    Reply
  3. Conni! I am shocked to hear you don't already have a cape. If anyone deserves one, it is you, for all you do! That is the most gorgeous soft pretzel I think I have ever seen.

    Reply
  4. Here[1] is a slightly in-depth explanation of what's going on.
    Here's the quick and dirty. Bases, such as baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and lye (sodium hydroxide) lower the temperature at which the Maillard reaction[2] takes place. The Maillard reaction happens when protein-rich foods are exposed to high (350F/175C and above) temperature – this is what's going on when food browns.
    Lye is a much stronger base than baking soda, so it is much more effective at lowering the temperature at which browning occurs. Baking soda isn't that strong of a base, but it can be made quite a bit stronger by exposing it to heat (300F/150C for an hour), which turns it (sodium bicarbonate) into sodium carbonate. The author of the article I linked above (Harold McGee) recommends an approx. 20% solution of baked baking soda in water, and soaking pretzels in this solution for 3-4 minutes. It's not going to beat lye for pretzels, but it's quite a bit safer, and is going to produce a better result than baking soda.
    My recent post KFBass on Bavarian Soft Pretzels, this shows how to make those really good German pretzels

    Reply
  5. One of my favorite things in the whole wide world! These look amazing…and only confirm my deep desire to wander the streets of Germany, eating all the while. ;)
    My recent post Currywurst Mit Pommes {#SundaySupper: Global Street Food}

    Reply
  6. Yummy! Your pretzels are the real deal… Straight out of the oven with a bit of salt or mustard…Mmm that would be fabulous just about now.

    Reply

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