Earlier this month, I REALLY got in touch with my German side! Food, music, costumes, beer, the whole shebang!
That is one good looking family, if I do say so myself!
As some of you may know, my dad is German, so my parents have started the tradition of having an Oktoberfest to celebrate that heritage in our house. It doesn’t hurt that its all about food and beer either! And every year it seems to get bigger and bigger! A new sausage to try, another person dons some lederhosen, and now we are brewing our own beer and making our own pretzels! I totally feel German!
I have to admit that the beer making is much more impressive, but that post will have to wait for another time. THIS time, I am going to talk about making soft pretzels!
You don’t have to go to Germany (or the mall) to get soft pretzels anymore! You can make them yourself! The process is not too hard, just a bit time consuming. But there’s nothing like eating a pretzel fresh from the oven. Yum, yum! I wish I had eaten more myself, but I had wanted to make them for the Oktoberfest that my parents threw.
The ingredients for pretzels is pretty simple, but the process from simple to pretzel is kinda complicated. Mix, rise, shape, rise, boil, brush, bake, and then you can finally enjoy! Each step in itself is pretty simple, but combine them, and you are spending lots of time in the kitchen.
- Give yourself lots of time for each step.
- Make them the day of. Best when freshly baked.
- Let them get a nice darker brown. Non of this golden brown stuff.
- Form the dough quickly before it dries out.
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp salt
- 8 cups water
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 large eggs
- 2 Tbsp water
- Kosher salt
- In a bowl, combine warm water, yeast, and sugar. Mix slightly and wait for about 5 minutes, until the yeast has started to foam up. Add in flour and salt, and mix together.
- Knead dough for 5-10 minutes (either by hand or with an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment). The dough should come together, have a smooth exterior, and be slightly sticky.
- Oil the bowl that you kneaded the dough in, and place the dough in the bowl. Brush the exposed surface of the dough with oil as well. Cover and let stand for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled.
- Dump the raised dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 8 pieces (I did 16 pieces for mini-pretzels).
- One piece of dough at a time, roll the dough into a long thin rope about ½" to ¾" in diameter. Form the pretzel shape as shown above making sure to pinch down the ends. Place the formed pretzel onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the pieces. Let the formed pretzel dough rise for 20-30 minutes.
- While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Also prepare the water bath. In a pot with high sides, add the 8 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Add the baking soda and sugar being careful since adding the baking soda makes the water foam to almost twice its volume.
- Working with only a 1 or 2 pretzels at a time, put them in the simmering water. Let cook for 30 seconds, then flip over and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and place back on the parchment lined cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the pretzels, working in batches of 1 or 2.
- Whisk egg and 2 Tbsp of water together. Brush each pretzel with a light coat of the egg mixture. Sprinkle each pretzel with about 1 tsp of kosher salt (or to taste).
- Bake the pretzels for 12-15 minutes or until a deep brown color. Remove from oven, then let cool slightly before eating.
(adapted from recipe by thekitchn)