Here's the recipe: (or get the printable version here)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 packet active yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 2 quarts water for bath
Instructions1. Add yeast to warm water. Let it settle for about 5 minutes. Then add the sugar and salt to the yeast and mix in.
2. Add the yeast, sugar, and salt mixture to the flour. Mix together. I used the dough hook on my kitchenaid and mixed for about 5 minutes on speed #2. Let dough rest for 30 minutes.
3. Cut dough into about 5-6 equal parts. Roll out on a clean surface. Don't need to flour the surface, the dough shouldn't stick. Roll the dough in a line until it is about 1 inch in diameter. Cut 1.5-2 inch pieces and place on a lined baking sheet.
4. Place the baking sheet uncovered in the fridge for approx. 1 hour. This is key. This helps build a skin making it have that nice crust.
5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
6. Bring 2 quarts of water to boil. SLOWLY add in baking soda into the boiling water little bits at a time. *caution* this creates quite a bubbly reaction for a few seconds so stand back and don't get burned! It will eventually simmer down after a few seconds. Then add more. You have been warned!
7. Add the pieces of dough into the soda bath. Let it sit for about 10-20 seconds and then remove. I used a pasta server to remove it and found it to be the perfect tool.
8. Sprinkle with coarse salt (I like mine unsalted, so I didn't). Bake the pretzels for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Move to a cooling rack. Grab some honey mustard, nacho cheese, or a slice of cheese and enjoy!
Pictures of the process:
|the pieces freshly out of their soda bath!|
|nice and done!|
Now for some tips, tricks, and other info regarding German pretzels.
- The traditional German recipe calls for a bath made of lye (yes, lye!!). The baking soda is a safer alternative. It tastes *almost* as good. I'm not willing to go playing around with lye just to make my own pretzel. Go figure, the real German pretzel is dangerous to make.
- Letting the dough rest in the fridge allows a nice skin to form which is key.
- You can use this recipe to make pretzel shapes. Just row out about 20 inches of dough and then fold.
- Some recipes call for an egg wash prior to baking. I tested the pretzel bites with and without an egg wash. I honestly couldn't tell a difference in appearance or in taste. Obviously not needed!
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