Homemade Pretzels with an Oma twist
The Homemade Pretzels have been an integral part of German baking for centuries. They are called a Brezel where I come from. They are delicious, especially when combined with any of the traditional main dishes you can find on TheOmaWay.com. As a bread, side dish, or snack, these pretzels are great with your favorite mustard or German-style beer. The soda lye treatment (see below) gives the pretzel that smooth, shiny, darken-crust texture and distinct flavor. Oktoberfest and beyond, it is fun and easy to make these twisted treats. Try them!
Ingredients for Homemade Pretzels:
- 500 g (1.1 lb.) of flour, all-purpose
- 1 package of yeast, rapid rise
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 50 g (1.76 oz) of butter, melted
- 300 ml (10.14 oz) of water, lukewarm
- 1-2 tablespoons of coarse salt
For the lye:
- 1 l (1.05 qt) of water
- 60 g (2.11 oz) of baking soda
Preparation of Homemade Pretzels:
Sift the flour into the mixing bowl of your stand mixer with a kneading hook attached. Add sugar, salt, and yeast to it and mix with a spoon. Mix the melted butter with the lukewarm water and add it to the mixing bowl. Knead for about six minutes on low speed. If you use a handheld electric mixer, mix the dough with the kneading hooks for about 10 minutes.
Place the dough in a bowl covered with flour on the bottom. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise for 40 minutes or until the dough has doubled. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead with your hands. Form a long roll with the dough and cut it into even pieces, about 70-90 g — 2.5-3.17 oz. Have the unused pieces between two layers of cellophane foil so that the dough does not get too dry.
Roll each of the pieces into rolls of about 20 inches each. The rolled dough should be thicker in the middle and thinner towards the ends (as thick as a pencil). Continue to form the pretzel as shown below.
Preparation of the soda lye:
Use plastic gloves to prepare the lye and work with the dipped pretzel. Fill a saucepan with the water and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the stove and slowly and carefully add the baking soda to the water while stirring. The baking soda will bubble, so make sure that your saucepan is high enough. Bring the liquid back to boil again, then turn the heat down. Carefully dip the pretzels into the lye, leaving them no more than 30 seconds. Make sure the pretzels are entirely dipped into the water.
Remove the pretzels from the soda lye with a skimming ladle and place them on a cooling rack covered with baking paper. Make a cut in the pretzel’s thicker part, brush them with lye, and sprinkle coarse salt on top.
Baking the pretzels:
Place the pretzels on a baking sheet covered with a double layer of baking paper. Leave the pretzels to rise for about 15-20 minutes before baking.
Preheat the oven to 220°C – 425° F. Bake the pretzels for about 15-17 minutes using the third rack. Take the homemade pretzels out of the oven, and immediately spray water onto them to give them a nice shine. Place the pretzel on a cooling rack to cool down.
You can serve the homemade pretzels with Oma’s Obatzda, a traditional cheese butter spread.