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 ½ tablespoons of sugar
- 4 tablespoons of butter, melted
- 300 ml (10.14 oz) of water, lukewarm (for dough)
- 1 ½ l (1.58 qt) of water (for lye)
- 1 ½ teaspoons of salt (for lye)
- 2 tablespoons of baking soda (for lye)
- 1 – 2 tablespoons of coarse salt
Preparation of Homemade Pretzels:
Sift the flour into the mixing bowl of your stand mixer with a kneading hook attached. Add sugar and yeast to it and mix with a spoon. Melt the butter and add it to the lukewarm water. Start kneading the dough adding the butter water mixture little by little. 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 it let the dough rise for about one hour 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 in about 12 even pieces, about 70 g — 2.5 oz.
Roll each of those 12 cut 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:
Fill a saucepan with the water, add 1 ½ teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the stove and slowly and carefully add the baking soda to the salt water while stirring. The baking soda will bubble, so make sure that your saucepan is high enough. Bring the liquid back to boil again. Carefully dip the pretzels into the lye leaving them no more than 30 seconds. Make sure the pretzels are dipped completely 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. If necessary dry the pretzels with some paper kitchen towel. Make a cut in the thicker part of the pretzel and sprinkle sprinkle with coarse salt.
Baking the pretzels:
Place the pretzels on a baking sheet covered with baking paper. Leave the pretzels to rise for about 15-20 minutes before baking.
Preheat the oven at 180°C-190°C — 356°F- 375°F. Bake the pretzels for about 15-20 minutes using the middle rack. Once you take the homemade pretzels out of the oven, place them on a cooling rack.
You can serve the homemade pretzels with Oma’s Obatzda, a traditional cheese butter spread.