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Sense and Edibility's Pretzels
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Sense & Edibility's German Pretzels

These pretzels are a labor of love in that they are slightly time consuming. However, the simplicity of the ingredients and the mouthwatering taste should make it worth your while.
Course Starters
Cuisine German
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 15 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 tsp instant dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 cups warm water 110°F
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 qt. water
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • kosher or pretzel salt for finishing
  • additional toppings see note

Instructions

  • In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast and a pinch of the sugar in the water. Allow the yeast to develop for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add the remaining sugar and the butter and about half of the quantities of the flours. Stir with the paddle attachment to create a smooth paste.
  • Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining flours and the salt. Increase the mixer's speed to 2 and mix for 10 minutes. Add more flour as needed to create a smooth, elastic, non-tacky dough. 
  • Once the dough has been kneaded and is no longer sticky, place it into a lightly oiled bowl. Turn the dough to coat the entire surface with oil and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise in a warm, draft-free area of the kitchen (like a cold oven) for 1 hour, or until double in bulk.
  • Remove from the bowl and punch down to expel the gases. Line three sheet pans or your kitchen counter top with parchment paper. 
  • Roll your dough out into a long log. Cut it into 15 equal pieces. Flatten each piece and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Take a disc of dough and roll it between the palms of your hands and the countertop gently pressing and spreading outwards to create a long log about 20" in length (see image in post).
  • *Check the length by comparing it to the side of your sheet pan which is approx 16"*
  • To form the pretzel "knot": take your rope of dough and bring up the opposite ends into a "U-shape". Bring the right end over the left and twist once. Holding onto both ends, bring the ends down towards the center and split to just off-center to the let and right bottom halves of the pretzel. Pinch the ends to the bottom half to seal and shape as needed. (see images in post)
  • Place the formed pretzel on to the parchment-lined sheet pan (or countertop) while you form the remaining pieces of dough. Once you have formed the pretzels, bring the 2 qt. of water, to a boil. Add the baking soda and the honey and stir to dissolve. Gently, slip in three or four pretzels into the water and boil for two minutes. 
  • Once the pretzels have risen to the surface of the water, remove them carefully with a spider or slotted spoon. Transfer to a buttered sheet pan while you boil the remaining pretzels. 
  • While you're boiling the pretzels, preheat your oven to 475°F. In a small bowl, stir together the egg yolk and water to create an egg wash. Once all of your pretzels have been boiled, brush them with the egg wash and sprinkled the kosher salt over them (or other toppings).
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until a deep, golden brown. Remove from the oven and from the baking sheet to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Notes

Topping Suggestions:
pizza sauce, asiago cheese and pepperoni slices
asiago cheese
cinnamon and sugar
pesto
sesame seeds
poppy seeds
cheddar cheese and bacon