Saturday, March 9, 2013

Guten Appetit: A Pretzel Recipe

Today is a first, the first of many baking blogs. One of my favorite pastimes is baking. I also really enjoy learning German. This blog is a combination of the two passions, what could be better?! Of course we all know the commonplace New York City soft pretzel stands that seem to be on every other street. Well I have good news for everyone who does not have access to those treats on a daily basis, making your own big and soft pretzels is as easy as stir, mix and bake! Keep reading if learning how to make Pretzels has always been an interest of yours!

 Before baking, it is important to know the history of the pretzel. Once upon a time in Germany, farmers' wives believed they should bake their husbands fresh bread every morning. However, the farmers got up around 3 in the morning and the wives would have to get up at 1 in order to have fresh bread. They soon discovered that they could make the dough the night before and in the morning bake it in the (today classic) pretzel shape. The holes allowed the dough to rise and bake faster, creating fresh, delicious bread every morning for the farmers. And voila! The soft pretzel was born!

To make these soft pretzels you will need: 1) kosher salt, 2) flour, 3) warm water, 4) quick rising yeast, 5) table salt, and 6) baking soda.
In order to make these pretzels, you first want to mix two packets of yeast with 1.5 cups of warm water. Once these are thoroughly mixed add 4.5 cups of all purpose flour. Now here comes the fun part! Next you want to lightly mix the flour and yeast/water (only so that it does not come a part) and pour it on to a clean surface. It works best to break the dough in half for the kneading. You want to fold the dough together until it is smooth.

For the next 15 minutes, place the dough under a moist cloth and try to find something to keep you busy! I suggest reading up on some of your favorite blogs (why not check out: or
After you have perused a few blog posts it is time to roll out the dough into one dozen twelve inch long 'ropes' that you can fold into the pretzel shape. To do this you form an upside down 'U' shape and twist the ends together, then attach them to the lower 'U'.
It is also important to make a 'bath' for the pretzels with warm water, baking soda, and salt. After forming the pretzels dip them in the bath and place them on a greased cookie sheet with kosher salt sprinkled over the top.
After baking in the oven at 460 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes you will have twelve beautiful pretzels, such as the ones shown below!
 So sit back, relax, and enjoy these pretzels!

Until next time, guten Appetit!

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