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Brezel or “Pretzel”

Oktoberfest is around the corner and one of the things I miss from living in Germany is having some good store-bough frozen Brezel ready to bake at home for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I’ve seen those “soft pretzel” in some supermarkets, but I still prefer the real deal.

Oktoberfest table - Brezel, beer and bratswurst

There isn’t any big secret behind baking Brezel, the base is a fresh yeast sweet dough with a texture similar to bread and the characteristic brown color and brezel taste comes from a 30 seconds dip in baking soda and water solution.

Ingredients

  • Sweet dough
    • 500g all purpose flour
    • 250ml milk
    • 17g fresh yeast
    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • 1 tsp salt
  • Coating
    • 1 l water
    • 3 tbsp baking soda

Instructions

  1. Leavening. Heat the milk until lukewarm and pour it in a small bowl. Crumble the yeast and add it to the milk with one tablespoon sugar and two tablespoons from the 500g all purpose flour. Mix thoroughly until combined and leave proving until the yeast activates (~20 minutes in a warm place. It should double in size but it could triple really quickly).
  2. Pretzel dough. Add the rest of the flour in a big bowl, add one tablespoon salt and the yeast mix (leavening). Knead until you get a smooth dough (it should not stick to the bowl anymore).
  3. Proofing. Leave the dough to proof until it doubles size (~30 minutes).
  4. Forming the pretzel. Cut the dough into pieces (size depends on how big or small you want the pretzels, but with this dough I made 9 pretzel). Roll each ball in a long strip, leaving the middle part thicker than the ends. “Knot” the strip on a pretzel form:
    Brezel
    Leave the pretzel to rest for 15 minutes while preparing the baking soda coating.
  5. Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven at 220┬║C (~430┬║F).
  6. Baking soda coating. Heat one liter water in a pot until it simmers and add 3 tablespoons baking soda and bring to a simmer again. Remove the pot from the stove and soak each pretzel during 30 seconds each.
    *If the pretzel does not float, the dough didn’t proof properly and you should start over.
  7. Bake. Bake the pretzels until the get dark brown (~20 minutes).

Nutrition

  • Serving 1 pretzel (~70g) | Calories 192kcal
  • Fat 0.48g | Carbohydrates 39.88g | Protein 5.91g

The good news with this recipe is that if you prefer to bake buns instead of pretzels, you just need to follow same instructions but form buns and bake for the same amount of time.

Laugenbro╠łtchen
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