How to make the BEST Homemade Pretzels you'll ever eat! These traditional Bavarian-style pretzels have a deeply browned exterior and chewy texture. Surprisingly easy to make. Thanks to my boyfriend Joe for helping me develop this recipe!
Keyword german pretzel, oktoberfest, pretzel recipe, soft pretzel
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Spray with nonstick cooking spray or grease with butter.
Make the dough:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the yeast, barley malt syrup/sugar, and 1/4 cup of the water. Whisk to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes or until frothy.
Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups water, flour, and salt, and stir to combine. Mix on low speed until combined.
Increase speed to medium and knead for five minutes until the dough is elastic and smooth and doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl or your hands, adding more flour if needed. This will be a very dense dough, so be careful not to step away from your mixer in case it decides to jump on the counter.
Shape the pretzels:
There is no need to allow this dough to rise. Remove the dough to a clean work surface (do not flour). Divide into 10 equal pieces (each should be about 100 grams). Roll each piece against the counter or between your palms into about a 24-inch long log. The thinner the log, the crispier the pretzels. The thicker, the softer the pretzels.
Shape the log into a letter U. Cross the arms placing one over the other, then twist them around each other once. Bring the ends down to the bottom of the U and gently press to stick. Place on two greased parchment-lined baking sheets.
If you prefer softer spongier pretzels, allow the shaped pretzels to rise for 30 minutes before bathing in the lye.
Prepare the lye bath:
Refer to the safety disclaimer in the blog post before using lye. If lye isn’t an option, see the baking soda bath directions below. Place safety gloves and goggles on, and a face mask too if you prefer. In a well-vented area, place a plastic or glass container (do not use metal) on top of a few pieces of parchment paper to protect your counter from splashes. Carefully sprinkle the lye into the water. Use a silicone spatula to carefully stir the lye to dissolve. The lye is dissolved when the water looks clear.
Dip a shaped pretzel into the lye bath for about 30 seconds. Remove to the prepared greased parchment-lined baking sheets. Use a paring knife to score two slices into the thickest part of each pretzel. Sprinkle with pretzel salt as desired. Repeat until all pretzels have been lye dipped, scored, and salted.
Bake the pretzels:
Bake both trays at 400°F for about 16 minutes, alternating the trays halfway through the baking time for even baking, until deeply golden brown. Bake for less time for softer pretzels and more time for crispier pretzels.
Let cool for 5 minutes before peeling away from the parchment paper. Serve warm or at room temperature the same day you bake the pretzels. To store, freeze the pretzels in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
Baking Soda Bath Alternative
If working with lye isn’t an option for you, here are the directions for using baking soda instead. Note that the pretzels will be much lighter in color and won’t have the same chewy texture.Ingredients for baking soda bath:
2/3 cup of baking soda
10 cups of water
Directions:In a large pot, bring the baking soda and water to a boil. Boil the pretzels in small batches in the soda solution for about 1 minute, pushing the pretzels into the water to submerge occasionally. Proceed with the recipe as written after the lye bath step.
Homemade Pretzel Recipe https://handletheheat.com/how-to-make-pretzels/ September 18, 2023