German Style Soft Pretzels
I call these German Style Soft Pretzels because they have the darker color you normally see in traditional German Beer Pretzels. My sister and I love to get “giant” pretzels when we hang out & go to our favorite restaurants in town. One of the places we go to is an authentic German restaurant and they say their dough mix is imported from Germany, they serve a giant pretzel that is dark in color, soft, & about a foot wide.
It took me a few tries to figure out how to make the pretzels turn dark brown, at first I thought it was the egg wash. Nope, not the egg wash. It’s the hot baking soda water bath you soak them in. I didn’t use an egg wash with this recipe.
You can make the pretzels any thickness you desire. I roll mine out using a little bit of vegetable oil on my counter top instead of flour. My pretzels were rolled out a little bit thicker then a pencil, they will expand and rise as you can see from the photos. Twisting the pretzel is easy but if you want some direction you can check out this video on YouTube. Thank goodness for YouTube tutorials…they can be so helpful in life! I don’t know about you but I can’t even begin to count all the things I’ve been able to fix on my own thanks to a video someone has shared.
So back to making German Pretzels, you boil the pretzels in baking soda water for 30 seconds on both sides then you place them on a baking sheet and bake them in the oven right away. But not before sprinkling them with salt. The photo above on the right side shows what the pretzels look like before and after they are boiled. The top pretzel hadn’t been boiled yet, the bottom one had.
You may need to bake the pretzel for more or less time depending on how big you make them.
- 1 cup warm milk (microwave for 30-45 seconds)
- 2¼ teaspoons or 1 packet of rapid rise yeast (I use quick rise active dry yeast)
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Soda Bath Dip:
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 2 quarts water
- -Coarse Salt for topping- (I used coarse kosher salt)
- Add all the Pretzel ingredients, milk, yeast, brown sugar, flour, butter and salt in you bread machine in that order. Use regular dough setting. Let it knead for 10-15 minutes. Check dough a few mins. after you start it. If it's too dry add a tablespoon or 2 of water if too dry, do the same only with flour. Dough should form into a ball. IF NOT using a bread machine, knead using your preferred method, by hand or with a stand mixer for about 10 minutes.
- Let dough rise covered for 10 minutes.
- Divide dough into pieces on a lightly floured surface, I made 6-7 pretzels. Roll each piece into a thin rope, twist into pretzel shape & place onto a cookie sheet lined with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper.
- Let rise 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Bring water to a boil in a saucepan on the stove top, remove from heat, add ¼ cup baking soda. Add back to the heat & using a slotted spoon place 2 roll into boiling water. Boil for 30 seconds on one side then flip them over with spoon & boil 30 more seconds. Remove from water & place back on cookie sheet. Continue until they have all been boiled.
- Sprinkle with the coarse salt.
- Bake at 425 for 14-16 minutes, or until dark brown.
- (Optional: brush with 1 tablespoon of melted butter & serve warm with your favorite pretzel dip)
Tips*:If it is summer aka hot & humid reduce the amount of milk a little. Flour absorbs moisture from the atmosphere, which makes it “wetter” during the summer so you don’t need to add quite as much.
Tip: I use King Arthur’s All-Purpose Flour
Tip: You can knead the dough for this recipe by hand, with a stand mixer using a dough hook, or with a bread machine. I used my bread machine for this recipe by adding all the ingredients in, hitting the dough cycle button & letting it knead for 10-15 minutes then unplugging it.