This German Soft Pretzel recipe has that perfect pull when you bite into them and a soft and tender center. These pretzels are so good they don’t even need a dipping sauce.
I’ve made pretzels several times, but this German Soft Pretzel recipe proved to be one of the easiest, best tasting and least messy. They are perfect for this month’s BreadBakers theme “International Breads” chosen by our host Wendy who is the creative genius behind A Day in the Life on the Farm. The only request was that we weren’t supposed to pick a recipe from our own country.
When you say International Bread, that gives you so many to choose from. I believe that every country has a bread recipe that they are known for. I also believe that some breads are made in different countries with different names but are still very similar. For example flatbread.
Flatbread could be defined as an Italian Pizza Crust, a Greek Pita, or an Indian Lachha Paratha and much more. Most are a combination of flour, water and salt rolled into a flat dough. Some are unleavened but that’s not always the case either. Perfectly clear right?
I didn’t choose flatbread for this challenge. I chose a German Soft Pretzel Recipe also referred to as Laugenbrezel (Traditional German Pretzel). My friend Google and I did some searching and found that somewhat true. There have been some variations but most of the pretzels still claim German heritage.
One thing I liked about this recipe is that it went much quicker than some pretzels that I’ve made. They can also be a huge mess with the boiling and baking. These pretzels are boiled at a much gentler boil and a quick bake time which really reduced the fuss and the mess. They’re perfect to eat as is but John liked his with some amazing French mustard my daughter brought us from France. I also used a garlic-parsley sea-salt that she also brought us from France. Yep, I have a very generous daughter that is a talented little cook.
Don’t have time to make it now? Pin it for later!
German Soft Pretzel Recipe
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 1/4 oz instant or rapid-rise yeast packages
- 2 tbsp Barley Malt Syrup
- 6.5 cups bread flour I use unbleached
- 2 tbsp kosher salt or a coarse alternative
- 8 tbsp butter cold and diced
- 8 cups water
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup pale ale beer
- Pretzel salt for sprinkling or a coarse alternative
- Using a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the warm water, yeast and Barley malt syrup. Set aside and allow to proof for 10 minutes or until foamy.
- Using the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the flour and salt. Whisk to combine. Cut in the butter using your fingers until the butter is crumbled into the flour.
- Pour the yeast mixture into the flour/butter mixture and using the paddle attachment, mix until a shaggy dough forms and water is absorbed.
- Change to the dough hook and mix on medium speed until dough is smooth and elastic, approximately 6 minutes.
- Cover the bowl with a clean damp towel and put it in a warm area for 2 hours or until doubled in size. I put it in my oven without turning it on.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spray two baking sheets with non-stick spray. In a large sauce pan or dutch oven, add 8 cups of water, baking soda, dark brown sugar and beer to a boil. Reduce heat and maintain a simmer.
- Roll the dough out into a 14x12 inch rectangle. Cut the dough into 1-inch strips. I used a pizza cutter to make my cuts.
- Roll out each strip into 30-33-inch ropes. To form pretzels, loop a strip into a "U" and cross the ends at the bottom. Bring the top of the "U" down the crossed pieces and pinch together.
- Boil each pretzel separately for 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spatula so water drains from the pretzel and place it on a prepared baking sheet. Repeat putting 6 pretzels on each baking sheet.
- Sprinkle each pretzel with pretzel salt. It's easier while they're still wet. Bake for 5 minutes and then rotate the baking sheet. Bake an additional 5 to 8 minutes more or until pretzels develop a dark brown color.
- Remove pretzels to a wire cooling rack. Allow them to cool slightly before serving. Serve with mustard, melted butter or cheese sauce.
Just like our recipes, our BreadBakers group is a diverse group of bakers and I am really excited to see what everyone brought!
- Apfelpfannkuchen (Apple Pancake) from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Auvergne Crown from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Bauernbrot from All That’s Left Are The Crumbs
- Onion and Poppy Seed Bialys from Spill the Spices
- Boule from Bread Therapy
- Chilli and Coriander Scones from Sizzling Tastebuds
- Dutch Tiger Bread (Tijgerbolletjes)from Baking Sense
- Epi di Pan – Wheat Wreath from Sara’s Tasty Buds
- Franzbrotchen – German Cinnamon Rolls from Gayathri’s Cook Spot
- German Soft Pretzels (Laugenbrezel) from Hostess At Heart
- German Soft Pretzels from Herbivore Cucina
- Kardemummabullar – Swedish Cardamom Rolls from Ambrosia
- Pita Bread from Sneha’sRecipe
- Pletzel – Onion Poppyseed Flatbread from Cook’s Hideout
- Pretzel Bites from My Cooking Journey
- Savoury Kugelhopf from The Mad Scientist’s Kitchen
- Slovak Bread Rolls (Rozky) from Mayuri’s Jikoni
- Whole Wheat Pita bread from Sonlicious
- Yemeni Kubaneh – Buttery Rolls from Food Lust People Love
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to [email protected].