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.
Prep Time 2hrs35mins
Cook Time 15mins
Total Time 2hrs50mins
Author Julie Menghini
21/4 ozinstant or rapid-rise yeast packages
2tbspBarley Malt Syrup
6.5cupsbread flourI use unbleached
2tbspkosher saltor a coarse alternative
8tbspbuttercold and diced
1/4cupdark brown sugar
1/2cuppale ale beer
Pretzel salt for sprinklingor 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.