Baking 101: How To Make Pretzels for Beginners!

Pretzels is a German baked good that is now enjoyed all around the world. This is made out of dough and is shaped in various ways, may it be twisted, enjoyed as sticks or its most popular shape, the knot. Also, an ideal baking treat to make at home! 

It’s also usually lightly salted or paired with a sweet or savoury side sauce. Although this baked good has been around since the 6th century, it’s still available today in bakeries, groceries, stalls and markets.

And because this baked good is so loved and enjoyed by many, you can now find tons of recipes to bake some of your own! And if you’ve ever wanted to whip up your own batch of freshly baked pretzels, then we got you covered!

Below is a recipe for a classic German pretzel you can enjoy with friends and family that’ll impress them with every bite!

Classic German Pretzels

This recipe will get you the perfect classic German pretzels that only take 2 hours and 30 minutes to make! This recipe makes 12 pretzels, so check out everything you’ll be needing and how to make them below:

What do I need to make classic German pretzels?

  • 4 cups of all-purpose flour or bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 cup of lukewarm water
  • 4 ½ teaspoons of active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • Coarse salt for topping

For it’s soda bath:

  • ½ cup of baking soda
  • 2 quarters of water

How to make Classic German Pretzels?

Step 1: Activate the yeast in the warm water. Salt and flour should be combined in a large mixing dish. In the centre of the flour mixture, create a well, and then add the sugar. Fill the well with the yeast/water combination. Before blending, let it sit for 15 minutes.

Step 2: Combine the mixing bowl with the softened butter to make a smooth dough. Use the speed setting on your Kitchenaid’s dough hook for roughly 6 minutes. You don’t need to add any more water, approximately a tablespoon worth, as the dry ingredients weren’t entirely incorporated. After removing the dough hook, allow the dough to rest for a half-hour.

Step 3: The dough should be divided into twelve equal pieces, each of which should be rolled out to a diameter of about 20 inches and tapered at the ends. Because it’s tough to obtain a decent form with a short, dense rope of dough, don’t make it any shorter than 20 inches. As you lay out the dough, it shouldn’t get too warm or it can rip.

Step 4: Place a dough rope on a baking sheet prepared with parchment paper and shape it into the letter “U” to produce the pretzel shape. Twice cross the “U”‘s” two ends over one another to create a twist. Place that twist over the bottom curve of the “U” by bringing it down.

Step 5: Place the pretzels in the refrigerator for approximately an hour without covering them. This promotes the development of skin that will better take in the dipping solution and produce a gorgeous, lustrous crust. Then set the oven to 400 degrees.

Step 6: Set the water to a boil in a big pot after filling it 3/4 full. Add the solution of baking soda to the hot water slowly and cautiously. When the baking soda is added to the water, a reaction will occur, causing the water to bubble wildly for a while before subsiding.

Gently place each pretzel into the bath using a slotted spoon for 10 seconds, then flip them over and continue for an additional 10. Put them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Step 7: Using a sharp knife, score the dough just like you would for a baguette. Add some salt, coarse. Depending on how dark you prefer your pretzels to be, bake them for 15 to 20 minutes. After 15 minutes, check on your pretzels from time to time, to make sure they don’t over darken.

Can I use a bread machine to make pretzel dough?

Yes, you can combine and knead the pretzel dough in a bread machine. Simply add the ingredients and choose the dough setting according to your bread machine’s instructions. Continue with forming and baking the pretzels when the dough cycle is finished.

What types of flour can I use to make pretzels?

In most cases, all-purpose flour is what is typically used to make pretzels. But you can opt to use other types of flour, like whole wheat, bread flour, almond flour and so on. But not, using different types of flour can have different outcomes.

Can I top my pretzels with something other than coarse salt?

Yes, of course! Coarse salt is just a classic pretzel topping ever since its inception. But that doesn’t been you can use other kinds of salts and toppings. So get creative! Consider sesame seeds, cinnamon and sugar, seeds or nuts, chocolate drizzle and so much more!

How do I store leftover pretzels?

A great way to store pretzels is by keeping them in an airtight container at room temperature. You can keep your pretzels stored for at least a day or two with this method. But if you want to keep them stored longer, consider freezing them to maintain their freshness!

Can I freeze pretzel dough?

Pretzel dough can indeed be frozen. Start off by forming the dough into pretzel shapes and arrange on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Afterwards, pop them in the freezer to freeze and stay preserved. Once all your pretzels are frozen, transfer the pretzels to a zip-lock plastic bag. 

What sauces pair well with pretzels?

One thing about pretzels is that you can enjoy this baked good sweet or savoury! For sweet sauce options consider chocolate dip, caramel sauce, honey mustard, Nutella and fruit sauces or jams. For savoury sauces consider, ranch, mustard, marinara sauce, cheese dip and garlic butter.

But don’t limit yourself to the sauces mentions and go CRAZY! Be creative and pair your pretzels with whatever you think will fit. But make sure your toppings match your sauces so no clashing of tastes occurs! 

Take away

Now you know how to make a classic German pretzel, you can use this recipe and alter it as you, please. You can add nuts, seeds and even make sauces for it, may they be sweet or savoury! This recipe is deemed to be delicious and beginner-friendly!






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