Pretzel Recipe

Missing the taste of fairs or just need something for lent? Check out this Pretzel Recipe that proved itself to be the best!

Pretzel-recipe-7-SunCakeMomFor some people pretzel is about fairs, festivals, and celebration while for others bite size snacks that can be munched on while watching TV or maybe, in extreme cases, about ice creams.

Pretzel is originally meant to be simple bread which main selling point was that it could be eaten during lent as it did not contain any of the forbidden food such as meat, dairy, or eggs.

Pretzels are only plain flour, water and outside of the lent period some lard or oil with plenty of salt. Or at least that was supposed to be in the 12th century Europe. Nowadays, there are more to pretzels that meet the eye.

Although, the fundamentals are the same, there are various fillings and toppings available to choose from in many countries around the world. Well, mainly in the German speaking world and in countries where Germans influenced local cuisine.

The word, Pretzel which is actually Bretzel in German, surprisingly means nothing else but the Pretzel itself. Most likely, it has something to do with the fact that people have been using this word for pretzel for almost a millennium.

The origin of the word itself lost during the centuries some claiming to be Italian where it originally meant “little rewards” while others point to Latin roots with the original meaning of “little arms” or simply “bracelet.”

Either way, during the years, pretzels have not just carved out their own segment among the baked goods but became the banner bearer when bakeries and guilds chose pretzel shaped sigil to represent their profession. It is still not uncommon to see bakeries with pretzel embedded logo, pretzel adorned decoration or packaging printed with pretzels on them.

Pretzel has significant impact on the life of the people, it touches. Many of us know the longing sadness when the last bit of pretzel disappears and the chances of getting more is a shopping trip or baking session away that unlikely happen on that very day.

The most devoted though never run out of pretzels because pretzel is what they do.

Southern Pennsylvania produces 80% of the nation’s pretzels and an average American consumes 1.5lb / 0.9kg pretzels a year. It certainly does not seem that much, especially when contrasted to people in Philadelphia who consume twelve as many pretzels per person a year than the national average.

That is a lot of pretzels to eat but even more to produce.

Although pretzels have a millennia of history, hard pretzels were only recently invented. Well, it was around the middle of the 19th century when Pennsylvanian Dutch settled in Pennsylvania and soon after that introduced the soft pretzels to the new world, they came up with the extended shelf life hard pretzels.

Nowadays, hard pretzels are pressed from the dough by a machine and baked dry while the soft ones are shaped either by a machine if we are talking about industrial pretzel production or by us if we are willing to get into the kitchen an make our own.

To be true to its roots, pretzel requires a lye bath which can be a bit hard to source and literally a pain to handle. If we do not have a pretzel purist in the family who has pretzels running through their vein, we most likely get away with using baking soda to achieve that deep golden-brown color and that familiar flavor that makes pretzels so undeniably divine.Pretzel-recipe-8-SunCakeMom

Ingredients

  • 1⅛ cups / 260g Lukewarm water
  • 4½ cups / 550g Plain white flour
  • 3 tablespoons / 40g Cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon / 15g Salt
  • 1 tablespoon / 5g Fresh yeast
  • 2 quarts / 2000g Water
  • 1 cup / 120g Baking soda
  • Coarse salt for decoration

How to make Pretzel

  1. Knead water, plain white flour, cooking oil, salt and the fresh yeast until it comes together into a uniform somewhat elastic dough. No need to proof the yeast but dissolving it in lukewarm water may help its distribution in the dough.Flour-water-oil-yeast-salt-dough-knead--gp-2-SunCakeMom
  2. Cover the dough and place it into a 68°F – 81°F /20°C  – 27°C corner to double.
  3. Take the dough, shape it into a ball or log that will allow us to divide it more equally.Flour-water-yeast-oil-salt-dough-log--gp--2-SunCakeMom
  4. Divide the dough into equal parts. Our dough will make 10 pieces of 30 oz / 85g pieces.Flour-water-yeast-oil-salt-dough-log--gp--3-SunCakeMom
  5. Roll each dough into a rope. The dough needs a bit of traction to roll out nicely and quickly. Sprinkle a tiny bit of water onto the work surface and our hands to aid rolling. If its too sticky, the dough won’t roll either, in that case apply thin coat of flour until Goldilocks conditions for dough rollings are met.Pretzel-recipe-Process-13-SunCakeMom
  6. For authentic Bavarian pretzel, leave a fat lump in the middle.Pretzel-recipe-Process-1-SunCakeMom
  7. Once we get the right diameter in the middle, work on the sides. Practice makes it perfect and after a while we’ll be able to work on the whole thing in one go.Pretzel-recipe-Process-3-SunCakeMom
  8. Form the pretzel by taking its two end, cross them over each other once.Pretzel-recipe-Process-14-SunCakeMom
  9. Then turn the ends once more.Pretzel-recipe-Process-15-SunCakeMom
  10. Fold the ends back to the bottom of the pretzel. To stick the bottom and end of the ropes snugly, apply a thin coat of water before pressing them together.Pretzel-recipe-Process-16-SunCakeMom
  11. The Bavarian style, the end of the ropes go to the end of the fat part.Pretzel-recipe-Process-6-SunCakeMom
  12. Place the pretzels onto a prepared tray. A lightly floured plastic tray will do perfect. They may stick to the parchment paper over time.Pretzel-recipe-Process-19-SunCakeMom
  13. Cover the pretzels with a damp kitchen cloth that will prevent them drying out, then place them into a 68°F – 81°F /20°C  – 27°C corner to raise for 30 – 60 minutes. It doesn’t need to double, only raise somewhat. Do account for 30 minutes extra time in the fridge before cooking!Pretzel-recipe-Process-20-SunCakeMom
  14. Mix baking soda and water, put the lid on then bring it to boil.  Baking soda can be added once the water is boiling but mind to add it incrementally as it can cause the water overflow the pot.Baking-soda-water-pot--gp--1-SunCakeMom
  15. Put the pretzels into the fridge 30 minutes before cooking them to aid handling and help prevent the dough cooking through. Reduce heat to simmer or even take the pot off heat (commercial pretzels are treated in 176°F / 80°C water). Place a dough into the water.Pretzel-recipe-Process-7-SunCakeMom
  16. After 10 seconds flip the dough.Pretzel-recipe-Process-8-SunCakeMom
  17. Wait another 10 seconds and take the dough out.Pretzel-recipe-Process-9-SunCakeMom
  18. Keeping the dough too long in the hot water will cook it through and wrinkle its surface too.Pretzel-recipe-Process-10-SunCakeMom
  19. Place the cooked pretzels onto a parchment layered baking sheet. If we prepare authentic Bavarian style pretzels, cut them at the belly horizontally.Pretzel-recipe-Process-22-SunCakeMom
  20. Sprinkle them with coarse salt. This is the time to add other goodies, like sesame or poppy seed too.Pretzel-recipe-Process-23-SunCakeMom
  21. Place the pretzels into the middle rack of a 464°F / 240°C preheated oven then bake until the pretzels inner temperature registers 190°F / 88°C which should happen when the pretzels get those lovely deep golden brown color, about 12 minutes.Pretzel-recipe-Process-24-SunCakeMom
  22. Of course, if we keep them in the oven longer, the browner and drier they’ll get.Pretzel-recipe-Process-18-SunCakeMom

Enjoy!

Pretzel-recipe-6-SunCakeMom

Pretzel-recipe-16x9-SunCakeMom
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5 from 1 vote

Pretzel Recipe

Missing the taste of fairs or just need something for lent? Check out this Pretzel Recipe that proved itself to be the best!
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Dairy free, Sugar free recipe
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 241kcal
Author SunCakeMom

Ingredients

  • 1⅛ cup Lukewarm water
  • cup Plain white flour
  • 3 tablespoons Cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh yeast
  • 2 quarts Water
  • 1 cup Baking soda
  • Coarse salt for decoration

Instructions

  • Knead water, plain white flour, cooking oil, salt and the fresh yeast until it comes together into a uniform somewhat elastic dough. No need to proof the yeast but dissolving it in lukewarm water may help its distribution in the dough.
    Flour-water-oil-yeast-salt-dough-knead--gp-2-SunCakeMom
  • Cover the dough and place it into a 68°F – 81°F /20°C  – 27°C corner to double.
    Flour-water-oil-yeast-salt-dough-knead--gp-4-SunCakeMom
  • Take the dough, shape it into a ball or log that will allow us to divide it more equally.
    Flour-water-yeast-oil-salt-dough-log--gp--2-SunCakeMom
  • Divide the dough into equal parts. Our dough will make 10 pieces of 30 oz / 85g pieces.
    Flour-water-yeast-oil-salt-dough-log--gp--3-SunCakeMom
  • Roll each dough into a rope. The dough needs a bit of traction to roll out nicely and quickly. Sprinkle a tiny bit of water onto the work surface and our hands to aid rolling. If its too sticky, the dough won't roll either, in that case apply thin coat of flour until Goldilocks conditions for dough rollings are met.
    Pretzel-recipe-Process-13-SunCakeMom
  • For authentic Bavarian pretzel, leave a fat lump in the middle.
    Pretzel-recipe-Process-1-SunCakeMom
  • Once we get the right diameter in the middle, work on the sides. Practice makes it perfect and after a while we'll be able to work on the whole thing in one go.
    Pretzel-recipe-Process-3-SunCakeMom
  • Form the pretzel by taking its two end, cross them over each other once.
    Pretzel-recipe-Process-14-SunCakeMom
  • Then turn the ends once more.
    Pretzel-recipe-Process-15-SunCakeMom
  • Fold the ends back to the bottom of the pretzel. To stick the bottom and end of the ropes snugly, apply a thin coat of water before pressing them together.
    Pretzel-recipe-Process-16-SunCakeMom
  • The Bavarian style, the end of the ropes go to the end of the fat part.
    Pretzel-recipe-Process-6-SunCakeMom
  • Place the pretzels onto a prepared tray. A lightly floured plastic tray will do perfect. They may stick to the parchment paper over time.
    Pretzel-recipe-Process-19-SunCakeMom
  • Cover the pretzels with a damp kitchen cloth that will prevent them drying out, then place them into a 68°F – 81°F /20°C  – 27°C corner to raise for 30 - 60 minutes. It doesn't need to double, only raise somewhat. Do account for 30 minutes extra time in the fridge before cooking!
    Pretzel-recipe-Process-20-SunCakeMom
  • Mix baking soda and water, put the lid on then bring it to boil.  Baking soda can be added once the water is boiling but mind to add it incrementally as it can cause the water overflow the pot.
    Baking-soda-water-pot--gp--1-SunCakeMom
  • Put the pretzels into the fridge 30 minutes before cooking them to aid handling and help prevent the dough cooking through. Reduce heat to simmer or even take the pot off heat (commercial pretzels are treated in 176°F / 80°C water). Place a dough into the water.
    Pretzel-recipe-Process-7-SunCakeMom
  • After 10 seconds flip the dough.
    Pretzel-recipe-Process-8-SunCakeMom
  • Wait another 10 seconds and take the dough out.
    Pretzel-recipe-Process-9-SunCakeMom
  • Keeping the dough too long in the hot water will cook it through and wrinkle its surface too.
    Pretzel-recipe-Process-10-SunCakeMom
  • Place the cooked pretzels onto a parchment layered baking sheet. If we prepare authentic Bavarian style pretzels, cut them at the belly horizontally.
    Pretzel-recipe-Process-22-SunCakeMom
  • Sprinkle them with coarse salt. This is the time to add other goodies, like sesame or poppy seed too.
    Pretzel-recipe-Process-23-SunCakeMom
  • Place the pretzels into the middle rack of a 464°F / 240°C preheated oven then bake until the pretzels inner temperature registers 190°F / 88°C which should happen when the pretzels get those lovely deep golden brown color, about 12 minutes.
    Pretzel-recipe-Process-24-SunCakeMom
  • Of course, if we keep them in the oven longer, the browner and drier they'll get.
    Pretzel-recipe-Process-18-SunCakeMom

Notes

Enjoy!

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 241kcal (12%) | Carbohydrates: 44g (15%) | Protein: 6g (12%) | Fat: 4g (6%) | Saturated Fat: 1g (6%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 703mg (31%) | Potassium: 69mg (2%) | Fiber: 2g (8%) | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin C: 0.001mg | Calcium: 10mg (1%) | Iron: 3mg (17%)

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