Bavarian Pretzels

Bavarian Pretzels
Recipe type: Snacks
Serves: 12 pretzels
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 package yeast; active dry
  • 4 Cups flour; unbleached
  • 1 1/2 Cups warm (110-120 degrees) water
  • 1 large egg; beaten
  • coarse salt to coat
  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
  2. Put yeast, sugar, salt, water and ONE CUP of the flour into a medium mixing bowl and pour in the water.
  3. Stir till all smooth, and yeast starts to bubble.
  4. At this point add the rest of the flour, stir till it is mixed in.
  5. When mixture is too stiff to stir with a spoon, begin kneading.
  6. Knead dough till smooth and till it no longer sticks to the bowl and your hands.
  7. Allow dough to rise to about double its height.
  8. While dough is rising, grease the cookie sheet. If using (See note), prepare the baking soda-water mixture and bring to a boil on stove.
  9. When dough is risen enough, punch down, knead for a minute or so, then divide and roll the 6-inch sticks with your hands (for logs), to about 1/2 inch in diameter, or 12-15-inch long rolls to make into the pretzel shape.
  10. Twist ropes into pretzel shapes and place on greased cookie sheet.
  11. To make the typical pretzel shape, form a small upside down "U" shape. Make one twist with the ends, then fold the end pieces over and attach the ends to the top part of the bend, separated. To be decorative, put one end under and the other over the top part.
  12. Using a pastry brush, brush pretzels with egg and sprinkle with coarse salt (see below for alternative suggestions).
  13. Allow pretzels to rise until almost double in bulk, about 30 minutes (minimum).
  14. Bake at 475 degrees F. for 10 to 15 minutes or until browned.
  15. Best if eaten immediately. If not, store in airtight container.
  16. You may also make pretzel logs by cutting stretched dough in even lengths and keeping them very straight. Pretzel logs should bake for an additional 5 minutes until golden brown.
  17. Note: For a chewier crust put 2 Tablespoons baking soda mixed with 4 Cups boiling water in a non-aluminum pot or large bowl. Drop the pretzel in there for about the count of 10 (a minute) and then lift out with a strainer or pancake turner. Spread pretzel onto baking sheet and bake according to instructions above.
As early as 610 AD at a monastery somewhere in southern France or northern Italy, monks used scraps of dough and formed them into strips to represent a child"s arms folded in prayer. The three empty holes represented the Christian Trinity. It has bee said they were used as rewards when the child memorized their prayers right.

Omit the final coarse salt and substitute cinnamon and sugar mixed; or poppy seeds; or sesame seeds; or grated parmesan cheese.[br][br]We recently tried these covered with a blend of cheddar, jack and swiss cheeses then baked to a crispy golden brown for a really unique cheesy pretzel. WOW![br][br]Serve salted pretzels with German mustard or Cinnamon pretzels with honey mustard.

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