The Neujahrspretzel is a great tradition in Germany, particularly in Bavaria where they’re a staple for New Year’s celebrations.

Neujahrspretzel (New Year's Pretzels)
Recipe type: Breads and Rolls
Serves: 2
  • 2 Cups milk, whole
  • 1/2 Cup butter, unsalted
  • 2 packages yeast; active, dry
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 Cup sugar, granulated
  • 7 Cups flour; unbleached
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1 Cup confectioners' sugar
  • water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 Cup almonds; chopped
  1. Heat milk and butter until very warm (120-130 degrees F.).
  2. Mix yeast, salt, sugar, and 1 cup flour. Slowly beat into warm milk. Beat for 2 minutes. Add eggs and 1 cup of flour. Beat for an additional 2 minutes. Add enough flour to form a soft dough. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
  3. Place dough in a greased bowl. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch dough down and let rise again until doubled. (1 hour more). Divide dough in half.
  4. Shape pretzel as follows: Roll dough into a rope about 30 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
  5. Cross the ends leaving a large loop in the center. Flip loop back onto crossed ends to form a pretzel. Repeat with remaining dough. Place pretzels on greased baking sheets. Let rise 15 minutes more.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.
  7. Mix confectioner's sugar, water and vanilla to form a thin icing. Spread icing on pretzels and sprinkle with chopped almonds.
Makes 2 large pretzels.

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