These Homemade German-Style Pretzels are chewy, slightly crunchy, and so totally tasty.
They make a great Oktoberfest appetizer, or an “any time of year” party snack. What’s more, they’re simple and fun to make.
You likely have all the main ingredients already in your cupboard:
- active dry yeast
- all-purpose flour
- salt (table/plain and coarse)
- baking soda
These homemade German-style pretzels require some easy steps and wait times. That’s about it. Start to finish, they won’t take much longer than a couple hours, and most of that time is letting the dough ingredients sit…
…and chilling the prepped pretzels.
- Allow enough time: the dough prep has a few “rest” times: before you mix in the dough, after you mix it, plus an hour chill time before baking.
- You roll out 12 equal portions into ropes 20 inches long. Try to get them a consistent size end-to-end.
- The soda bath is key to their great flavor and beautiful golden brown color.
- Give your boiling pot of water the space it needs when you add the baking soda. It will look like a grade-school science project for a few seconds.
- The bake time is short and sweet, just 15 minutes.
- For a mustard sauce, I simply combined equal parts Koops stone ground mustard and mayonnaise.
While this recipe isn’t a blue ribbon winning recipe, that I know of, it certainly could be! The recipe is based on this one from Amanda’s Cooking. My friend Nancy requested authentic German pretzels for an Oktoberfest party she was hosting and sent me the link to Amanda’s version. It worked out so perfectly the very first time. Her tips and insights were so helpful. I re-worked Amanda’s recipe into my own words and to match our format. This recipe is one I will make again and again. We hope you make and enjoy it soon too!
Homemade German-Style Pretzels
4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast or 2 (1/4 ounce) packets
1 cup warm water (110 – 115 degrees F)
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoons coarse salt
1/4 cup baking soda (for pretzel baking prep)
6 quarts water (for pretzel baking prep)
Dissolve yeast in warm water (115 degrees F) in small bowl; set aside. Mix flour and salt in large mixing bowl (for stand-up mixer, if using), then form a well in center. Add sugar and yeast mixture to the well, then let rest 15 minutes. Mix to combine, then add softened butter and knead to a uniform, smooth dough (by hand or in stand-up mixer with dough hook). Let rest 30 minutes.
Cut dough to 12 equal portions. Roll each into a 20-inch rope. (No floured surface needed because of the butter in dough.) Form into pretzel shape on parchment-lined cookie sheet: holding an end in each hand, lay dough to create a U shape before you cross each side over the other twice to form a twist. Then attach ends to the bottom curve of the U. Place pretzels, uncovered in fridge for about an hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Fill 8-quart stock pot 3/4 full of water (6 quarts). Bring water to boil. Carefully, in increments, sprinkle the baking soda into the boiling water (from high above). Stand back as there will be a fierce bubbling “reaction.” Once the water settles, gently drop a pretzel into the bath for a few seconds, then gently turn over with a metal slotted spoon or metal tongs, for a few seconds longer. Immediately place on parchment lined baking sheet. With sharp knife, score the dough twice, on the top of each side. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Repeat with remaining pretzels. Bake until golden and dark brown, about 15 minutes. Serve with mustard or your favorite sauce or dip.