Origin: Germany, disputed origin.
Ingredients // Serves 8-10 Pretzels
- 3 and ¾ Cups Flour (use an additional ¼ cup for rolling)
- 1 and ¼ Teaspoons (1 packet) Dry yeast
- 1 and ½ Cups Warmed Water
- 2 Teaspoons Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- ½ Cup Baking Soda (this will give it the signature brown color!)
- Mustard (or German mustard, see below)
The history of the pretzel is almost as twisted as its iconic shape. Though Germany is often famous for this tasty snack, both Italy France, and other European nations claim it as their own. There is no conclusive evidence for any group, though most agree it was formed in Christian monasteries in the middle ages (also called the dark ages). Germany can lay claim to it being a national treasure due to Bavarian guilds and shops using it as an emblem from as early as the 12th century!
I made a special trip to my area World Market to retrieve some authentic German mustard, it tastes a little like Dijon and often can be found in the world section of your local Meijer or Walmart! It’s worth the effort but regular yellow mustard is also fine!
Warning! This recipe takes time, expect to need between 2 and 5 hours for yeast to rise! I combined two separate recipes in order to make these tasty German treats in a reasonable amount of time.
Preparing the dough:
- Warm the butter by placing it in the microwave for about 1 minute.
- Mix the flour, butter, yeast, and salt in a bowl.
- Slowly pour warm water and mix continuously (either by hand or with electric mixer).
- Turn and stir dough until somewhat firm. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Remove the dough and place on flour-dusted pan. Cut into 8-10 balls.
- Roll each piece into a ball, and set back into bowl.
- On a clean surface, roll each ball into 16-20 inch ropes (like playing with playdough!)
- Follow the video below to wrap your pretzels or make boring sticks…
- Cover pretzels lightly and let rise in refrigerator or cool area for at least 1 hour, 3 is best.
One to three hours later:
- Begin boiling a small pot of water (roughly 10 cups worth).
- Retrieve pretzels and metal tongs or a long spoon.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare baking sheet with baking paper.
- Once water is boiling, dump baking soda into water.
- Carefully dunk each pretzel into the baking soda water and let sit for 30 seconds.
- Remove pretzel and place on baking sheet.
- Sprinkle salt or sea salt on pretzels as they are still moist.
- Bake for roughly 15 minutes or until brown!
- Enjoy with some mustard!