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  • Summary

    If you've ever tasted a real German soft pretzel, with a deep, dark, burnished skin showered with crunchy salt crystals, and a yeasty, chewy middle, then you know what you're in for here. The shape of these pretzels is typical of the historic German cultural region known as Swabia, where the tradition is to shape pretzels with fat “bellies” and thinly tapered, crispy “arms” interlocking in a twisted embrace. The bellies are slashed with a long, deep slit in the bottom to allow steam to escape as they bake. To prepare the best pretzels, you’ll need to begin a day, or at least 8 hours, in advance and let the dough slowly rise in the refrigerator. While an option for making quick pretzels is given, too, I highly recommend the overnight method because the dough’s flavor really develops during the slow fermentation, becoming nuanced with a yeasty tang that is worth every moment of anticipation. A dip in a solution of food-grade lye and water before baking sets pretzels apart from other yeasted breads. If you aren’t up to the challenge of sourcing and working with lye, I’ve offered a suitable alternative: baked baking soda.

    Ingredients

    • 1 (1/4-oz/7-g) package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
    • 1/2 cup/120 ml warm water (between 100 and 115°F/38 and 45°C)
    • 1 tbsp barley malt syrup or 1 tbsp firmly packed dark brown sugar
    • 3 1/4 cups/420 g unbleached bread flour
    • 1/2 cup/120 ml cold pilsner-style beer
    • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the bowl
    • 2 tsp fine sea salt, such as fleur de sel or sel gris
    • 2 tbsp food-grade lye, or 1/4 cup/60 g baked baking soda (see separate notes)

    Instructions

    Click Here For Step-By-Step Instructions

    Video

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    Nutrition

    Nutritional Info
    • Servings Per Recipe: 8
    • Amount Per Serving
    • Calories: 202 % Daily Value *
    • Total Fat: 1 g 1.25%
    • Saturated Fat: 0 g 0%
    • Trans Fat: 0 g %
    • Cholesterol: 0 mg 0%
    • Sodium: 2369 mg 98.71%
    • Calcium: 2 mg 0.21%
    • Potassium: 63 mg 1.81%
    • Magnesium: 0 mg 0%
    • Iron: 7 mg 41.48%
    • Zinc: 0 mg 0%
    • Total Carbohydrate: 44 g %
    • Dietary Fiber: 1 g 4.88%
    • Sugar: 2 g
    • Protein: 7 g
    • Alcohol: 0 g
    • Omega 3 Fatty Acid: 0 g
    • Omega 6 Fatty Acid: 0 g
    • Vitamin A 0%
    • Vitamin C 0%
    • Vitamin D 0%
    • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
    Diabetes Exchanges
    • Exchange - Fat0
    • Exchange - Fruit0
    • Exchange - NonFat Milk0
    • Exchange - Other Carbs0
    • Exchange - Starch3
    • Exchange - Vegetables0
    • Exchange - Lean Meat0
    • Exchange - Alcohol0
    MyPlate Info
    • MyPlate - Grain Total3 oz-eq
    • MyPlate - Vegetable Total0 c
    • MyPlate - Fruit0 c
    • MyPlate - Dairy0 c
    • MyPlate - Protein Total0 oz-eq

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