Some time ago I wrote about the things which are typically German (love it or hate it but that’s how it is) and one of those was German bakery. Yes, I do try (and quite successfully) to eat clean but if baker’s shops are just everywhere, it is kinda next to impossible to resist these tempting delicious smells out from there. So whenever I crave for something tasty and not really healthy, these pretty baker’s shops satisfy my desires.
And even though the variety of choice in bakeries here is so big, my favourite treat is a butter pretzel. Unfortunately, pretzels sold in Ukrainian bakeries are by no means as good as those in Germany, so I needed to find a way to please my cravings. The Internet gives you millions of recipes if you google it so I thought why not to give it a try and bake some pretzels myself? Yes, these were not made in Germany but they were so good!
So if you have some time on your hands (I’m pretty sure you do cuz it is spring-break time!), try out the recipe below. I bet you will definitely not regret spending quite some time in the kitchen!
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
2 pkgs active dry yeast
3 tbsp butter
Coarse salt for sprinkling
1/2 cup baking soda
2 quarts water
1. Dissolve yeast in the lukewarm water. Mix flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Form a well in the flour mixture then add the sugar to the center of the well. Pour the yeast/water mixture into the well. Let it rest for 15 minutes before mixing.
2. Add the softened butter to the mixing bowl and knead everything to a smooth dough. Then let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
3. Cut the dough into equal parts (around 12), then roll each piece on the table to about 20 inches. Don’t make it smaller than 20 inches as it’s impossible to get a good shape with a short, thick rope of dough. Then shape the pretzels out of the dough ropes.
4. Place the pretzels without covering them in the fridge for about an hour. This helps build a skin that will absorb the dipping solution better and make a beautiful shiny crust.
5. Preheat the oven to 200 C.
Fill a large pot 3/4 full and bring the water to boil. Carefully and slowly add the baking soda to the boiling water. There will be a reaction when the baking soda hits the water and it will bubble furiously for a moment and then relax. Using a slotted spoon, gently drop each pretzel into the bath for about 10 seconds.
Place them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake the pretzels for about 15 to 20 minutes (mine took 20 minutes for a nice dark crust), depending on how dark you like them.
And then yay! Pretzels are ready so guten Appetit!