Bavarian Soft Pretzels

Nothing goes better with a cold homebrewed beer than a big soft pretzel fresh from the oven! Today we’re going to set homebrewing aside and look instead at a recipe for large, Bavarian beer pretzels .
Below is a recipe I’ve used for years to create delicious pretzels at home:

Soft Pretzel Recipe – makes one dozen large pretzels:
• 1 packet active dry bread yeast
• 1 cup warm water
• 2 tablespoons soft butter or margarine
• 2 3/4 cups bread flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 5 teaspoons baking soda (for glazing)
• Coarse salt (if desired)

• In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup warm water and packet of yeast.
• Mix in 1-1/2 cups of flower, the 2 tblsp margarine, 1/2 tsp salt and tblsp sugar. Beat the
entire mixture for 3 minutes to mix well.
• Slowly mix in the remaining 1-1/4 cups of flour, and knead dough until all of the flour is mixed in and dough loses its stickiness.
• Set aside in bowl, and let it rise until dough reaches approximately double its original size.
• Divide dough into twelve approximately equal pieces. Using your palms, roll each piece
into 18″ lengths about pencil thickness. Loop and twist the lengths into pretzel shapes and place on a greased baking sheet. Allow pretzels to rise again until they approximately double in girth.
• Preheat oven to 475 degrees, and ready a boiling solution of 4 cups of water, and the 5 tsp of baking soda in a shallow non-aluminum (note – aluminum may react with baking soda).
• With a plastic spatula, carefully lift each pretzel from the sheet and lower it into the boiling baking soda solution for 15-20 seconds. This will glaze the pretzels once you bake them.
• Sprinkle the pretzels with coarse salt (if desired, they’re great without salt as well), and
bake approximately 7-10 minutes until browned. Serve warm, topped with mustard or
cheese, and a pint of your favorite beer.

There is nothing more wonderful than a fresh hot pretzel with a nice cold homebrew!

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