Living in Germany has taught me to love pretzels! These German-style Salted Pretzels with Spicy Beer Mustard are just like what we get here in Germany!
Almost everyday here in Germany, I go to the bakery and buy at least 2 German style pretzels. They are big, soft and chewy on the inside and have a crust covered in big chunks of salt.
A lot of people like to dip their pretzels in cheese or mustard, but I like mine plain with an ice cold Pepsi. So yumm!
One of the blogs I follow posted a recipe for pretzels and that got me to thinking that I could make my very own German style pretzels at home and have them fresh any time I wanted. So, I set out on a search of the internet for recipes. I read 7 or so recipes for pretzels and decided I’d combine the dough recipe from The Fresh Loaf, the cooking style from Alton Brown and the mustard from My Fare Foodie. Of course all of them with my own twist on things!
The first batch out of the oven turned out smelling and looking so good that I had to taste one right off the pan. OH. MY. HEAVENS! It tasted the same, if not BETTER, than the ones I get in the German bakeries! Soft and chewy on the inside and a firm crust with salt, lots of yummy salt!
I made traditional pretzel twist and then a few sticks. Both were perfect for dipping in the mustard sauce made with German beer. Really, you could make the sauce with any kind of beer you like, but I used a Dunkelweisen my husband likes.
- 1 package Active Dry yeast (or about 1 tbsp)
- 2 cups warm milk (2 minutes, 30 seconds in my microwave on high)
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 5 cups bread flour
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- non-stick cooking spray or butter for greasing
- 1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp water
- coarse salt
- 10 cups of water
- ⅔ cup baking soda
- parchment paper
- large baking sheet
- 2 spatulas
- 9 heaping tbsp course grain mustard
- 3 heaping tbsp spicy brown mustard
- 3 heaping tsp horseradish
- 3 tbsp German Dunkelweisen (or your favorite Hefeweisen or Lager beer)
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- salt/pepper to taste
- Grease a large bowl with butter, set aside.
- Heat the milk in a microwave safe cup that pours. After warm, mix in the brown sugar and yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes or until it begins to foam. This step activates the yeast.
- In a stand mixer with a hook attachment (or in a large bowl with a wooden spoon) mix together the flour and salt.
- With the mixer on low-medium, slowly add the melted butter and milk until combined. My mixer didn't really enjoy this too much, so I took the hook out and finished incorporating the ingredients by hand.
- Lightly flour a flat surface and knead the dough until it's smooth and all the ingredients are combined. About 5 minutes.
- Form the dough into a large ball and place it in the greased bowl. Cover with with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough doubles. (I waited an hour and my dough hadn't exactly doubled, but I was in a time crunch and just went with it. They still turned out yummy!)
- Bring the water and baking soda to a boil in a large pot. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with non stick cooking spray or butter. Preheat your oven to 425 F degrees.
- In the meantime, grease a flat surface (like your counter) with butter or cooking spray. Roll out your dough about ¼in thick into a large rectangle.
- Cut 1in slices of dough. Roll them out about 15 inches long. If you roll them too long, you can fold them in half and cut them. It's really up to you how big you want them. The thicker you roll the dough, the thicker the pretzel you'll have. Shape the dough into a pretzel or twist. Place on prepared baking sheet.
- Once you've rolled out enough pretzels to fit on the baking sheet, you'll begin the boiling process. First, beat the egg and water together in a small bowl, set aside.
- One at a time, place one pretzel on your spatula then place the second spatula on top, like a sandwich. This will help you keep control of your pretzel. Submerge the pretzel into the boiling water for 30 seconds or until the pretzel floats to the surface. You'll want to hold onto the pretzel with the spatulas for about 10 seconds before letting go. This will help make sure the pretzels keeps it's shape. The larger pretzels I did 1 at a time, but I found that 3-4 smaller twists were okay to boil at once. The Fresh Loaf has a great tutorial on how to do this, which is where I learned. Place the boiled pretzel back on the prepared sheet.
- Once all the pretzels are boiled, brush each with the egg wash and sprinkle with coarse salt. I used sea salt because it's what I had on hand, but your favorite coarse salt would work.
- Bake the pretzels for about 15 minutes or until browned.
- Eat immediately! Or you can let them cool on a wire rack.
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix.
- Add/omit/change it to your taste!