Crisp, salty outside with a soft, chewy inside make these traditional Bavarian pretzels a delicious treat! Serve sliced with butter or mustard and you’ve got the perfect afternoon snack!
It’s been on my bucket list to make the perfect replica of the German pretzels I’ve eaten for the last five years. Crispy outside with big chunks of salt and then chewy, fluffy and so flavorful on the inside… the Germans do pretzels right!
I’ve made pretzels before, but they were super soft and didn’t have that crunch I was looking for. So, after the first of the year, I set out to find a recipe for the perfect Traditional Bavarian Pretzels. I think I found it.
Besides their smaller size (I had lots of people to share these with so I made them smaller), these pretzels taste almost identical to the pretzels from the local bakery. My favorite way to serve them is sliced in half, smear butter on both sides, then sandwich back together to eat! My husband loves to eat these pretzels with a coarse grain mustard. You really can’t go wrong.
Despite the 2-3 hours they took to make and the number of steps necessary to perfect these pretzels, the recipe only consists of 8 simple ingredients. As a baker, I already have everything needed to make these, so I’m certain that you have all the ingredients in your cabinet as well.
Nothing fancy required. Simple, yet delicious. Pure pretzel perfection.
I also made a 90-second video (at the top) to show you just how simple it is to make these Traditional Bavarian Pretzels!
- 1 packet (1/4oz or 2½ tsp) active dry yeast
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 50 ml lukewarm milk (no hotter than 110F)
- 500 g (3¾ cup) all-purpose flour
- 250 ml lukewarm milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 40 g unsalted butter
- 1 liter water (4 cups)
- 3 Tbsp baking soda
- ¼ cup coarse salt
- ¼ cup flour, for kneading
- Food scale
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, stir gently together the yeast, sugar and 50 ml lukewarm milk. Let sit for 15 minutes until frothy.
- With the mixer on low, add the salt, flour and 250 ml lukewarm milk. Mix on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes until a dough ball forms. If all of the dough doesn't come up off the bottom of the bowl, add 1 Tbsp addition milk then mix again to form the ball.
- Cover the bowl with a damp towel and place in a very warm place to rise. The dough should double in size. This should take about 30-45 minutes if the room is warm enough. (Hint: Turn on the oven to 350F and crack it open to help heat the room.)
- On a lightly floured surface, knead the risen dough for about 2 minutes until smooth.
- Weigh the dough ball in grams and divide by 18. Make 18 even balls of dough.
- On a clean surface, roll each ball of dough into a sausage shape 30-35cm long with the center thicker than the ends. Form the dough into the pretzel shape and gently place on the prepared pan. Once all the dough is rolled and formed, let the pretzels rise for 20 minutes in a warm place. (NOTE: If the dough is not rising, it's not warm enough in your kitchen.)
- After they have risen, place the tray of pretzels in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.
- Prepare a second large baking sheet by generously spraying with cooking spray.
- After the pretzels have chilled, boil the water in a large pot and gently add the baking soda. (NOTE: The solution will bubble up violently so use caution when adding the baking soda.)
- Two at a time, using a slotted spoon or spatula, place the pretzels into the water. Flip them over a few times to coat them in water and boil for 30 seconds.
- Lift the pretzels out of the pot and tap to drain the water off. Place them on the greased baking sheet.
- Immediately sprinkle with coarse salt and cut a slit in the fattest part of the dough.
- If you are using a non-stick pan, place a second sheet directly under the sheet the pretzels are on. This will help prevent the bottoms from burning.
- In an unpreheated (cold) oven place the pan of pretzels on the upper-middle rack. Turn the oven on to 430F degrees and bake for 18-22 minutes or until the bottoms are a dark caramel brown color.
- Turn the oven onto high broil and continue baking 3-5 minutes or until the tops are crisp, dark caramel brown. Some of the smaller ends may even get dark brown.
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes then serve immediately. Best if eaten that day.
- To serve Bavarian style, slice the pretzels in half and smear both halves with butter. Sandwich back together and enjoy!
- The pretzels individually for 30 seconds in the boiling Natronwasser give (the pretzels swimming), get out with a slotted spoon, drain and sprinkle with coarse salt to taste. Thereafter, on a well greased baking sheet (do not use baking paper, the liquor destroyed it!). When the sheet is full, slide in a cold oven (!). An alarm clock on 18 minutes and put on 220 ° C (gas mark 4) heat. If the pretzels after about 18 - golden brown for 20 minutes they are ready.