These “Salzbrezeln” (salted pretzels) are fun to make-together any time of the year, but are particularly necessary at our house around Oktoberfest. They can be tricky to roll out, but even the youngest pretzel-makers say they’re worth it in the end. Enjoy with your favorite seasonal beer – root beer for the kiddos – and get ready for pumpkins, colorful falling leaves, cooler temperatures and all the glory that autumn brings!
Ingredients for Salzbrezeln
- 1 package (1/4 oz.) fast rising yeast
- 1 1/4 C.warm, filtered water
- 3.5 C (500 grams) flour
- 1.5 t. salt
- egg glaze (1 egg beaten with 1 T. cold water)
- coarse sea salt
- 2 – 3 T. melted butter
Sprinkle the yeast into 1/2 C. of the warm, filtered water and leave for 5 minutes. Mix the flour and salt in large bowl (electric mixer bowl if you are going to use the mixer for kneading) and make a well in the middle. Stir the yeast in the water to dissolve then pour into the well.
Using a wooden spoon, gently draw enough of the flour into the yeast and water mixture to form a soft paste. Cover with a dish towel and let “sponge” until the top is bubbly and risen, about 20 minutes.
Mix the sponge into the flour and continue to stir adding enough more of the water to make a stiff, sticky dough. Knead on a floured surface or with your electric mixer, using the dough hook, for 10 minutes to form a smooth, elastic dough.
Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a dish towel and let rise until double in size. (About 1.5 to 2 hours.) Punch down the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Weigh your dough, then divide into 12 even balls. Roll each ball into an oval. Leaving a thick bump in the middle, roll each end into a long, skinny strip. To shape, lift the two end strips, twist them around each other once, then fasten them on either side of the bump. Use a dab of cold water to encourage them to stick if necessary.
Place pretzels on a lightly floured surface or silpat and cookie sheet, cover with a dish towel and let proof until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Brush each pretzel with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake in preheated 425° oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden. Brush with melted butter and cool on a wire rack.
Serve with your favorite mustard or – our favorite – fonduta cheese dip.