Oktoberfest Celebration! Homemade Pretzels!

It is safe to say summer is officially gone.  The blisteringly hot temperatures have been replaced by cool crisp fall days.  I love every minute of it.  Fall makes me think of chai lattes, apple cider, pumpkin pie but it also has another connotation that has recently invaded my mind during this season.   Fall = Oktoberfest.  The holy awe-inspiring week in Germany devoted to beer, bavaria, and brezeln (pretzel in german).  I haven’t been to Oktoberfest (booo whoooo) but that doesn’t mean I can’t pretend to celebrate in a completely downgraded and all around embarrassing version in good o’l Connecticut right?  This weekend was devoted to shamefully trying to recreate this moment below, by making my own homemade pretzels and drinking beer by myself while watching Rick Steeves.

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Homemade Soft Pretzels

Ingredients: 

4.5 cups of all purpose flour

1 tbsp sugar

1 package of active yeast

1.5 cups warm water

1 teaspoon salt

4 tbsp melted butter

1 egg beaten (for the egg wash)

1 heaping tbsp of baking soda 

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Method:

To begin add the yeast, sugar, and salt to 1.5 cups of warm water. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes until it becomes foamy.  Meanwhile add 4.5 cups flour into a food processor.  When the yeast mixture is ready, add it to the flour.  Pulse the mixture in the food processor.

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Then add the melted butter.

ImagePulse the mixture until it is all combined.

ImageRemove the mixture from the food processor and slowly knead it until the dough is all mixed and formed into a ball.  Place the ball of dough into a well oiled bowl and cover.  Allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes.

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Hey look it rose!!

ImageNow for the fun part.  Gather a handful of the dough and roll it out into a long rope, roughly 24 inches.

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Now gather the two ends of the rope and loop them over each other two times.

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Now bring the two ends to the center to create a traditional pretzel shape.  I like to press the ends down hard into the sides so then don’t become detached when boiling.

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Place the finished pretzels onto a well greased pan.  When finished forming the pretzels, bring a 1 tablespoon of baking soda and water to a boil.  Preheat the oven to 450. Carefully drop the pretzels in batches of two or three into the boiling water for 30 seconds.  I was amazed at how much my kitchen began to smell like well… basically a shopping mall.  Thinking about renaming myself Auntie Jen’s.  When the pretzels are done remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and return them to the baking sheet.

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The pretzels will expand slightly and become puffy.  Brush the pretzels with a well beaten egg.

ImageI used sea salt to lightly salt the pretzels.  I then put them in the over for about 13 minutes.  Remove when pretzels are golden brown.

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Pretzels are done but one thing is missing.  After munching on pretzels delicious beer is much needed.  My brother and I decided to take a trip to Willimantic Brewing Company, possibly one of CT’s best kept secrets.  They brew their own amazing batches of beer as well as featuring many notable breweries on tap.  I got a sampler featuring Willibrew’s very own APO Milk Stout, Sunpower, Hopsulutely, Late to the Party IPA, and due to the season, I got Dogfish’s Punkin.

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3 thoughts on “Oktoberfest Celebration! Homemade Pretzels!

  1. Delish! I have my own Oktoberfest each year at home too. Cool crisp evening, open fire pit outdoors, send out massive Facebook event and neighborhood invites to a covered dish/chili cook off with lots of beer.

  2. Geraldine says:

    wow, that’s a BIG pretzel!

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