Nothing goes better with beer than a pretzel. So let’s kick off Oktoberfest with giant Bavarian soft pretzels. I’ll bring the pretzels, you bring the beer!
Are you Oktoberfest ready? Well you have two days to prepare yourself and I’m here to get you started. I’m kicking off the festivities with a little giant snack that goes with a mug of beer like Laurel goes with Hardy, Will goes with Grace, and a glass of red wine goes with me on a Friday night.
And not just any pretzels….Bavarian soft pretzels that have a toasty, salty, deep brown crust and a soft, chewy center. These are the stuff that carb-filled dreams are made of. They are definitely not the stale pretzels that you can buy from a cart in Central Park or at the movies served with a cup of sticky orange cheese. Nope, these are crafted from a wonderful yeasty dough fed with a little brown sugar and best served alongside a dish of tangy brown mustard and a frosty beer.
Oh, and like I mentioned these pretzels are just the start of the fun. I’ve joined forces with a bunch of talented bloggers for an Oktoberfest party hosted by the all-beer-knowing Milena and Chris of Craft Beering for a food-fueled, beer-inspired, tasty soirée that you can replicate from your very own kitchen. We’re talking meats to treats to sweets. Everything pairs perfectly with beer and is well-suited for this German “holiday”.
So fill your stein and strap on your feed bag because we are getting after it today. Happy Oktoberfest to all and to all a good night!
Craft Beering – Schweinshaxe (Bavarian Roasted Pork Knuckle)
Itsy-Bitsy Kitchen – Bee Sting Cake
Girl Heart Food – Traditional Pork Schnitzel
Tasty Ever After – Kartoffelsuppe (German Potato Soup)
Beer Girl Cooks – Beer Mustard Crusted Pork Loin
Sugar Love Spices – Porchetta Panini
Seasons & Suppers – German Beef Rouladen
The Bearded Hiker – Sauerbraten
Kelly Lynn’s Sweets & Treats – German Chocolate Cake Cookies
Leeks and High Heels – Beef with Beet Puree & Purple Cauliflower
The Home Cook’s Kitchen – Cheese and Cherry Strudel
What Should I Make For… – Bavarian Soft Pretzels
- 1 1/4 cup warm water (100 degrees)
- 1/4 oz active dry yeast (1 pkg)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp light brown sugar, packed
- 4 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided, melted and cooled slightly
- Canola or vegetable oil for coating the bowl
- 2 quarts water
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- sea salt
- Mustard for serving
Combine water, yeast, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Whisk to combine and let stand until the yeast begins to activate and foam slightly.
Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl fitted with a dough hook and mix for a minute. Add the yeast mixture and 2 Tbsp melted butter and mix with the dough hook on medium/low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 mins. (Alternatively knead by hand for 5-10 mins).
Form the dough into a large ball and turn into a large bowl coated with oil. Turn to coat. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let the bowl sit at room temperature until the dough has doubled in size, about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment and spray well with cooking spray.
Divide the dough into six equal portions and use your hands to roll each into a 24 inch rope, allowing the dough to rest if if springs back to quickly.
Form into a U-shape and then cross the ends to form into a pretzel.
Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Add the baking soda and using a perforated spautula, lower one pretzel at a time into the water. Boil about 30-45 seconds and remove to a paper towel for a minute to drain. Place three pretzels on each baking sheet and brush well with the remaining 2 Tbsp melted butter and sprinkle generously with salt.
Bake for 12 minutes until dark golden brown, rotating the trays midway through baking.
Serve warm with mustard on the side.
Yields 6 pretzels.