Laugenbrezeln - Traditional German pretzels

Homemade Laugenbrezeln or simply pretzels are one of my favorite breads. Traditional pretzels are crunchy on the outside and soft inside. Simple combination of butter and pretzel together with hot tea makes an easy delicious snack on-the-go. I also enjoy trying different spreads with pretzels. The taste of pretzels made with this recipe is very similar to traditional salty pretzels found at bakeries in Germany.  
Laugenbrezeln Traditional Pretzel
Laugenbrezeln - German pretzels


For the dough:

1 package of active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 cup lukewarm water (about 110F / 45C)
4 cups unbleached flour
3 tablespoons cane sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter

Baking soda brine:
1/2 cup baling soda
4 cups hot water

2 tablespoons coarse sea salt or kosher salt


Preparing dough:
Dissolve yeast with 1 teaspoon of white sugar in warm water and let it rest for 5 minutes. In a separate bowl whisk together unbleached flour, cane sugar and salt. Add oil (or melted butter) and yeast mixture to flour mixture. Knead the dough for 7-8 minutes by hand or 1-2 minutes in a mixer with bread dough hook. Place the dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with damp kitchen towel and let the dough rise for 1 hour in an unheated oven or a warm corner in the house. After the dough almost doubled in size, place it on a lightly floured work space and cut into even pieces weighing about 40 grams. Form into traditional pretzel-shape (Tip! roll dough into a rope thicker in the middle and thinner at the ends). Place pretzels on a tray lined with parchment paper and let rest in a warm place for 25 minutes.

Brine and topping:
Dissolve 1/2cup baking soda in 4 cups of hot water preferably in a glass bowl. Place each pretzel in the brine for a few seconds or brush each pretzel with the baking soda solution. Sprinkle with coarse salt and bake for 20 - 25 minutes in the oven at 450F, until medium or dark brown.

Bon appetit!