About the Recipe
Today, I want to introduce you to my favorite recipe for homemade bretzels. If you've ever had a warm and chewy bretzel straight out of the oven, then you know there's nothing quite like it. This classic German treat is a soft and fluffy pretzel, traditionally twisted into a distinctive knot shape and topped with coarse salt. While store-bought bretzels are good, nothing beats the satisfaction of making your own from scratch. With just a few simple ingredients and a bit of patience, you can create the perfect bretzel that's soft on the inside, crispy on the outside, and bursting with flavor.
Great for breakfast, lunch or snack, bretzels are a versatile breaded treat that will up your sandwich game and bring your burgers to another level!
I have loved bretzels since I was a little girl. As I explain in my blog about the history of bretzels, I used to only get them when I visited Switzerland or when I would attend a hockey game in Montreal. Two very different versions but both incredibly delicious.
The Swiss version I would most often get what with a thin layer of whipped butter spread through the center. Lightly salty and oh so creamy, it was the perfect match to the chewy salted dough of the bretzel. Hockey game bretzels were often too salted for me, so I would rub off all the salt and it was served with yellow mustard. Also, delicious. Bretzels are so good on their own that they really don't need anything to make them better. If you have never tried one, you most definitely must!
Let's get started!
1 1/2 cups Water (warmed)
2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter (melted)
1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons Instant Dry Yeast
3 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
Baking Soda Bath:
1/2 cup Baking Soda
9 cups of Water
1 cup Whipping Cream
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Making homemade bretzels is easier than you think. They may look fancy but with a few easy steps you can make your own really easily. Shape them into the traditional twisted pretzel or simply make buns for your sandwiches and burgers. Either way, you'll be sure to impress your guests with these! For a brief history on these wonderful breads check out my blog post.
Begin by sifting together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add in the brown sugar. Mix together with a whisk. In a separate bowl combine the warm water and instant yeast. Give it a stir and let sit for approximately 15 minutes to let the yeast activate. When foamy layer develops on the top you'll know it's ready to go!
Make a small indent at the center of your flour mixture and pour in your yeast mixture. Add in the melted butter.
For those of you who follow my recipes, you will know that I am very hands-on and prefer to knead my dough manually (I just like to have a feel to how the dough is coming together). However, if you prefer using a mixer with a dough attachment, you are welcome to do so here.
Knead your ingredients together until you have acheived a smooth dough. If you find that it is still too sticky add in an other tablespoon or so of flour. If it is too dry add a splash of water. The dough should feel elastic, but should remain firmly together and not be overly stick to the touch. Knead for about 5 minutes.
Next cover the bowl of dough with a kitchen towel and let rest for approximately 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen, give it a punch to deflate and separate into 4 equal sized pieces.
Make sure you have a well floured work surface with enough space to be able to roll out your dough. you will want to be able to roll out 60-75cm long dough snakes (2-2.5'). I like to swing mine in loops (like a jump rope) letting the middle skim the work surface. This helps the dough stretch out.
Shape your bretzel by bringing both ends up into a 'U' shape, twisting them twice and bringing the twist downwards. You can make them long and skinny or you can make them bigger and more like buns. Either works and both will taste amazing! Let the shaped brezels sit and rise for another 30 minutes before giving them a dunk in the baking soda bath.
When they are ready, heat up your water and baking soda mixture in a medium to large pot. When boiling, dip your brezels one-by-one into the baking soda bath. Let soak for 20 seconds and remove with a slotted spoon letting as much water drip off as possible. Lay the finished bretzels onto a lined baking sheet.
Sprinkle with flaky or coarse salt.
Preheat your oven to 450F.
Bake the bretzels for 12-14 minutes until thehy are a deep golden brown. You can leave them as is or brush the tops with some melted butter to give them some shine. Serve with whipped butter or mustard. (Or whatever you want).
To make the whipped butter simply pour your whipping cream into a medium mixing bowl. Use a hand-mixer to whip the cream until it becomes a butter like consistency (about 12-15 minutes). Add in the salt. Mix for another minute or so, et voila! Spread some over your brezel and enjoy! You can even add in some deli meats and make a wonderful sandwich!
Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!