I have already told you about my crescent rolls and how they are welcomed to every party we attend. Well, this time I wanted to spice things up and bring these salty pretzels. This recipe is very dear to me. At some point back at home we were so addicted to these pretzels that I have been making them almost every week for months. We just couldn’t get enough of them. They are so addictive and go so well with beer, since they are just salty enough to keep you reaching for refreshment. But they work as one of those snacks you just eat one after another… after another. And just like that you find yourself tearing up another package of flour to make a fresh batch of pretzels.
What I also love about them is that they are not so greasy and heavy as you would expect them to be. I had a recipe with all butter, but I substituted some of the butter for heavy sour cream and preferred the result much more. They are of course very crunchy, but when you bite into them, they have almost a bread-like texture, so they provide best of both worlds.
I have to say that they work best if you have a pretzel mold. You could, of course cut them with any other cookie cutter or just cut them into sticks, but a pretzel mold gives a perfect ratio of fills and voids. In other words, you get more edges, which is just what you want because the pretzels become extra crispy around all of those edges. So if you can’t find a pretzel mold, try and use one that makes a few holes into your cookie because while they bake, the hot air from the oven will make them so crispy you would not believe.
There, I hope you are convinced and I wish you would try them and see why I love them so much. As you can see, the recipe yields a big batch of pretzels, but keep in mind they they last for up to two weeks if stored well and don’t lose their crunch. Although as always, I like them best still warm from the oven. Go bake yourself a batch, and invite friends over. I garantee they will be fighting over them!
preparation time: about 45 minutes, does not include shaping the pretzels
baking time: 12 – 14 minutes, 200°C (400 F)
Ingredients for the dough:
160 ml milk
8 g dry yeast + 1 Tbsp sugar
850 g all-purpose flour
0,5 tsp baking powder
1,5 tsp salt
200 g cold unsalted butter
2 whole eggs
200 ml heavy sour cream
Ingredients for the eggwash:
1 whole egg
1 Tbsp cream or milk
Extra: salt for sprinkling over the top
1. Start by preparing the yeast. Put milk into a skillet and warm it over medium high heat on the stove top until it gets luke warm. Remove from the heat and stir in yeast and a tablespoon of sugar. Let it sit undisturbed for about 5 minutes or until the yeast gets bubbly and foamy.
2. In the meantime, sift together flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add cold butter cut into small pieces and work it into the flour using your fingertips. Rub the butter into the flour until you get a texture of coarse crumbs. If you decide to use a food processor for this step, use only half of flour to mix it with the butter and then add this mixture to the rest of the flour.
3. In a separate bowl briefly whisk 2 whole eggs and sour cream using a fork or a hand whisk. This step will make it easier to incorporate into the flour later.
4. Add yeast mixture and a mixture of sour cream and eggs into the flour and start forming a dough. You could use electric mixer with a hook attachment, but you could easily do it using just your hands, as I always do it. It takes a very short time to put the dough together and you should end up with smooth and elastic dough. Don’t overmix it though, knead just until you are able to form the dough into a ball.
5. Shape the dough into tho logs and put them into fridge to cool for about half an hour.
6. After about half an hour, take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface into about 3-4 mm thick. If you – like me – have a small kitchen, and therefore a small working surface, use smaller portions of dough and keep the rest in the fridge until you have used all of your dough you are currenty working with. Cut the cookies, but be patient because this mold will give you tons of scraps. Just regroup the dough and continue shaping them.
7. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400 F and make the eggwash – whisk an egg with a tablespoon of milk or cream. Place shaped pretzels on a prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with eggwash and sprinkle lightly with some salt. Bake them for about 12 minutes or until they are golden brown on top and crispy around the edges. The baking time will depend on the size of your cookies, so check them after about 10 minutes and see from there.
8. That is it! Enjoy them as a great snack followed by a cold beer or a glass of wine.