German Soft Pretzels (德国扭结软面包)



i am rather worry that my pretzel did not turn out well.. But it turned out to be  a nice soft chewy German bread…It is not the most beautiful batch and  I do have some area of improvement for the pretzel that I will overcome it in my next attempt.. Well, all the imperfections have been addressed in the recipe and if you follow the recipe, you will be able to get a rather authentic German style soft pretzel..


Watch the word, it is German style of soft pretzel.. It is not American Auntie Annie’s crispy pretzel snack.. Auntie Annie’s pretzel is famous internationally but that is not what I am going to share.. What I am sharing is another famous bread in my international bread series..


Pretzels come in many forms, it can be crispy snack as in the pub or it can be soft that served as breakfast rolls. I remembers many years back when I stayed in a German Hotel in Beijing, that is the first time that I have encountered with this unique bread.. What captured my attention is its unique butterfly (?) shape and the sprinkle of coarse sea salt.. I have never try bread with this coarse sea salt.


Soft pretzel’s texture is soft according to Western standard, but for Asian, some may considered as hard. It is slightly chewy but much less chewier than the baguette or other artisan breads.. It can be dipped in mustard sauce or served with butter. It has an unique flavour, a lye or kansui flavour skin and it is very dark..


The unique darkness on the exterior and the special flavour of the bread was done via a special process which I have never seen it was done on other bread. The bread was dip in hot lye solution to provide the special flavour and that differentiate it from other breads..


“A pretzel (German: Brezel or Breze) is a type of baked bread product made from dough most commonly shaped into a twisty knot. Pretzels originated in Europe, most likely among monasteries in the Early Middle Ages.[1] The traditional pretzel shape is a distinctive symmetrical looped form, with the ends of a long strip of dough intertwined and then twisted back into itself in a certain way (“a pretzel loop”). Pretzels now come in different shapes. Salt is the most common seasoning for pretzels, complementing the washing soda or lye treatment that gives pretzels their traditional “skin” and flavor through the Maillard reaction; other seasonings include sugars, chocolate, glazes, seeds, and/or nuts.”  (Source:


I am unsure how many Asian readers will give this a try. Well, I still need to blog this recipe for my international bread collections. Trust me, it is a delicious unique bread and if you go German, you should give it a try.. If not, you should try preparing at home…



Recipe adapted from: How To Make Soft Pretzels – The Kitchn

Servings: About 8 Pretzels


Bread Dough

  • 400 grams of plain flour
  • 250-280 ml or grams of lukewarm water
  • 1.5 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoon of salt
  • 5 grams of instant yeast

Alkaline solution

  • 1/4 cup of baking soda
  • 2000 ml of water
  • 1 tablespoon of maltose


  • 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon of oil and sift
  • Some coarse sea salt



PicMonkey Collage1

  • Put all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl of a standing mixer, gradually add in lukewarm water, knead using low speed until well combined. Transfer out to a lightly flour surface. Hand knead for 2-3 minutes and let it proof until double in size. Cover with a wet towel or something during the proofing.
  • After the first proofing, punch the dough to let the air escape, shape round and divide the dough into 8 equal parts.

PicMonkey Collage2

  • Take one dough and use you hand to roll form the centre to the end for at least 12 inches. Perform the same for the other 7 dough. The dough string shall be slightly fatter in the middle and slimmer at the ends.

  • After all the 8 strings are done, take the first dough string, continue rolling using your hand until it reaches about at least 18 inches. Lift the ends of the string towards the top and cross them . Make another cross and fold back the twisted string down over the bottom loop like the shape as in the picture. Transfer the pretzel to a baking tray. Perform the same for the remaining 7 pretzels. Proceed to second proofing until double in size. Cover with a wet towel.

  • Once the dough have double its size, put the dough inside the fridge for at least 15 minutes to 1/2 hour to firm the dough.

  PicMonkey Collage3

  • Pre-heat the oven to 240 degree Celsius.

  • In a  big pot , put the water and bring to boil. Add the baking soda and maltose and stir until dissolve. An alkaline solution will then be formed. Reduce the heat to medium to let it simmer. (Note: Commercially lye water or caustic soda was used )

  • Take out the chilled firm dough, take one dough and carefully put it the simmering alkaline solution. For each side, only 30 seconds is adequate. Dish out the blanch dough and place it on top of the baking tray. Perform the same for the remaining 7 chilled dough. It is normal the dough may have “wrinkle” on the crust. It will bounce back again when it is baked in the next step. However, if you have overcooked the dough, the yeast are dead and it will the crust will not be smooth even when it is baked. Therefore, 30 seconds of simmering is of critical importance in this recipe.

  • Egg wash the dough and sprinkle with some coarse sea salt. If you wish, you can use a knife to make 1-2 slashes in the dough.  Bake in the pre-heated oven of 240 degree Celsius for 12-15 minutes or until your desired colour tone.

  • Pretzel is best served in the day it is prepared. It can be dipped in mustard sauce or spread with butter. The pretzel shall be slightly crusty but soft and chewy inside.



Shall I say sorry that I may disappoint  you with this type of famous German pretzel soft bread rather than Auntie Annie’s pretzel snack? Well, If i have time, I will search for a recipe, tried and share with all. I seriously hoped that readers will give this bread twist a try.


Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.


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2 thoughts on “German Soft Pretzels (德国扭结软面包)

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