German Pretzels with Handmade Mustard

German Pretzels

Fresh German Pretzels with handmade mustard

Fresh German Pretzels with handmade mustard

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
2 pkgs active dry yeast
3 tbsp butter
Coarse salt for sprinkling

Soda Bath
1/2 cup baking soda
2 quarts water

Dissolve yeast in the lukewarm water. Mix flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Form a well in the flour mixture then add the sugar to the center of the well. Pour the yeast/water mixture into the well. Let it rest for 15 minutes before mixing.

Add the softened butter to the mixing bowl and knead everything to form a smooth dough.  Add a teaspoon of water occasionally to get to the correct consistency. Remove the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Cut the dough into twelve equal parts, then roll each piece on the table and taper the ends; make sure you don’t roll it too small as it will break.

Close-up of pretzel.

Place the pretzels without covering them in the fridge for about an hour. This helps build a skin that will absorb the dipping solution better and make a beautiful shiny crust.

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Note: an authentic German recipe calls for a lye solution, but baking soda is a perfectly acceptable and widely used substitute.

Fill large pot 3/4 full and bring the water to a boil. Carefully and slowly add the baking soda to the boiling water. There will be a reaction when the baking soda hits the water and it will bubble furiously for a moment and then relax. Stand back a bit just to be safe.

Using a slotted spoon, gently drop each pretzel into the bath for 10 seconds, then turn over for another 10. Astrid called for a total of 10 seconds only. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Score the dough once to avoid cracking, sprinkle with coarse salt, and bake the pretzels for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Handmade Mustard Ingredients
1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (can be more or less depending on level of spiciness)
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp horseradish (optional)

Simmer the mustard seeds, water and vinegar together for 20-30 minutes over medium heat.  The seeds should absorb most of the liquid and swell in size. Remove from the heat and add the cayenne pepper and turmeric (and horseradish) and place in a food processor until creamy (like peanut butter) and serve.

About anj68

Alice uses cast iron pots and wooden utensils and keeps the recipes as close to the traditional recipe as possible. She even utilizes a fire pit located outside her home to test authentic recipes. For more information about Alice the Cook, visit her website at In future blogs, I will offer recipes, kitchen hints, and historical cooking lessons.
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