Nellie & Phoeb's

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In the Kitchen- Oktoberfest Soft Pretzel Sticks

German Style Soft Pretzel Sticks

I have been wanting to make these for a really long time.  We were invited to an Oktoberfest themed birthday party last weekend & it was my cue that it was time to tackle the slightly intimidating, baking soda boiling, pretzels!  They were fantastic!!!  I prefer my pretzels with cheese sauce (really I prefer everything with cheese), while they were good with mustard, they were phenomenal with the cheese!  They were soft in the middle but slightly crunchy on the outside, with that unexplainable taste that only a pretzel has (kind if a fizz on your tongue).  I made two batches and cut the size of each pretzel stick in half, so each batch made 50 sticks, 100 total.  They were extremely time consuming and a little messy, but totally worth it.  This probably isn't something you want to make for an afternoon snack, but perfect for a special occasion, like an Oktoberfest party.  My four and five year old daughters were able to get in on the action too, they loved it.  If you notice there is a lot of variation in the sizes, let's blame it on that...

The ingredients are really simple, you probably already have them in your pantry: all purpose flour, canola oil, baking soda, brown sugar, yeast, water, and an egg
I used my stand mixer, but you can do it by hand if you don't have one.
Once your ingredients have been mixed, place the dough ball in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise until it doubles in size, about 45 minutes.

Place the dough ball on a floured surface, knead lightly, and stretch it.

Cut into 24 equal parts. Well, as equal as you can get them.  I decided to make smaller pretzel sticks, so at this point, I broke 24 pieces into halves and had 48 pieces.
The girls had lots of fun helping roll the pieces into 4-1/2" x 1/2" sticks!  
Place the sticks two inches apart, on baking sheets covered in buttered parchment paper.  They look a little wonky, but once they rise, they smooth out.

Let them rise for 15-25 minutes, until they are puffy (and much prettier).
Bring two quarts of water and 3/4 cup of baking soda to a simmer.  Place six sticks at a time into the simmering water, let them cook for 30 seconds, turning once.  Lay them on paper towels to drain, then transfer them back to the prepared baking sheets.  Brush with egg wash & salt them (I say generously salt them).  Pop them in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes, or until they are a deep golden brown.  Serve them with cheese (or mustard)!!!
*Do NOT overload your oven or they will burn...lesson learned.

Serves: 24
Serving Size: 1-2 pretzel sticks


2 quarts plus 1 cup water, divided
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
5-1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
Kosher or sea salt

In a stand mixer, add brown sugar into 2 cups of warm water until dissolved. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the vegetable oil and 3 cups of the flour.  Mix in the remaining 2 3/4 cups of flour; the dough will be slightly sticky.

Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead until silky, about 3 minutes; if the dough is very sticky, knead in up to 1/4 cup more flour. Transfer the dough to an large, oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 30-45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450°. Line 3 large cookie sheets with parchment paper and butter the paper. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a floured work surface. Knead the dough lightly, flatten it out and cut it into 24 pieces.  If you want to make smaller sticks, divide the 24 in half to make 48 pieces. By hand, roll each piece into a 9-inch x 1/2 inch thick or 4-1/2 x 1/2 inch stick. Transfer the sticks to the prepared cookie sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between them. Let stand uncovered until puffed, about 15-25 minutes.

In a large, deep sauté pan, stir the baking soda into 2 quarts of water and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate. Using a slotted spoon, transfer 6 pretzel sticks at a time to the simmering water 30 seconds, turning once; add about 1 cup of hot water after before cooking the second batch of pretzels. Transfer the pretzel sticks to paper towels to drain, then return them to the cookie sheets, spacing them evenly.
Brush the pretzel sticks with the egg wash and sprinkle with salt. Bake until richly browned, about 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, with cheese sauce or mustard.

Make Ahead: The baked pretzel sticks can be stored overnight in a plastic bag. Reheat before serving.

Adapted from Food & Wine
Find it here also Caramel Moments

Our neighbors Rebecca and Nick threw one heck of a party!  It was Nick's birthday, so the invite was for Nicktoberfest.  They decorated their house, inside and out, and had a smorgasbord of German sausages, sauerkraut, German potato salad, and pretzels of course.  Everything was delicious and their house was super festive!

Happy Birthday Nick!!!


Troy pulled out his lederhosen so he would fit in!
And, what is a good party without favors?  They had a bowl full of pretzel holding German ducks, and customized can cozies.

We went to the Tulsa Oktoberfest with the same crew. What a fun filled month!
Did I mention we have THE BEST NEIGHBORS EVER?!!!



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