german pretzels and beer

Tips and Tricks for Making Amazing German Pretzels

When you think of Oktoberfest, first you might think of beer, well you definitely will think of beer first. After that though your second thought is most definitely those big beautiful German Pretzels. Now pretzels look like they might be something that is really simple to make. Wrong! They are strangely one of the most difficult and complicated things we have ever made. We found and followed this Oktoberfest Pretzels Recipe, and after we made some soft, tasty pretzels (with beer cheese), we thought we would share some tips to help you do it better than we did.

our first try
after learning from our mistakes

Yeast Activate

Super important to make sure the yeast activates. If it doesn’t your dough will not rise and will be essentially impossible to work with. You can tell the yeast activates when you see bubbles in your liquid ingredients. If it does not activate start over, do not bother adding the flour.

Activated Yeast, notice the bubbles

Measure Twice, Cut Once

our little pretzel dough ball
Pretzel dough ball

Make sure you measure all your ingredients ahead of time. Like most things, the prep work is just as important as any individual step. This way you don’t have to scramble to measure or find ingredients, you know you have everything you need, and you make sure you are using the right amounts of everything.

Make it Long and Thin

When you roll out the individual pieces of dough to make the pretzel shape, make sure you make it as long and as thin as possible. This will 2 do things: first it will make it easier to shape the dough, and secondly it will make it so the pretzel isn’t too doughy. This will improve appearance and texture – trust us, you will thanks us later.

Imperfections Are Perfect

imperfect pretzels
perfectly imperfect

Don’t worry too much about the shape being perfect. It’s not going to be, focus on the thickness more than anything. This will save you a lot of frustration and having to start over.

Be Sure to Dry Off After a Bath

Be patient, once you take the pretzel out of the baking soda bath make sure you drip off all the water and baking soda. You don’t want to try to egg wash a slimy disgusting piece of dough. You also don’t want a baking soda flavored pretzel. Just take your time and be patient. Which brings me to the next point…

Baking soda bath for your pretzels
Baking soda bath


It is going to take several hours to make these, be ready for that. This is not a quick snack! There is a lot of waiting in between steps. Be paitent and take your time and you will make some amazing pretzels.

Salty as Can Be

Don’t skimp on the salt, it’s an important part of what makes a pretzel great. This is one of the biggest mistakes we made, we went way to light on the salt. While they still tasted pretty good, they definitely could be improved upon.

Golden Brown

crispy on the outside soft on the insde

Our last tip is to cook your german pretzels until they are perfectly golden brown. It may not take the exact amount of time you think it needs, as all ovens are different. Keep an eye on them so you know the perfect time to remove them from the oven. You will now have a perfectly flavored, textured, and aesthetically pleasing German pretzel.

Time to Enjoy your German Pretzels

Now enjoy your creation! Don’t eat them all in one sitting though, you probably won’t feel too great. German pretzels, or well, any pretzels for that matter are one of the quintessential beer snacks, and we fully recommend you enjoy your pretzels with a cold beer (check out our favorite beers here) and some beer cheese. A little twist of heaven that is!

While you are here check out 10 Oktoberfest Games Everyone Will Love and Oktoberfest Fashion – How to Dress for the Fest

our much improved shapes
a closeup of the finished product
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