Oktoberfest – Pretzel Time!
Well, it’s that time of year. Oktoberfest, the wedding-party-cum jaded beer festival that you can choose to celebrate in a number of ways. You can actually go (although I’ve been told this is not really recommended these days), design a new football shirt specifically to cynically rip off tourists and your dumb fans or just go a little German for the week and get going in the kitchen with some Oktoberfest-inspired, stomach-lining grub to soak up all that beer. Which is what we did last week.
So – first up, Pretzels.
Well, they turned out a little thicker than I anticipated, but the dough was dense as a pretzel should be and they tasted excellent; moist, salty and incredibly moreish. Here’s what you do: take 300g of Plain Flour, and sift it into a bowl with a pinch of salt. Warm 200g of Milk in the microwave – about a minute should be fine – and to that, add a packet of dried, active yeast, and a dollop of Honey.
Yes, I know Honey isn’t particularly authentic, but that yeast needs a little sweetness and sugar’s a bit dull isn’t it? Give the milk, yeast and honey a stir and let that bubble up. When frothy, add to the flour, mix, and when you get a dough, give it a bit of a roll until you get a pliable ball. Pop back in the bowl, cover and leave somewhere warm for an hour. Go have a beer.
When you return, the dough will have risen so you can then knock it back, and knead well – you want a satiny, silky feel to the dough. Roll out into tubes, about 30 cm long, and then twist into the pretzel shape. Heat your oven to 175c, and – here’s the part that you really don’t want to miss out of the process: bring a pan of water to the boil, and drop your pretzels into it for a minute or so before putting on your baking tray. Boiling them gives you that nice glaze on the outside, whilst keeping the insides moist. If you use eggwash, you’ll get a hard, french-bread type exterior; which is fine if you want that but I personally prefer chewiness.
Boil all your Pretzels, sprinkle with Salt (or whatever you want, really. Caraway seeds seem popular in some parts) and place on a greased tray to bake. Keep an eye on them, and they’ll take about 10- 15 minutes to bake.
We enjoyed ours with some Sausage, Ham and Mustard, and lots of cold, cold Augustiner Brau Edelstoff (5.6%abv), which had tonnes of sweetness and a lovely, soft mouthfeel that ensured it disappeared quickly down our throats and complimented the simple sweetness and smoke of the meat and bread perfectly.
Posted on 26/09/2012, in Uncategorized and tagged Augustiner Brau Edelstoff, beer and food matching, Beer Reviews, German Beer, German Food and Beer, Oktoberfest, Pretzel Recipe, pretzel shape. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.