I find the most beautiful thing about families is their juxtaposition; each family is unique but very much the same at their very essence. When I met my husband, I saw this clear as day. We grew up in different places and with very different family structures. Yet, there were many similarities, including family traditions and recipes. Among them, this recipe for Bavarian Soft Pretzels. This is our must-make Christmas Eve treat and a favorite after-school snack for my children, O and Pip.
- 3 tbsp. barley malt syrup
- 2 (1/4-oz.) package active dry yeast
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter softened
- 8 cups flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 4 tbsp. baking soda
- Coarse salt, for sprinkling
- Heat a pizza stone or baking sheet to 500.
- Stir together syrup, yeast, and 1 cup warm water in a large bowl, and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Add butter, flour, and salt, and stir until dough forms.
- Transfer to a lightly floured work surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
- Halve dough, and working with one piece at a time, roll dough into a 4' rope, about 1" thick.
- Keeping the center of the rope on the surface, pick up both ends, cross one end over the other, about 2" from the ends, and twist; attach each end to the sides of the pretzel. Let rest for 20 minutes.
- Bring baking soda and 1 cup water to a simmer in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until baking soda dissolves.
- Brush each pretzel generously with the baking soda solution, sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake until dark brown, about 15 minutes.