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click for German version / Deutsche version hier 

Fresh soft pretzels are one of the first things that come into peoples’ minds when thinking of Germany.
What most people don’t know: It’s actually just the south where those pretzels are really popular. You can also buy them in the north. But the south is famous for it’s soft pretzels.

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I’m from the north. ;)

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To finally get rid of the prejudice: People in Germany don’t look like the little lego guy above. They don’t wear leather pants and they don’t drink beer all day. Actually, leather pants are just the traditional costume in one particular state (Bavaria)! And there are 15 more states that don’t have leather pants. They do have beer and pretzels though. But no leather pants. And no dirndl. Just saying.

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The lego guy is a traditional Bavarian.

Okay. I do have a pretzel food critic from the south (He’s not from Bavaria and he doesn’t wear leather pants). He liked loved my homemade pretzels. I love them, too. So I guess they are really good!

At first, I thought whole wheat pretzels were a completely new idea. After all, I’ve never, neither in the north, nor in the south, seen a whole wheat soft pretzel. As I’ve never seen them or heard about them, I always thought soft pretzel won’t work with whole wheat, or they won’t taste good.

I was proven wrong.

In both points.
1. Whole wheat pretzels taste great! I might even like them better than their white relatives.
2. My friend from the south told me, that some organic bakeries sell whole wheat pretzels, too. However, they don’t seem to be that popular. I really don’t know why.

Pretzels

Whole wheat Soft Pretzels 

yields about 8 pretzels 

  • 400g (3 1/3 cups) whole wheat pastry flour (Germany: Weizen 1050) 
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 60g (1/3 cup) margarine
  • 160g (2/3 cup) soy milk (plus 4 tbsp in case you need more liquid!)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 liter (4 cups) water
  • 3 tbsp baking soda (Germany: Natron)
  • coarse salt for sprinkling

Combine four, dry yeast and 1 tsp salt in a bowl. Add margarine and milk. Start with 160g (2/3 cup) milk and add more if needed. Knead the dough by hand or use your food processor. (I always use my hands… honestly, cleaning your hands is easier than cleaning a food processor!). The dough should be smooth and not sticky. Use more water if needed (the exact amount always depends on your flour). Put dough back in the bowl, cover with a towel and let it sit for 30 min.

Put 1 liter water (4 cups) in a pot, add baking soda and bring it to a rolling boil. Now it’s time to form your pretzels! Roll into a log first and then form the “knot”. You could also watch a youtube video for more detailed instructions. Or you simply form pretzle sticks or buns! Place your pretzels into the boiling water, one by one, for one minute. Remove from water and put on a backing tray, lined with baking parchment. Brush with water and sprinkle with coarse salt. Let them sit for another 30 min. Bake for about 15-20 min, until golden brown in color (180 C / 360 F ).

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Enjoy!

Those pretzels would be fun when served with Dessert Beer! =D

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