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Recipe: Octoberfest Pretzel

September 5, 2023

Beer pairs well with many foods, but nothing beats a pint and a pretzel. We asked Chef Kris who runs the kitchen at the Eccentric Café for a recipe to make fresh pretzels at home.

Octoberfest Pretzel

yield: 6 pretzels


For the dough

  • 1 packet of dry active yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup Bell’s Octoberfest
  • 3 Tbs sugar
  • 3 cups bread flour (all-purpose flour can be substituted)
  • ¾ cup rye flour
  • 4 Tbs melted butter
  • 2 tsp salt

For the water bath

  • ½ cup baked (see step 1) baking soda
  • 4-6 cups of water


For the finish

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 Tbs water
  • Pretzel salt or coarse sea salt


Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250F. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Pour an entire box of baking soda on it, and spread it out as evenly as you can. Bake in the oven for 1 hour.  Once cooled, store in an airtight container.
    • Why should you do this? Baked baking soda is a great substitute for using food-grade lye. Baking turns it from sodium bicarbonate to sodium carbonate and is more alkaline. For pretzels to develop that lovely, chewy crust, they need to be lightly cooked in an alkaline water bath. Traditionally lye has been used, but it can be a difficult ingredient to get and dangerous to use. If you don’t want to bake the baking soda, you can just use ¾ cup of baking soda in the water bath.
  2. Mix the yeast, sugar, and warm water together and let sit until the mixture starts to become foamy.
  3. Whisk together the flour, rye flour, and salt. Add the yeast mixture, melted butter, and Bell’s Octoberfest and mix until a shaggy dough forms.
  4. Knead the dough (by hand or with a mixer that has a dough hook attachment) for 5-10 minutes or until a tacky but smooth dough forms.
  5. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
  6. After refrigerating, divide the dough into 6 equal parts. Using your hands, roll each part into long, skinny pieces and form them into the traditional pretzel twist (or whatever shape you’d prefer).
  7. In a shallow pan, bring 4-6 cups of water to a simmer and add the baked baking soda. One at a time, using a slotted spoon, place the pretzels into the water bath and cook on each side for 10-15 seconds and then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  8. Mix the lightly beaten egg with 4 Tbs water and brush each pretzel with the egg wash. Top with salt.
  9. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350F, or until the pretzels are a deep, golden brown.
  10. Enjoy with your pretzel accoutrement and Bell’s Octoberfest!

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