What is a Bretzel ?
As an international student in Germany, you may come across the triangular-shaped bread known as Bretzel or Brezel, or even Pretzel. There has been a debate about its proper name, but what matters most is its taste and popularity among the locals. Although not frequently found in Asian countries, this type of bread is widely favored in numerous European countries. There is a traditional Bavarian-style Bretzel that differs slightly from the normal Bretzel. It is thicker in the middle and weighs more than the regular ones.
"Ich hätte gerne ein normalen Bretzel."
So many Bretzels! Which one to take?
One cold morning, I decided to buy one from a nearby coffee shop at our university in Landau. To my surprise, there were several kinds of Bretzels available, each with a unique seasoning such as pumpkin seeds, sesame, or cheese. You can commonly find pretzels seasoned with salt.
I was confused about which one to choose, but I finally settled on a Käse Bretzel, which is a cheese-flavoured Bretzel. When I ordered it, I used the complete sentence, „Ich hätte gerne ein normalen Brezel“, which is considered more polite when ordering in a coffee or bakery shop. The seller then asked me if I wanted to try the Käse Bretzel, perhaps noticing that I took longer than usual to decide. Upon trying it, I found it to be soft and flavorful, with a distinct cheese taste.
It was then that I realized that Bretzel is a popular takeaway food in Germany, preferred over sandwiches and burgers by many. Since then, I have made it my regular morning snack before attending my classes.
You can also try to bake Bretzels at home. You can add nuts, chocolate, or other seasonings to get creative. 😀
Here is a recipe for Bretzels. Enjoy!
– Flour 2 cups
– Warm water or milk 1 cup (slowly pour and mix at the same time)
– Instant Yeast 2 Teaspoons
– Butter 3 Tablespoons
– Brown Sugar or Sugar 2 Tablespoons
– Salt (according to your taste)
1. Warm up 1 cup of water or milk with 3 Tablespoons of butter using a microwave or saucepan.
2. Add sugar (2 Tbs) to the warm liquid according to your taste and mix it carefully.
3. In a large bowl, mix 2 cups of flour, sugar, and yeast to make the dough.
4. Pour the warmed milk into the bowl and mix it with a mixer for around 5 minutes until it is uniformly mixed.
5. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for a while to become soft and allow the yeast to work better.
6. Cut the dough into 3 or 4 portions and roll each one into a rope about 18-20 inches long. Twist the rope into a pretzel shape using images as a guide.
7. Pre-heat your oven.
8. Place a baking sheet on the baking tray and place all the Bretzels. You can brush some butter or beaten eggs on top before putting it in the oven.
9. Bake the Bretzels for around 10-15 minutes until a light brown color appears on the Bretzels.
Your Bretzels are now ready! 🙂