While probably not the most authentic German recipe, pretzels seem to be the quintessential Octoberfest treat. Almost certainly because the salty bread goes so well with beer. It’s no surprise that I opt to share a whole wheat version of the classic pretzel.
Little Guy loved helping make these pretzels. I use a bread machine to make my doughs, something I have no shame or guilt in doing because it does such a beautiful job of kneading the dough for me, and keeps Little Guy involved in the whole process. He knows how to add all the ingredients and what button to press to start the dough-only cycle. He then starts asking every five minutes how long before he can go poke the dough to deflate it at the end of the rising process. Pretzels are great for kids in the kitchen because they get to help roll the dough out into “snakes”. Before the day was done, we had two batches made and only a few of one batch left. It always makes me happy when Little Guy not only enjoys making a recipe, but eating it too.
I changed almost nothing in this recipe from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cookbook.
There was no need to mess with a recipe this good. I did up the yeast sightly because I like pretzels that are a little more light and airy than the standard. I also increase the malt syrup because I cannot get enough of the flavor it adds to breads, especially one meant to go with malty beer. It was so good, that I made this recipe twice in one day. Once as mini pretzels which bake up like pretzel knots and make fantastic snacks that are also good as slider rolls. The larger versions more closely resemble classic pretzels with empty space visible between the folds of the dough. Both versions are delicious alone or with your favorite dip.
For a classic snack, pair these pretzels with Beer and Black Pepper Mustard. Or, for delicious party-size sliders, make the mini-sized pretzels, slice and fill with Cooking Light’s fantastic Curried Chicken Salad with Apples and Raisins (I use dried cranberries instead of raisins).