January 7, 2015

1 | 52 Neujahrsbrezel / New Year's Pretzel

Happy New Year!
Yes, I know, 2015 is one week old already but still.
Happy New Year!

And yes: surprise! 52 Cakes is back! Whoo-hoo!

Okay, enough with the exclamation marks now. Let's get back to the baking business.

The truth is, I missed this space. And the crazy baking.
I did bake, of course. But not that much. And it always felt different. Meaningless, even. Knowing that I would just share the cakes/bakes with whoever was eating the results with me.

So. Let's get the baking party started again. You in?

I know. It ain't pretty.

1 | 52 Neujahrsbrezel / New Year's Pretzel

There can't be anything more logical than to start the year with a Neujahrsbretzel.
I have to admit that I didn't even know there was such a thing. But then I saw it in a bakery's window in town and on somebody's Instagram stream (from Germany).
Of course I had to give it a try. And it's supposed to bring you luck. Sounds good, right?

For 2 Brezeln/pretzels:

20 g (a little less than 1 oz) fresh yeast
200 ml (1 cup minus 2 tablespoons) milk, lukewarm
500 g (4 cups) flour
50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 egg
80 g (3/4 stick) butter, softened
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 sachet vanilla sugar
1 teaspoon lemon peel, grated
1 egg yolk for brushing
coarse sugar for sprinkling (optional)
  • Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm milk. Combine flour and sugar in a big bowl. Pour yeast-milk-mix into the middle of the flour-sugar-mix, stirring in a little bit of the flour-mix with a fork, making a yeast sponge. Cover and let rise for 20 minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients (except for the egg yolk) and knead 10 minutes with your mixer (and dough hook). Let rise for another 45 minutes.
  • Knead dough again quickly with your hands and divide into 2 equal parts. Roll each to about a 1 meter/3 feet long roll, being a bit thicker in the middle. Form a pretzel from each roll, put both on a baking sheet. Let rise again until they doubled in size.
  • Stir egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water and a pinch of salt and brush pretzels with it. Sprinkle coarse sugar on top, if you wish. 
  • Bake for 20 minutes in preheated oven at 210°C (410°F).

My modifications:
I didn't have any coarse sugar at hand so I left it out. But other than that - no modifications.

The taste:
A good start of the New Year! Not too sweet and not dry at all. It reminded us of Italian Panettone but without the raisins, chocolate chips, or other additions.
Speaking of additions though: I think some raisins would have even made this better. So if you like raisins - why not give it a try and add a handful?

Do you have a special recipe that you always make for New Year's?

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