Berghoff Cafe Fresh Baked Pretzels
This recipe, excerpted from The Berghoff Café Cookbook, is specially developed to skip the boiling process you'll find in most authentic pretzel recipes. Regardless, it still produces a terrific soft pretzel with just the right degree of chewiness and subtle, yeasty flavor. Delicious!
Berghoff Cafe Fresh Baked Pretzels
- 4-1/2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
- 1 package instant dry yeast (1/4 ounce or 2-1/4 teaspoons)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1-1/2 cups warm water
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
- 1 large egg white, well beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Pretzel (coarse) salt, as needed
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Do not use a convection oven for this recipe.
To mix in a mixer:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt and stir to mix; add the water, butter and egg yolk, and mix on low until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
Fit the mixer with the dough hook and knead the dough at the lowest speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes, adding some or all of the remaining flour as needed. Cover with plastic wrap lightly sprayed with cooking spray and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
To mix by hand:
In a 4-quart bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt and whisk to mix; add the water, butter and egg yolk and, using a large spoon, stir until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
Remove the spoon and, using your hands, knead the dough right in the bowl until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes, adding some or all of the remaining flour as needed. Cover with plastic wrap lightly sprayed with cooking spray and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
To mix in a food processor:
In the work bowl of a large capacity (14 cup) food processor fitted with the plastic dough blade, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt, and pulse to mix. Add the water, butter, and egg yolk, and pulse until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and forms a cohesive mass. Add additional flour as needed through the feed tube.
To shape the pretzels:
Turn out the dough on a lightly floured board and knead briefly, about 1 minute. Cut the dough into twelve equal-size pieces. Roll out each dough piece into a 24-inch-long rope. Make a U-shape with the rope. Holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press the ends down onto the bottom of the U to seal, forming a "pretzel shape." For small pretzels, cut the dough into 24 equal-size pieces. Roll out each dough piece into a 12-inch long rope and shape as directed.
Gently place each pretzel on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet (two pans). Brush the tops lightly with the egg white mixture. Sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon of coarse salt, or to taste. Bake in the preheated oven for 14 to 16 minutes, or until browned and firm. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
The Berghoff Café Cookbook
by Carlyn Berghoff and Nancy Ross Ryan
Hardcover & Digital (176 pages)
The Berghoff Café Cookbook by Carlyn Berghoff and Nancy Ross Ryan is a collection of soul-satisfying, simple recipes served at the well-known Chicago cafés.
In addition to current customer favorites, the book shares some of the time-tested recipes created by the restaurant's founder, Herman Berghoff over a century ago. They've been modernized a bit to reduce calories and prep times, but the flavors that have made The Berghoff Cafés such a success aren't compromised in the slightest.
Many of the recipes include interesting background information or kitchen tips, like the history of the pretzel, the origination of the club sandwich, or a list of flavor-boosting ideas for soup.
The recipes are divided into chapters that include: bar snacks, soups, sandwiches, salads, side dishes, plate dinners, pizza and desserts.
This pretzel recipe was from the "Bar Snacks" chapter and like most of the other recipes in the book, it was easy to follow, included a lot of good cooking tips and a few variations on the main flavors ~ something we find to be great feature in a cookbook.
Here's more of what you'll find in The Berghoff Café Cookbook:
- Alsatian Onion Soup
- Westphalian Ham Panini With Granny Smith Apples & Applesauce
- Classic Salisbury Steak With Mushroom Jus Lié and Spaetzle
- Brat, Kraut and Swiss Cheese Pizza with Caraway Crust
- Berghoff Bourbon-Prune Bread Pudding