How to Make Authentic Pretzel Bread

Hildegard is an amazing lady in our church. She's from Germany, and has worked hard to convert her German recipe for pretzel bread to American measures. This bread is soooo good and I give her complete credit for it!!! 

Last year, she had the ladies over to the church kitchen and showed us all how to do it, step-by-step.  I'm so glad she did.  It has been a big hit, and is probably the most requested recipe in the church!

** Note: This makes a very large loaf.  Sometimes I cut the recipe in half, depending on how many I'm feeding. **

Here's how to make it:

Bread Machine:

1 c water
1 c milk
3 tsp salt
Pinch of sugar
6 c bread flour (I'm using King Arthur's Unbleached Bread Flour)
2 1/4 tsp dry yeast

Place all ingredients in bread machine pan, liquids first, yeast last. Turn on dough setting, and keep an eye on the dough; I usually find that I need to add a few more tablespoons of water to get a good-looking dough. I've found it's a little dry without the extra water, so just keep an eye on it. When the dough cycle is finished, divide into three section and braid the dough.


1/2 c water
1 tbsp baking soda

Boil water. Take off heat and pour in baking soda. Stir until dissolved. Brush well over dough with pastry brush. Sprinkle with salt (I use a lot, but that's up to you!) Bake at 400 for 30 minutes or until dark golden brown.

{My Note:  When I made this for family last weekend, I used a different topping.  Rather than brush with the water and baking soda mixture, I brushed the loaf with two egg yolks.  I was pleased with the results; though the crust didn't harden as much, it was still firm, and I liked the gloss it gave the loaf.  That's what you see in the photo above.}

Happy bread-baking!

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  1. You and your bread!! Can we be friends so that I can mooch off of your homemade bread? I don't have a bread machine and I never bake bread, but if I did I would devour this pretzel bread. In one sitting. My best friend's family is Jewish and growing up her mom would save their weekly challah bread just for me :)

  2. Yes, Lucy, let's be friends! I'll share my bread, if you'll share your wonderful tea... deal? ;o)

  3. Mm. Homemade bread is my Achille's heel. I would love to try this someday though. Thanks for linking up with me today!

  4. Mmmmmm, I love pretzel bread for sandwiches. I'll definitely have to try this out.

  5. This looks marvelous!! I would love to try this recipe, however I do not own a bread machine - is there a way to make this using a mixer with dough hook ? Just curious??

  6. I am so trying this. I've had pretzel bread for sandwiches in a little coffee shop in the mountains of N Georgia. That was my only experience, but I loved it. They made little bun loaves and then split and grilled them for the sandwich.

    Thank you and your German friend for sharing!


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