New Year's Pretzel
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: German
Makes: 1 large pretzel
  • Starter:
  • 100 g strong white bread flour
  • 100 ml whole milk
  • a pinch of dry active yeast
  • Water roux:
  • 100 ml whole milk
  • 15 g strong white bread flour
  • Dough:
  • starter
  • water roux
  • 280 g strong white bread flour
  • 65 g milk
  • 2 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 25 g caster sugar
  • 70 g unsalted butter
  • 5 g salt
  • 1 egg, for glazing
  1. Starter (Day 1 in the evening):
  2. Mix the ingredients for the starter the day before, cover with cling film and leave to stand at room temperature for about 20 hours.
  3. Water Roux (Day 2 in the morning):
  4. The next day, prepare the water roux by warming up the milk and flour, mixing it continually until it thickens. Remove from the heat but keep stirring for another couple of minutes. Leave to cool, then place it in the fridge for a couple of hours.
  5. Dough (Day 2 in the evening):
  6. Finally mix the remaining ingredients except for butter and sugar and knead them until they are beginning to come together: if you’re using a food processor or similar, aim for 15 minutes of kneading; if you’re doing it by hand, try your best.
  7. Add the butter and sugar and keep kneading for another 10 minutes or so. Then cover it and leave to rest for a good hour at room temperature.
  8. Knock into shape, then take away a portion of the dough roughly the size of your fist (200g). Split it into 3 pieces and form them into neat little rolls.
  9. Work the remaining dough into one long roll, roughly the length of your arm, slightly thicker in the middle. Use it to form a pretzel, which you place on a baking tray lined with parchment.
  10. Form the remaining dough into rolls of around 30cm / 12in length, again thicker in the middle, and braid them as you would a plait. Place the plait on top of the pretzel, then glaze the pretzel with half of the beaten egg.
  11. Cover with clingfilm and place the tray in the fridge overnight. Cover the bowl with the beaten egg and keep it in the fridge.
  12. Baking (Day 3 in the morning):
  13. Heat your oven to 200C / 400F (don’t use a fan). Remove the bread from the fridge and glaze it with the remaining egg.
  14. Bake the pretzel for 30 minutes, reducing the heat to 180C / 350F after 10 minutes.
  15. Serve warm or cold, with butter, jam or cold meats.
Recipe by Ginger&Bread at