Oktoberfest: Beer & Bavarian Pretzels

Celebrate Oktoberfest in the comfort of your home. Here’s a simple soft pretzel recipe you can pair with Bavarian sweet mustard and a smooth German Weissbeer—enjoy an authentic Bavarian meal!

• 1 package active dry yeast
• 1/8 cup warm water
• 1-1/3 cup warm water
• 1/8 tsp. sea salt
• 4-1/2 cups flour
• 2 tbsp. baking soda

PREPARATION: Preheat oven to 400°F. In a bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/8- cup warm water. Stir in remaining warm water, salt, and flour. Knead dough until smooth and elastic. Dough does not need to rise. Next, in a saucepan, measure 2 tablespoons baking soda to each cup of water. Put enough water to fill the saucepan at least 3 inches high. Bring soda and water mixture to a light boil and simmer. Make sure the baking soda is well dissolved. Cut the dough into eight pieces. Roll a long thick pencil shape with your hands but keep the middle a little thicker. Pick up both ends, cross to form rabbit ears and then twist the ends and pull them back to the rest of the loop. Place aside on lightly floured surface and let rise about 10 minutes. Place pretzels one at a time into the liquid baking soda mixture for 10-15 seconds. Using a large slotted plastic spatula, push each pretzel into the water to ensure it is fully covered. Remove the pretzel from the liquid mixture and place onto a baking pan, lined with parchment paper. Use a sharp knife and slit the thickest part of the pretzel lengthwise. Salt the top of pretzels with course ground sea salt as desired. Place the pan with the pretzels into the oven for 18-19 minutes or until pretzels are to desired darkness.

Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest Märzen

Grilled pork chops are the perfect partner for Märzen beers because of the sweet flavor of the pork—the meat is a one-to-one match with the lager in terms of intensity. You can also pair this Märzen beer with spicy, dry-rubbed ribs, either beef or pork. The beer’s malty sweetness counters the spicy sauce creating harmony in the palate. Oktoberfest beers also pair well with any tomato sauce topped pizza since the beer’s slight sweetness cuts the acidity of the sauce.