German Homemade Pretzels: Andy's Laugen Brezen

Oma Gerhild

by: Gerhild Fulson  /  Cookbook Author, Blogger, German Oma!

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Bakery-style homemade pretzels, aka Laugen Brezen, from a German baker to you! These are the large pretzels that taste so good dunked into German mustard.

You NEED to make these! Andy, one of our readers, wrote that his Dad, Ferdinand, a former Bavarian baker, taught him the recipe and technique, so it is genuinely authentic.

Andy's homemade pretzels

I was blessed when he was willing to share the recipe below as well as his photo. He also said to remember that the lye solution is key to the flavor. 

Do read his caution in the recipe when using lye solution. This is definitely not a recipe you want the kids to help with, unless it's forming the traditional shape. If you'd rather not use lye, then check below for my recipe.

Oma says,

Among Oktoberfest recipes, this one should be a must. Dipped in hot German mustard or just plain, right out of the oven, you'll soon be in love with these too.

A special 'Thank You" to Andy and his Dad, Ferdinand, for sending is their recipe. I'm looking forward to being able to share more of his recipes!

Celebrate Oktoberfest right at home with these German recipes found right here in Oma's Oktoberfest e-Cookbook.  

Take a look at Just like Oma’s eCookbook and enjoy the traditional taste of German cuisine!

Take a peek at all Oma's eCookbooks. They make sharing your German heritage a delicious adventure!

Looking for easier 'safer' homemade pretzels?

If you are not too keen on using lye, then here's my recipe for making pretzels. These are ones you'll definitely be wanting your kids to have fun with, helping you make. 

Most non-lye pretzels use a baking soda bath to try to imitate the lye. However, I've got a special trick to make it even more similar to the color and flavor that lye gives. Take a look

However, if you're wanting to work with the lye and get that REAL traditional flavor, then you really need to try Andy's recipe. Knowing that it comes right from Bavaria is great. 

Ready to make Andy's pretzels?

Get Cooking Just Like Oma Cookbook Now

German Homemade Pretzels: Andy's Laugen Brezen

Bakery-style homemade pretzels, aka Laugen Brezen, from a German baker to you! These are the large pretzels that taste so good dunked into German mustard.

Andy, one of our readers, wrote that his Dad, Ferdinand, a former Bavarian baker, taught him the recipe and technique, so it is genuinely authentic.

Prep Time

60 minutes + rise time

Bake Time

17 minutes

Total Time

77 minutes + rise time


Makes 18 large pretzels


*This recipe is sized for a 575w Kitchenaid mixer batch and has been scaled down/translated from an old recipe from Straubing, Bavaria*

  • 5½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1½ ounces lard – about a ⅝-inch slice off a regular 16-ounce brick (slightly warmed for better mixing)
  • 1 small egg
  • 16 ounces cool water (can vary slightly based on dry ingredients)
  • sodium hydroxide (food grade or lye) & hot water for glazing dip solution. (Food grade is available on Amazon or commercial bakery supply stores)
  • Coarse salt for sprinkling


  1. Combine dry ingredients in bowl except for last 2 cups of flour.
  2. Mix at Speed #2
  3. Add wet ingredients (water, egg and lard), then slowly add last 2 cups of flour.
  4. Continue mixing until bread dough consistency is complete. If necessary, add a small amount of water or flour to achieve this tacky bread dough consistency.
  5. Remove dough and divide into thirds.
  6. Keeping two pieces covered with damp cloth, divide first third into 6 pieces and roll these pieces into approximately 24” long strips, thin at ends, somewhat thicker in the middle. Do this with the remaining two thirds.
  7. Form pretzels and put on large board. Put board in a cool place so they proof slowly. Outside during cool weather is good.
  8. Grease cookie sheet with lard. Not too light (or they will stick) and not too heavy (or they will be greasy). It is normal for the first batch to stick a little with consecutive batches coming off more easily.
  9. After pretzels have risen, dip in strong lye solution (use protective glove) and place 6 per cookie sheet. Use at least 3 heaping tablespoons in a glass or ceramic bowl of hot water.
  10. *NOTE* The lye solution is extremely corrosive so care must be taken about dripping onto counters, etc. Cookie sheets will also be affected so it’s best to use ones that you don’t mind getting permanently marked.
  11. If baking slowly (only one cookie sheet at a time) keep others outside in cooler air while they wait.
  12. Nick the fat part with a razor or knife (for decorative purposes) and sprinkle with coarse salt around the bottom (fat part).
  13. Bake for about 15 to 17 minutes at 450°F until a dark golden brown.
  14. Remove and put on cooling rack.

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German Homemade Pretzels - authentic bakery style.

Homemade Pretzels made Just like Oma


Homemade Pretzels made Just like Oma

Bakery-style homemade pretzels from a German baker to you! These are the large pretzels that taste so good dunked into German mustard. You NEED to make these!

Ingredients: yeast, salt, sugar, flour, lard, egg, lye, coarse salt,

For the full recipe, scroll up ...

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