With Oktoberfest coming up this weekend in Germany, and many places all across the United States, I thought I would give you some inspiration on hosting your own Oktoberfest-themed get together. You don’t have to go all out… just a few details will help set the mood for you and your guests, and that of course includes your very own Oktoberfest pretzels.
Oktoberfest colors are typically white and blue, paired together to create a diamond pattern. To give your get together an authentic feel you can use white serving trays, and bowls, and add touches of blue in smaller quantities, like in your cocktail napkins, for example.
One of the more popular snacks served during Oktoberfest is pretzels. You can’t walk through any Oktoberfest without seeing dozens of pretzels being sold, so this item is a must!
I used a recipe by Alton Brown (posted down below) of the Food Network but you could also use this authentic Bavarian Pretzel recipe. If you have a favorite pretzel recipe, that will work just fine too. The condiment of choice when it comes to pretzels is mustard. I went with 3 different kinds: original, dijon, and whole grain, which is my favorite type of mustard. Other popular Oktoberfest foods include bratwurst, potato salad, and apple strudel.
Last but not least, is beer! You can’t have Oktoberfest without beer! The choices are endless when it comes to beer, but some of the most popular beers that you will find in the tents are Paulaner, and Hofbrau. I like to mix it up and get a variety of different German beers, as well as American Oktoberfest style beers. Serve in a large beer mug, and you are all set.
1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Combine water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.
Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt (I like mine without so I didn’t add salt to all of them). Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Tip- The key to getting these to look as though they came right out of an Oktoberfest celebration is to make sure you roll the dough into a thin rope so the pretzel comes out thin.
Hopefully this is a good starting point for you and you can expand on my ideas to create your own Oktoberfest experience! Leave a comment with any suggestions you can think of for others to see as well!