A dense but soft dough with a lovely chewiness and a wonderful taste of almonds and cinnamon, shaped in a cute lovers' embrace. Sweet pretzels are a Luxembourg tradition during the period of Lent for what is called Pretzel Sunday.
Song of the day: 99 Luftballoons - Nena
This month's destination for our group Eat the World is Luxembourg! If you do not know where Luxembourg is, it's a small European Country surrounded by Belgium, France, and Germany.
Pretzels are Luxembourg traditional pastries, both salty and sweet, made of a yeast dough, whose shape resembles the interlaced arms of a couple.
They are mostly served in their sweet version during the “Bretzelsonndeg” or Pretzel Sunday.
Tradition wants that every year, on the fourth Sunday of Lent, a man should offer his beloved a sweet pretzel. If she accepts, it means she loves him, and in return she will give him a chocolate Easter egg. If she refuses, instead, he will receive an empty basket, meaning he got dumped.
The recipe for Luxembourg Sweet Pretzels
As a matter of fact, in honor of this Luxembourg tradition, I decided to bake Sweet Love Pretzels. I followed the recipe from Anne's Kitchen. I fell in love with their cuteness, and after the taste test, also with their deliciousness.
How to make the dough
The dough of these pretzels is dense but soft, with a lovely chewiness. It comes together really fast in a stand mixer.
- Melt the butter with the milk in the microwave.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the flour, instant yeast, sugar, and vanilla sugar. Mix on low to incorporate.
- Add the egg to the melted butter/milk mixture, whisk, then add to the flour mixture. Knead for 5 minutes or until smooth. If too dry, add some more milk.
- Shape the dough into a ball, place it into a bowl and cover it with a clean towel. Leave the dough to rise in a warm place for about 1.5-2 hours.
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling: in a bowl, mix together the ground almonds (or almond four), coconut or brown sugar, cinnamon, egg white, and apricot jam.
Rolling and cutting
- After the rising time, turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. With a rolling pin, roll it into a rectangle approximately 20 x 30 cm.
- Cut the rectangle in half lengthwise, so that you end up with two rectangles, each 30 cm long.
- Spread the filling over one half, then top with the second half.
- With a sharp knife, cut long strips 1 cm wide x 30 cm long. Trim both edges.
Twisting and shaping
- Gently twist each piece of pastry so it looks like a curly straw, then twist it into a pretzel shape and put it onto a lined baking tray.
- Cover the pretzels with a towel and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) convection.
Let rise again, then bake
- After 15 minutes, remove the towel and bake the pretzels in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes.
- Let the pretzels cool on a wire rack.
Glaze and almond shavings
To finish off the sweet pretzels, there is a simple glaze made of icing sugar and milk. Drizzle each pretzel with the glaze and sprinkle with flaked almonds.
The Luxumbourg sweet pretzels are indeed not overly sweet. Everything is well balanced, including the last touch of glaze and almonds. The dough is similar in flavor to a brioche, however in texture it has a light crispiness accompanied by a substantial filling that reminds you of marzipan with a nutty cinnamon twist.
More dishes from Luxembourg
Check out all the wonderful Luxembourg dishes prepared by fellow Eat the World members and share with #eattheworld. Click here to find out how to join and have fun exploring a country a month in the kitchen with us!
- Tara: Kniddelen (Luxembourgish Dumplings)
- Radha: Gromperekichelcher
- Sugarlovespices (us!): Luxembourg Sweet Love Pretzels
- Palatable Pastime: Chicken in Riesling
- Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Bouchée à la Reine (Vol-au-Vent)
- Pandemonium Noshery: Bouneschlupp - Luxembourg Green Bean Soup
- Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Bou’neschlupp
- Kitchen Frau: Stäerzelen (Buckwheat Dumplings)
- A Day in the Life on the Farm: Gromperekichelcher (Potato Pancakes)
- Sneha’s Recipe: Gromperekichelcher-Luxembourg Potato Fritters
- Making Miracles: Coq Au Riesling
Guys, get your pretzels, and good luck!Print