January 08, 2019

Grosse Neujahrs-Brezel ~ #BreadBakers

Although there is no perfect life,  we are able to fill it with lots of perfect moments.
Bread baking may just be one of those perfect moments.

Wow, another year has gone by in the blink of an eye, or so it seems.  I don't know about you but I am ready for 2019 to amaze me, rather than being the vanilla year that 2018 was.  Maybe some Good Luck Bread can change my fortune, so it is very fitting that this just happens to be the theme this month for the Bread Bakers.

As it turns out there are quite a few traditional breads baked throughout the world meant to bring good fortune if eaten on either New Years Eve or January 1. Grosse Neujahrs-Brezel translates to Big New Years Pretzel. It originated in Germany over 300 years ago, where they wait for the clock to strike twelve and then bite in to this delicious bread. This bread is both eaten and given as a gift to 
bring love and good fortune for the coming year.

This pretzel is "knot" your typical pretzel that has been dipped in lye and baked, this is a bread that is sweet and buttery, almost like a brioche. A little sprinkling of pearl sugar gives that wonderful festive look. To bring extra luck to one lucky person some hide a coin in the dough prior to it being baked.

This was such an easy bread to make.  I decided to go with the classic look of a pretzel with a braid, but you can make any shape you like. Placing scrunched up foil in the openings helps to keep its shape, although don't do what I did and forget to put some in the "mouth" - it really does look like smiley face if you do this. Unfortunately I did not have pearl sugar, so I just sprinkled some demerara sugar on top and it was perfect.  My family barely waited for it to cool down before we cut into it, and slathered some butter on top. My youngest daughter was the one who found the coin, so I guess she is going some have some extra luck coming her way this year.

If you would like to know more about the Bread Bakers and see what the other bakers made for the Good Luck Breads theme please scroll down below the recipe.

Grosse Neujahrs-Breze
  • 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 175 ml (¾ cup) milk, heated to between 105-115℉
  • 500g (4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 100g (½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 100g (7 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1 egg

Topping ~
  • 1 egg
  • 30g (2 tablespoons) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 15ml (1 tablespoon) milk
  • pearl sugar (optional)

  1. In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over milk. Let sit for a minute, then stir to combine. Let sit until frothy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine flour, sugar, and salt. 
  3. Mix in yeast with milk, butter, and egg until dough forms.
  4. Knead until dough becomes smooth and elastic.
  5. Place in lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, about 1- 1½ hours.
  6. On a lightly floured large surface, lightly knead dough.
  7. If you want to make the braid on top of the pretzel, break off ¼ piece of the dough and cover with a cloth.
  8. Roll the larger piece into a long rope, about 90cm (3 feet) long.
  9. Place a piece of parchment the size of your baking sheet under the middle of the rope. Twist the ends together and place over the middle of the rope to form pretzel shape.
  10. To make the braid, cut the set aside dough into 3 equal pieces, and roll each piece into a foot long rope, pinch together the edges at one side and tightly braid and seal the edges on the other side. Position on top of the lower part of the pretzel and lightly press down.
  11. To keep the holes in the center of the pretzel open, fill with crumpled pieces of foil.
  12. Cover the entire pretzel with a cloth and let rise until puffy, about 1 hour.
  13. Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 180℃ (350℉).
  14. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, sugar, salt, and milk for topping.
  15. Brush the entire surface with the topping. If desired, sprinkle with pearl sugar.
  16. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  17. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 15 minutes before serving.
  18. Serve warm with butter and/or jam.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

This month, the Bread Bakers are making Good Luck Breads, a theme chosen by Felice from All That's Left Are The Crumbs.

And don’t forget to check out all the amazing breads baked by our talented bakers ~


  1. What an awesome breading on that bread and the lovely golden colour of the bread. Let me grab some coffee please.

  2. I love this huge pretzel. Great choice. Thanks for hosting.

  3. I love this giant pretzel! It looks delicious and the sugar sprinkles make it so sparkly! Thanks for hosting this month!

  4. Hello Felice, I loved to read about the good luck bread. Absolutely the good luck will come to you in abundance :). Hiding the coin in the bread is such a sweet thing. The bread has such a gorgeous crumb and a lovely crust. Happy New Year to you and family!

  5. I love the name! Well, the translation. Who wouldn't want a big new year's pretzel especially when it is as beautiful as yours, Felice? It really does look like a smiling face!


Thanks for visiting my blog. I'd love to hear from you, so please leave a comment.