Leavenworth Trip & Homemade Soft Pretzels

Last weekend we took our annual snowboarding/wine tasting trip to Leavenworth with our friends Rebecca and Jason. If you’re not familiar with Leavenworth, all you really need to know is its tagline: Your Bavarian Getaway. Jason and Rebecca introduced us to this quiet, German-themed town a few years ago, and it’s been an annual tradition ever since.

Having made the trip for the past four years, we’ve established a few traditions…and learned from some past mistakes. Well, at least I have after an unfortunate incident my first year involving wine, Eastern Washington seafood, my boyfriend’s erratic driving, and projectile vomit in the Bavarian-themed Safeway parking lot. Lesson learned. As far as traditions go, we always hit up the free breakfast at the lodge for some subpar gravy and biscuits, drink a lot of wine and make poor financial decisions at the cheese shop, and head to the one bakery in Leavenworth for a soft pretzel.

You would think that a town known solely for its German theme would produce a mean soft pretzel–that just seems logical, right? But that leads me to my second lesson learned in Leavenworth: just because a business has the word ‘haus’ in its name doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to have good German food. Nonetheless, Rebecca and I always hit up the pretzel place where we face perennial disappointment. They are usually cold, dry, and skimpy on the butter. Rebecca claims that it was better last year, but I’m pretty sure it’s the imagination playing tricks on her.

When we returned from our trip, I was craving a warm, homemade, buttery pretzel more than ever. I decided  to give this pretzel recipe a try after reading some high ratings. I didn’t have any pretzel or rock salt on hand, so I just brushed the baked pretzels with some melted butter. (Which I highly recommend you do even if you top with salt).

If you don’t have a stand mixer, not to worry! Just knead the dough by hand the old fashioned way. I also divided the recipe in half to prevent myself from OD’ing on pretzels. They were in fact delicious. The only change I will make next time is rolling the dough out much thinner than pictured since it rises a bit in the oven.

In conclusion, I leave you with Leavenworth’s latest marketing ad–which is grossly inaccurate but thoroughly entertaining. See you next year, Woody Goombsa.

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