Neujahrsbrezel (German New Year’s Pretzel)

Disclaimer: This post contains a recipe highlighting a different country or culture. While I strive for authenticity, I sometimes need to make adjustments to recipes due to ingredient availability.  

Since this week’s Sunday Funday falls on New Year's Eve, our theme is “Fortuitous Feasting”.  Participants were invited to share recipes they dine on to ring in the New Year.

In my house, we’re pretty simple: pizza, popcorn, and champagne at midnight, all while watching Star Wars (we time it out so the Death Star explodes precisely at midnight!)

I decided to go looking for other New Year's Traditions and found this New Year’s Pretzel from Germany.  This is a sweet pretzel (though I toned down the sweetness for my own preferences - see recipe notes) that is sure to please everyone who enjoys it on New Year’s morning.  

The pretzel is said to represent luck, posterity and health for the new year.  I also enjoy the legend that pretzels were created by Catholic monks to teach the mystery of the Holy Trinity and to encourage children to pray.  I believe prayer and faith have a lot to do with a good New Year as well.

Sunday Funday

Fortuitous Feasting

Recipe Note:

*Traditionally Neujahsbrezel is a sweet pretzel.  To accommodate my family’s tastes, I toned down the sweetness.

*To make a traditional Neujahsbrezel, add ⅓ cup sugar in place of the 3 tablespoons and top with pearled sugar instead of salt.

*Neujahsbrezel can also be topped with powdered sugar

*Some recipes I saw called for making a pretzel with one large dough rope, then adding the braid almost as a garnish. I saw a photo online and decided to brain the entire pretzel.

Neujahrsbrezel (German New Year’s Pretzel)

Adapted from My Dinner: The World in my Kitchen


1 cup warm milk (around 10 degrees F)

2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast

3 tablespoons sugar

1 egg

6 tablespoons butter, softened

½ teaspoon salt

3 ½ - 4 cup flour


1 egg + 1 tablespoon water, whisked

Kosher salt

Place the milk, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Set aside until foamy.  

Add the egg, butter, salt, and 2 cups of flour.  Stir with the paddle attachment.

Switch to the dough hook and add another 1 ½ cups of flour.  Knead until the dough comes together in a smooth ball (it can be slightly tacky, but not sticky).  If the dough is too sticky, slowly add the remaining flour.

Place the dough in a greased bowl.  Cover with a damp cloth and set in a warm place to rise until doubled, 45-60 minutes. 

Divide the dough in the 3 parts, 2 should be equal and one should be slightly larger.  (For reference: my dough weighed 30 ounces (nearly 2 pounds), my pieces weighed 9 ounces, 9 ounces, and 12 ounces).  

Roll the dough pieces into long, thin ropes (my smaller pieces were about 30-inches, and the larger piece was about 36-inches).

To start braiding, start about 3-inches from the end of the long piece (this will come around to create the center of the pretzel later) Braid until the smaller pieces are fully braided.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicon baking mat.  Move the braid to the pan.  Bring the thin ends around, cross, and tuck under the braid to make a pretzel shape.

Cover and allow to rise for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Brush the pretzel with egg wash and sprinkle with kosher salt.  Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until deeply browned.  Rest on the baking sheet for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.


  1. It was so great getting to see you as we rang out 2023 and welcome in the New Year. May it bring much joy and happiness to you and yours.

  2. Thanks for joining in, Amy. And that pretzel is stunning. I can't wait to try it.

  3. An interesting tradition Amy to watch Star Trek. I make all the plans but rarely make it to midnight as I fall asleep! Neujahrsbrezel looks so beautiful.. perfect way to usher in the New Year. Happy New Year Amy.

  4. That pretzel is gorgeous!!! That Star Wars tradition sounds fun. Bet you all can recite it word for word.


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