For Dan’s birthday last month he requested that we put together a German feast of sorts. I found this quite hilarious because Dan is 0% German and has made some sort of fancy pasta every year for his birthday (oh Italians). Normally I help out how I can, but mostly I just eat and drink and be merry while he puts in the work. He’s a bit sick in the head. Apparently a fun birthday for this guy is putting in 2-3 hours of manual labor in the kitchen. But hey, who am I to complain? This year he was craving German. Specifically soft pretzels with some tasty dip, pickled veggies, an array of mustards, and brats. Oh and German beer. Color me surprised. I am part German so I was more than ready to help make this feast. Finally! Something I could help make.
The end results, particularly the pretzels were well worth the wait. If you ever have a hankering to make homemade soft pretzels, you 100% should do it. They were absolutely delicious and I’m proud to say I did most of the work, as the baker in the relationship. It was my first time ever needing to proof a dough, and my only regret was not realizing how long that part of the process was going to take. Our apartment was too cool that day so it took forever for the dough to rise sufficiently. In the end we actually put it with a pan of hot water in the microwave to rest for a while. NOTE if you do this do not turn the microwave on! That would be silly. I did not do this but the article I read said the same thing.
The pretzels are the star of the platter but I also put together some obatzda, which came out pretty good. In the future I think I’ll put less butter to really let the cheese sing but it was tasty and went perfect with the pretzels. Some brats and a frank gave us some much needed meaty goodness to pair with the very sour but delicious rye bread. Sauerkraut and pickled beets gave the meal acid and brine to cut through the bread, cheese, and meat.
Honestly, without the pickled items I don’t think we could have eaten half as much as we did (P.S this type of board is really made for multiple people, not just two but we eat a lot). Dan had 4 pretzels in about 5 minutes, and I think he would have exploded without the acidic elements. And that’s the key with a German snack board like this, balancing out the meat with veggies, the heavy with the briny, the sour with the…bready. And don’t forget the German beer. We had some pilsner (Bitburger) and a black lager (Köstritzer Schwarzbier). They’re both really smooth and fantastic at washing down heavy food.
I think we would definitely do something like this all over again. We do a lot of snack board but hadn’t tried German before! The recipes for the pretzel and obatzda were pretty easy to find and while there are thousands of alternative versions of dishes like these all over the internet, I think we found two really good ones. For real though those pretzels may have been the best thing I’ve ever made and I really didn’t have much to do with that besides sticking to the great recipe as closely as I could. Viva Deutschland!
Here’s what you need for your German Snack Board: