In the Amana Colonies it’s tradition to celebrate the holidays with New Year’s Pretzel! This is not your traditional hard pretzel snack but a special treat made with sweet dough, often topped with icing. Historically they were baked in the communal kitchens on Dec. 31st and eaten that night or in the morning for (or before!) breakfast.
Neu Jahr’s Pretzel – New Year’s Pretzel
½ recipe Basic Yeast Dough (see below)
Divide dough into six equal portions. Roll each portion into rope about ¼ inch thick and 12 inches long, twist into form of a pretzel and place on greased baking tin. Let rise again until light. Bake in hot oven, 425 degrees, for about twenty minutes. Ice tops while still warm with
Rose Water Icing
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
4 teaspoons milk or warm water
½ teaspoon rose water.
Stir together to a smooth, fairly thick paste and use at once.
Hefenteig – Basic Yeast Dough
1 cup milk
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 cake compressed yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
6 cups sifted flour
6 tablespoons melted shortening
Scald milk, add sugar and salt. Cool to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water and add to cooled milk. Add 3 cups flour and beat until smooth. Add melted shortening and remaining flour. Knead well. Place in grease bowl, cover and set in warm place away from drafts. Let rise until double in bulk or about three hours. This dough ma be shaped into twists, braids, buns, or other fancy shapes and baked at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes; or it may also be kept in the refrigerator for four to five days and portions cut off as needed.
This recipe is from the Amana Colony Recipes cookbook, and is reprinted with permission of the Homestead Welfare Club. Zuber’s is located in Homestead and we serve our guests traditional recipes such as these.
The book is a collection of traditional Amana Colonies recipes and features family-size recipes of the foods prepared and served in the Amana villages for over a century. The recipes were compiled by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Homestead Welfare Club. To purchase a copy of the book, please contact Elaine Zuber at firstname.lastname@example.org or 319-622-3099.