Skip to main content

Beer Pretzel Bread Bowls & Oktoberfest


Although Oktoberfest has morphed into a festival of beer, it began as a celebration of a royal wedding more than 200 years ago. It starts in September, last for 16 days and ends on the first Sunday in October.

I can assume that most of you won’t be making it to Munich to participate in the festivities at the celebrations birth place. But, if you want to throw yourself your own little Oktoberfest, I have some facts for you that can help you celebrate in a more authentic fashion than those American street fairs in late October with macro beer and  sorifity girls in period inaccurate midriff baring wardrobes.

First, you’ll need some local beer, Oktoberfest only serves beer brewed in the Munich city limits. Follow suit and find the breweries closest to your own home, or talk that home brewer you know into making you a batch, those guys are always up for sharing.

Second, learn the opening salute. For the past 60 years the celebration has been kicked off by the mayor of Munich yelling, "O' zapft ist!" (it’s tapped!) after the very first keg of Oktoberfest beer has been tapped.

Make fun of people who can’t hold their liquor. Really, this is always a good idea, but at the festivals in Munich, those who get too drunk and pass out are teased with  the label "Bierleichen" (beer corps). Please, know your limits.

Traditional foods include:  Roast pork, sausages, pretzels, potato dumplings, cheese noodles, potato pancakes, sauerkraut, and  spiced cheese-butter spread.

Although not technically a traditional Oktoberfest food, beer cheese soup has made it’s way onto Oktoberfest menus all over the word. Throw in some sausage and sauerkraut and serve it in a pretzel bread bowl to make it a little more credible.

Beer Pretzel Bread Bowls & Oktoberfest


  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 packet of dry active yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup wheat beer
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • water
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 3 tbs melted butter
  • 2 tbs coarse salt


(Makes 4 bread bowls or 8 dinner rolls. Bread bowls are fairly small and only hold about a cup of soup each.)

  • Add flour, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachement. Stir to combine.
  • In a microwave safe bowl, add the beer. Microwave for 20 seconds, test temperature and repeat until the beer reaches 110 degrees (if the beer is too hot, it will kill the yeast). Sprinkle the beer with the yeast and wait for it to foam (this is called proofing the yeast, if it doesn't foam the yeast is bad).
  • Pour the beer into the bowl and stir at a low speed until well combined, turn the speed up to medium until the dough gathers around the hook and is smooth.
  • Oil a large bowl with olive oil. Remove the dough from the mixer, form into a ball and place in prepared bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to sit in a warm, dry area until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl, knead on a light flowed surface until smooth, about 2 minutes. Break into 4 equal pieces (you can also make 8 dinner roll size portions) form into balls. Cover balls with plastic wrap, allow to sit until doubled in size, about 20 mintes.
  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Fill a large pot with water, making sure there is room for it bubble up without spilling over, but deep enough for the large dough balls. Bring water to a boil, add the baking soda. Cut an X into the top of each bread ball. Place gently in the baking soda water and cook, turning once, for about 30 seconds. Remove from water and place on a baking sheet covered with a Silpat, or sprayed with cooking spray, cut side up. Repeat for all bread balls.
  • Brush liberally with melted butter, sprinkle with salt.
  • Bake at 375 for 25 minutes, or until a dark golden brown in color.


Related Posts

Similar Articles


Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie September 20, 2012 um 10:37 am

Seriously? I adore pretzel buns for burgers but now I can have ti with my soup??? Heaven!


Katie @ Blonde Ambition September 20, 2012 um 10:53 am

Last year, my boyfriend & I managed to find an actual German Oktoberfest release by Spaten and celebrated by drinking a 6 pack of it!

Now I wish we’d had some delicious soup in pretzel bread bowls to enjoy it with! Beer cheese soup and pretzel bread bowls sounds like an unbeatable combo.


Michelle Collins September 20, 2012 um 12:24 pm

This is such a great idea!


amy @ fearless homemaker September 20, 2012 um 2:48 pm

I love bread bowls + I love pretzel rolls – why have i never thought to combine the two together? The addition of beer just makes ’em even better. You, my friend, are a beer + cooking GENIUS! =)


Cassie September 20, 2012 um 5:51 pm

I just could not love these any more. I made pretzel bread bowls last weekend and they were great, but now I’m sad that they didn’t have beer in them. LOVE these!


Jackie September 20, 2012 um 6:39 pm

You made pretzel bread bowls too?? We must have made them on the same day, how funny. Can’t wait to see your post!


Kare @ Kitchen Treaty September 21, 2012 um 7:27 am

Holy crap – this filled with cheese soup? I’m … sort of speechless. Yuuummm.


Tina @ More Please Recipes September 21, 2012 um 8:30 am

The only thing better than beer is cheese and bread. You’ve managed to combine my three favorite food groups wonderfully. Thanks for the facts on Oktoberfest as well! Excited to see you this weekend 🙂


Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies September 21, 2012 um 10:59 am

This is the best idea! I love pretzel bread and I love bread bowls. And I love soup! Awesome, as always.


Averie @ Averie Cooks September 21, 2012 um 9:12 pm

Ive never made bread bowls…and now I kinda feel like I HAVE TO start, asap! 🙂


Glen September 23, 2012 um 5:04 pm

Splendid! My wife just made these for our celebrations and they were amazing. We live just outside London and used a local wheat beer.


claire @ the realistic nutritionist September 24, 2012 um 9:47 am

These are fabulous! One day I’ll make it to Munich, one day…


Jeff December 10, 2012 um 8:20 pm

I made your pretzel recipe the other day for a party but I stuffed them with a small piece of cooked German bratwurst. It was fantastic and I served it with a beer cheese dip! Thanks for a tasty pretzel recipe!


Jackie December 11, 2012 um 8:34 am

That brat trick sounds fabulous!


Brian January 14, 2013 um 2:56 pm

I’ve made three batches of these with my girlfriend in preparation for a hosted dinner. Unfortunately, Our sense of scale must be off, because our 'bowls' are too flat to be made into bowls if we make them large enough to hold anything more than a cup of soup. Tried adding flour to the recipe, a high-gluten flour, tried proofing the dough at different temps etc. Upon closer inspection, it looks like your bowls aren’t very large (comparing the size of the flatwear in the one image) either.

They do taste fantastic, however.


Jackie January 14, 2013 um 3:16 pm

They aren’t very big. But given that you are supposed to eat the bowl as well, too much bigger would be too much food for me. I will update the post to let people know they only hold about 1 cup of soup.


Allison Smith May 13, 2014 um 5:58 pm

These were really yummy,except mine were totally flat, 🙁


Michael October 5, 2014 um 4:27 pm

Can the buns be brushed with olive oil instead of butter? I’m lactose intolerant, so I’m always looking for alternatives.


Jackie October 5, 2014 um 6:03 pm

Yes! or an egg wash (1 egg, plus one tablespoon water, beaten)


Sheri October 8, 2017 um 5:35 am

Gonna fill these with a chicken, bacon cheese soup. I usually serve this with hard pretzels, but these pretzel bowls would put it n a whole new category. Can’t wait.


Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.