Neujahrspretzel (New Year's Pretzels)

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Title: Neujahrspretzel (New Year's Pretzels)
Yield: 2 Servings
Categories: German, Appetizers


2 c Milk
1/2 c Butter Or Margarine
2 pk Yeast; Active, Dry
2 ts Salt
1/2 c Sugar
7 c Flour; Unbleached
2 Eggs; Large
1 c Confectioners' Sugar
1 ts Vanilla Extract
1/4 c Almonds; Chopped

Heat milk and butter until very warm (120-130 degrees F.). Mix yeast, salt,
sugar, and 1 cup flour. Slowly beat into warm milk. Beat for 2 minutes.
Add eggs and 1 cup of flour. Beat for an additional 2 minutes. Add enough
flour to form a soft dough. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5
minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl. Let rise in a warm place until
doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch dough down and let rise again until
doubled. (1 hour more). Divide dough in half. Shape pretzel as follows:
Roll dough into a rope about 30 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
Cross the ends leaving a large loop in the center. Flip loop back onto
crossed ends to form a pretzel. Repeat with remaining dough. Place pretzels
on greased baking sheets. Let rise 15 minutes more. Bake at 375 degrees F
for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Mix
confectioners' sugar, water and vanilla to form a thin icing. Spread icing
on pretzels and sprinkle with chopped almonds. Makes 2 large pretzels.

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