Puff pastry in the shape of a large German pretzel, filled with vanilla pudding, baked and then glazed – these puddingbrezel come together quickly and easily!
What are Puddingbrezel?
Puddingbrezel are a fun sweet take on the classic German Brezel which is a large bread pretzel. They are usually made with either a simple puff pastry or a more complex yeast laminated dough, similar to croissant dough. The filling is a homemade vanilla pudding which sets as it bakes and then cools.
Can store bought vanilla pudding be used?
No, unfortunately I have tested this recipe with vanilla pudding mix and when baked, it creates a very rubbery and unpleasant texture.
Can these be made in advance?
Yes, however they are best fresh when the puff pastry is still crisp. Because there is the pudding filling, they don’t do well to be reheated.
Store bought or homemade puff pastry?
This recipe will work with either form of puff pastry but to save time I always use frozen, store bought, puff pastry. My favorite is from Dufour but the next best puff pastry is from Pepperidge Farms.
Tips for making Puddingbrezel
- When cooking the pudding, be sure to leave the heat at medium and stir frequently. If you try to cook it too quickly or stop stirring, the pudding will seize and become clumpy.
- Be sure that the puff pastry has been evenly defrosted, if using frozen, because it will be difficult to twist and shape the pastry if parts are still frozen.
- If using store bought puff pastry, check the baking temperature suggestion on the package. For Pepperidge farms I have found that 375 F is the best temperature.
- When baking, don’t be afraid to let the pastry darken in color, especially with the pudding, it needs to be fully baked.
- As tempting as it is, try not to move the brezeln until they have cooled. If you move them too soon, the filling is likely to disconnect from the pastry.
Ingredients for Puddingbrezel
- Milk and Heavy Cream: These are both used as the main liquid in the pudding, the combination of the two creates the best combination.
- Sugar: There is granulated sugar in the pudding for sweetness and then powdered sugar which is optional to glaze them with after baking.
- Egg yolks: Egg yolks are used in the pudding for richness and flavor as well as used for the egg wash on the puff pastry.
- Butter: Butter is added into the pudding after it is finished cooking to thicken it, there is also a lot of butter in the puff pastry.
- Corn Starch: Corn starch thickens the vanilla pudding so that it has enough structure to hold together within the brezeln.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla adds flavor to the vanilla pudding but it’s best to add it after the pudding has cooked as to not cook out the flavor.
- Puff Pastry: As mentioned in the tips section, either store bought or homemade can be used but I use store bought for ease. Dufour makes an amazing puff pastry but pepperidge farms also makes a very reliable product.
How to make Puddingbrezel
- In a medium sauce pot, whisk the sugar and cornstarch together.
- Slowly pour in the cream and milk while stirring constantly to prevent clumps from forming.
- Then, whisk in the egg yolks. Place the pot over medium heat and whisk slowly but constantly until the mixture thickens to the point where the lines created by the whisk, hold for a couple of seconds.
- Once thickened, immediately remove from the heat and whisk in the soft butter and vanilla.
- Pour the finished pudding into a shallow bowl or dish, lay a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the pudding to prevent it from forming a skin. Leave to cool to room temperature and then chill in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours.
Shape the Brezeln
- If frozen defrost the puff pastry. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F or the recommended temperature on the package.
- Arrange two racks in the oven so that they divide the oven into thirds.
- Slightly roll out the puff pastry sheets so that the pastry is thin and flexible. Cut the puff pastry lengthwise into 2″ wide strips. Cut each strip in half lengthwise but don’t cut through all the way to the end so that both halves of the strip remain connected. Leave about 1/2″ uncut at the end.
- Take the ends of each strip into each hand and twist in opposite directions. Continue twisting until the puff pastry is a coil with a hollow center.
- With the pastry still twisted, lay it down on your work surface in a horseshoe shape with both ends facing you. About 2″ from the end of the strip, twist the two strips together twice.
- Still holding on to the ends, flip them over so they connect to the curve of the horseshoe shape.
- Carefully flip the pretzel shape over so that the ends are underneath the pretzel.
Assembling & Baking.
- Lay 4-5 brezeln on each baking tray.
- Make the egg wash by whisking the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the surface of all of the brezeln with the egg wash.
- Fill each of the three sections of the brezeln with the pudding. All of the pudding should be used up.
- Bake the puddingbrezeln in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Rotate and swap the baking sheets after 10 minutes. If needed bake for another 5 minutes until they are golden brown.
- Once baked, remove the trays from the oven and leave to cool fully.
- While they cool, optionally make the glaze by whisking the powdered sugar and water or lemon juice together. The glaze should be thin, similar to the consistency of heavy cream.
- Once cooled, brush the glaze onto just the puff pastry of the brezeln.
- 30 grams cornstarch
- 100 grams granulated sugar
- 100 milliliters heavy cream
- 300 milliliters milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 50 grams butter softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 sheets puff pastry
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon water
- 200 grams powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp water or lemon juice more as needed
- In a sauce pot whisk the sugar and cornstarch together.
- While whisking, pour the milk and heavy cream into the sauce pot and whisk until fully combined.
- Add in the egg yolks and whisk until fully combined.
- Place the pot over medium heat and whisk slowly, but continuously until it thickens. The lines left by the whisk should stay for a few seconds.
- Once thickened, remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the softened butter and vanilla extract.
- Pour the pudding into a shallow bowl or dish and lay a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface.
- Leave to cool until it comes to room temperature, then place in the fridge for 1-2 hours until it has set.
- Defrost the puff pastry and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F and arrange two racks so that they divide the oven into thirds.
- Slightly roll out the two sheets of puff pastry to smooth out the creases and make it thin enough so it is flexible enough to be twisted.
- Cut the pastry into 2" strips.
- Cut each strip in half lengthwise, leaving at least 1/2" at the end of each 2" strip uncut so that both halves of the strip are still connected.
- Holding onto the ends of the strip, in each hand, twist in opposite directions so that the strip of puff pastry is fully twisted into a coil with a hollow center.
- Lay the twisted puff pastry into a horseshoe shape in front of you.
- Hold onto both ends and twist them together twice about 2" away from the ends of the strip.
- Take both ends and flip them over to connect to the curved portion of the horseshoe shape.
- Flip the whole brezel over so that the ends of the strip are underneath the brezel.
- Place 4-5 of the brezel on each lined baking sheet.
- Make the egg wash by whisking the remaining egg yolk and water together.
- Brush the egg wash onto the surface of each brezel.
- Spoon the chilled pudding into each of the three openings of the brezel shape.
- Bake the puddingbrezel in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Rotate and swap the baking sheets after 10 minutes so they bake evenly.
- Bake for an extra 5 minutes if needed to get a nice golden brown color on the puff pastry.
- Once baked, leave the brezel to cool fully on the baking sheets.
- While they cool, optionally make a thin glaze by whisking the powdered sugar and water or lemon juice together. The glaze should be thin and runny.
- Once the brezel are cooled, brush the glaze onto the puff pastry.