Franz Vanilla Bean Pretzel Bread

We love food just as much as we love beer here at Rhinegeist and figured what better way to share this than to explore different recipes with our favorite brews.  Every few weeks we’ll be releasing a delectable new recipe that uses a Rhinegeist beer as a key ingredient. Christian Gill, pictured to the right, is the mad scientist behind all the dishes. He is the executive chef at the Cincinnati Art Museum and loves the challenge of creating food from unusual ingredients.

For our inaugural week Chef Christian Gill whipped up a Vanilla Bean Pretzel Bread made with Franz.


  • 1 1/3 cups simmered Franz
  • 3 tablespoons warm milk
  • 2 ½  teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ½  cup light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt or pretzel salt

For Parboil Dip

  • 2 quarts cold water
  • Baking soda (1/2 cup)

 Finishing Touch

  • Smoked Salt
  • Light Brown Sugar
  • Honey (optional)


  • In a medium bowl or electric mixer bowl, mix a 1/3 cup of simmered Franz degrees with the yeast and let the yeast bloom for 5 minutes.
  • Add the remaining cup of Franz along with milk, brown sugar & melted butter, vanilla bean paste and mix thoroughly.
  • Add flour and mix on low for 10 minutes.
  • Remove dough from mixer and place onto lightly floured surface.
  • Knead until dough for approximately 3-4 minutes
  • Cut into two large pieces.
  • Using your hands, shape each piece into a large ball taking care to pinch the seams together underneath.
  • Cover dough with plastic and a damp cloth and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • Let the pretzels rest for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 415°.
  • Lightly oil 2 baking sheets.
  • In a large pot, bring the cold water to a rolling boil and add baking soda.
  • Slow drop one of the loaves top down into the boiling water and boil for no more then 30 seconds, turning once.
  • Carefully remove with a colander or slotted spoon and hold above pot and let drain.
  • Place on oiled baking sheet and repeat with second loaf.
  • Sprinkle lightly with smoked salt, brown sugar, and a drizzle of honey (optional).
  • Bake on the middle racks of the oven for about 15-18 minutes, or until browned all over; shift pans from top to bottom and back to front halfway through, for even baking.
  • Let loaves cool on the baking sheets for about 10 minutes, then transfer them to a rack and dive right in!

Feel free to start tagging your own concoctions #rhinegeistrecipes and we'll be sure to keep our eyes peeled!