Oktoberfest is always one of those celebrations that sneak up on me every year without my realizing. It comes and goes without a big commotion, yet it’s an event I’ve always wanted to partake in. I mean, hearty comfort food and good beer? It sounds like a no brainer to me! Though it’s technically already begun, there are still a few days left to celebrate. And thanks to these delicious recipes from Katie Parra & Megan Doherty, I know exactly what needs to be done.

From Katie Parra… Oktoberfest is an annual 16 day festival that originated in Munich, Bavaria, Germany starting in 1810. It’s now celebrated all over the world and is the perfect opportunity to make and consume all sorts of yummy comfort food recipes. All of which taste even better of course when washed down with some tasty Oktoberfest beer! I teamed up with my good friend and talented chef Megan Doherty and whipped up some of our all time favorite Oktoberfest recipes. Enjoy, Prost!

ingredients
2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast (1/4 ounce)
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Vegetable oil, for baking sheets
3 tablespoons baking soda
1 tablespoon pretzel salt
Assorted mustards, for serving

directions
1. Mix yeast, coarse salt, sugar, and warm water in a small bowl, whisking until sugar dissolves. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

2. Mix flour and cayenne in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

3. Slowly pour yeast mixture over flour mixture, stirring to combine. Using your hands, gather dough together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until it is no longer sticky, about 5 minutes. Cover with plastic, and let rise for 30 minutes.

4. Cut dough into 12 pieces, and roll each into an 18-inch rope. Form a U shape with 1 rope, and twist ends together twice. Fold twisted portion backward along center of U shape to form a circle, then gently press ends of rope onto dough to seal. Transfer to an oiled baking sheet, and repeat. Let rise for 20 minutes.

5. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add baking soda. Boil pretzels in batches until puffed and slightly shiny, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to wire racks to drain. Return to baking sheet, sprinkle with pretzel salt, and bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Pretzels will keep, uncovered, at room temperature for up to 12 hours. Rewarm in a 250-degree oven if desired, and serve with mustards.

ingredients
For the Sausages:
1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 links assorted fully cooked German sausages
1 large white onion, thinly sliced

For the Coleslaw:
1/2 head of red cabbage, shredded
1 head Savoy cabbage, shredded
Two carrots, grated
Two honey crisp apples, grated
One half cup red onion, minced
Dressing:
One half lemon juice
Three tablespoons whole grain mustard
Three cloves of garlic, finely minced
Three quarters cup Extra Virgin Olive oil

directions

FOR THE SAUSAGE:
1. Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, and add 1 tablespoon oil. Cook until browned and heated through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, and cover to keep warm.

2. Add remaining tablespoon of oil to skillet if necessary. Add onion, and cook for 3 minutes.

FOR THE COLESLAW:
1. Prepare all salad ingredients and mix together in a large bowl

2. To prepare dressing, whisk all ingredients except the olive oil together. Once thoroughly combined, slowly drizzle olive oil while whisking to create an emulsion.

3. Pour dressing over salad mixture, and allow to sit in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving. This allows the flavors to meld properly and also lets the cabbage soften up a bit.

ingredients
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dark rum
6 to 8 black plums, halved and pitted
1/4 cup light-brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup creme fraiche (or substitute whipped cream or ice cream)
1 package German-style waffle cookies

directions
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Soak raisins in rum until plump, at least 10 minutes.

2. Place plum halves, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle each with sugar and cinnamon, and top with raisins and rum. Roast until golden and bubbling, 15 to 18 minutes.

3. Divide among plates, and top with creme fraiche. Serve with cookies.

It’s not Oktoberfest without beer! There are lots of yummy Oktoberfest series beers out there but I highly recommend the Ninkasi Brewing Company’s Prismatic Lager aptly titled Oktoberfest.

Photography: Katie Parra Photography | Chef: Megan Doherty | Food Styling: Katie Parra | Food Styling: Megan Doherty | Pretzel + Plum Recipe inspired by Martha Stewart Living: Martha Stewart Living