I can’t say I have grown up eating pretzels 🥨– my mum is German and we have been weaned on lots of Teutonic grub but not these salty beauties. Over the years i have guzzled ‘em with goose fat at Christmas markets and Oktoberfest but never tried to make recreate that unique taste at home. They are well worth the slight hassle of gloving up to dip in caustic soda (lye). I have an obsession which needs to be fulfilled with trying all sorts of flavours. Watch this space!
- Make sure you buy food grade Lye and be very careful using it. You can use baking soda but it isn’t as effective in browning and giving that distinctive flavour
- Salt to your taste – half my house like lots the other barely any
- Make sure you keep them in the oven to darken up
200 ml water Luke warm water
Sachet of dry yeast
100 ml milk
5 g salt
5 g sugar
40 g melted butter
500 g bread flour
For the dipping
500 ml warm water
15 g lye
Preheat oven to 200 degrees centigrade
In a pot, add 40 g butter, 100 ml milk, and 5 g salt.Heat on low until the butter just melts and leave to cool.
In anothet bowl, add 200 ml warm water and 5 g sugar. Mix and add 5 g dry yeast. Mix well and place in a warm part of your house. Leave for 10-15 minutes until the yeast bubbles up.
Place all ingredients in a mixer with a dough hook and switch on medium power for about 6 mins
Leave in a warm place to double in size – takes a min of an hour
Divide dough into 10 equal pieces – 80 g each. Roll each piece into a short cylinder.
Take each cylinder and roll out the ends – leave the centre of the ‘cylinder’ untouched (so it doesn’t lose its air) and roll out the right and left sides until long, thing and tapered.
Twist the long ends around each other twice and press the tapered tips into the fat part of the pretzel.
In a bowl, put in all of your water first then mix in the lye and stir until its dissolved. Make sure you’re wearing rubber gloves or even consider safety glasses – lye can burn your skin if it comes in to contact with it.
Keep the safety gear on – grab each pretzel and place on one of those draining spoons – like a ladle but flat with holes in it. Dip it into the lye solution, making sure every part gets covered in some liquid. Lift out, let drain and place on baking parchment
Sprinkle with salt and place in the oven for 15 mins. Eat fresh but if storing in an airtight container they may go soggy but simply heat up and they are amazing