Pretzels

Falko Burkert shares a recipe for a very more-ish traditional soft pretzel, much prized in Germany and Switzerland
Pretzels
  • Rating:
  • Serves: makes 1 large pretzel
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes plus freezing and proving
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 300 g strong bread flour
  • 150 ml milk
  • 20 g fresh yeast
  • 4 g salt
  • 45 g unsalted butter
  • food-safe sodium hydroxide, for brushing
  • rock salt, to sprinkle

To serve

  • butter
  • ham
  • cheese

Tips and Suggestions

Brushing with food-safe sodium hydroxide and sprinkling with salt gives the pretzel its characteristic brown-glazed colour after baking.

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180 fan/gas 6.

2. Put all of the dough ingredients in a food mixer with a dough hook and mix until the dough has a smooth, elastic consistency.

3. Shape the dough into a figure-of-eight pretzel shape.

4. Put the pretzel into the freezer for about 5-10 minutes but do not freeze - this is just to stiffen the dough.

5. Line a baking tray with silicon paper. Mix the food-safe sodium hydroxide with water to make a 3% alkaline solution. Dip the pretzel into this solution, then lay it onto the baking tray.

6. Sprinkle the pretzel with rock salt then leave it aside to prove for 10-15 minutes. Put into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, checking often to make sure it does not burn. Remove from the oven and, while it is still warm, brush with water.

7. Serve warm, either on its own, or cut open and spread with butter or cooked ham and cheese.

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