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(Experiment 232) German soft pretzel

Enjoying a nice beer with pretzels in
Český Krumlov

When I think about soft pretzel I see myself around age 6-7 at the Olympic Stadium. My dad took me there to see a Montreal Expos baseball game and let’s be honest, all I cared about was getting my hot pretzel 😉

The traditional German pretzel recipe has you dip the pretzel in a caustic soda(lye) solution before baking them. First, the cheapest bag I could find online was 24$ so I was turned off from going that route. Using caustic soda gives that nice dark brown color, texture, and that “shiny” look. The alternative is to use a baking soda mix, it’s not as good but it’s cheap, it works and the result is damn good.

OK enough with the explanation

You need ( gives about 6)

  • 2.5 cup of flour ( have an extra 1/2 cup handy as you will likely need to add some more)
  • 4.5g salt
  • 3.5g instant dry yeast
  • 1cup warm water around 110F
  • 30g melted butter (If you love butter you can put up to 45gr )
  • Some oil
  • 19g sugar or cane sugar
  • 4.2g sea salt
  • water
  • coarse salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4cup baking soda

Instructions

  1. Put the sugar, water, and yeast into a standing mixer bowl and whisk. Wait 5-10min
  2. Turn the stand mixer on low and put butter and salt.
  3. Start adding little by little the flour. Once all the flour is in, increase the speed a little bit and let it knead for 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and touch the dough. It should NOT be dry but it should not be sticky ( or barely sticky ). If your dough is sticky ( mine was), start adding a tablespoon of flour, turn the machine on for a minute and touch it again. Repeat this step until the dough reaches the right consistency.
  4. Oil the inside of a large bowl and dump the dough in it, cover with plastic film or lid. Let it rest for about an hour.

  5. You want to turn the left side into –>
  6. Take a large pot and put 4 liters of cold water in it + baking soda. Bring to a boil
  7. While it’s heating it’s now time to shape the dough into a pretzel. On a clean countertop drop the dough and cut it into 6 pieces. Roll them out with your hands until it reaches 24 inches or so ( no need to be precise here ).  Make a U shape with the “roll”, twist the extremity, and fold them over. You should now have a pretzel shape. It’s pretty easy, I let my kids do this step they had fun. Repeat for the rest of the dough and place them on a parchment paper
  8. When done, check on the water it should be boiling at this point. Reduce to simmer and dip each pretzel, one at a time, for 20-25 seconds. Using a strainer, remove them from the water making sure you take most of the water out of it ( IE gently banging the strainer on the side of the pot). Place the parboiled pretzel on a parchment covered pan. Repeat for the other pretzel.
  9. Pre-heat oven at 450F.
  10. It’s time to garnish those pretzels. In a bowl, scramble the egg and add a little bit of water. Brush your pretzel with the egg wash and then add the coarse/pretzel salt.
  11. Put in oven ( bottom row) for 15 mins

I recommend you wait a few mins before eating them

Again, those were made by
my kids 😉

Keep them up to 3 days in the fridge. To reheat them, either microwave them until warm or better, wrap them in foil, and heat them 5 mins at 350F.

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