Yesterday I made pretzels the original and a bit dangerous way. German pretzels (“Brezeln”) are dipped in a lye solution before baking. I LOVE pretzels and I figured that with the kids being older and all that I’d have another go at it. I made the dough following the recipe in the Bread book by Jeffrey Hamelman. The dough fought me a bit when I shaped the pretzels, so that instead of slender and large the pretzels turned out small and puffy.
I made a 3% lye solution in a large pyrex measuring bowl and dipped the pretzels one by one using a large slotted spoon. All went well except you really have to be careful about the small drips of lye solution. Afterwards I doused everything with white vinegar, rinsed with a lot of water and with a big sigh of relief patted my own shoulder.
The pretzels were delicious.
Next time I will let the dough relax a bit more before shaping and omit the butter in the dough. I like my pretzels crisp ( especially the thin parts) and the butter in the dough makes them soft. Maybe I’ll even try a 5% solution…