Here, There Be Pretzels

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…

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2 thoughts on “Here, There Be Pretzels

  1. sunnysideellen says:

    Well, I know the lye sounds weird, but it makes a nice shine and gives the pretzel the special flavour that I like so much.

    If you buy the small snack pretzels here in Canada chances are that they were treated with lye (sodium hydroxide), but the large pretzels are very hard to find in bakeries.

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