It is often true of old recipes that there is an authentic, difficult way to do it and a modern simple approach. So my first attempt at soft pretzels uses the latter, taken directly from the Thermomix My way of Cooking. I bought some delicious pretzel baguettes recently at the Gilbert farmers market and reminded myself that I must try to make them.
- 400g milk (cow's or nut substitute)
- 12g dried yeast
- 600 g flour ( I used King Arthur's bread flour)
- 10g salt
- Bring the milk to tepid in the TM bowl at 37° and mix in the yeast for 2 minutes speed 2 at 37°. Add the flour and salt and knead on dough setting for 2minutes 30 seconds. Tip into a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to prove until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 200°C/ 400°F and prepare the baking soda'bath'
- This quantity will make 10 traditionally shaped pretzels, or shape as mini loaves, baguettes…
- Roll each portion to a long rope (60cm) thinner at the ends than in the middle. Lift each end and twist around twice, before turning over.
- The last part of the process is what gives the bread it's distinctive taste.
- Traditional recipes call for lye, which I think can be found at chemists/health food shops, but I used baking soda, known in UK as bicarbonate of soda. Bring 600g of water and 4 tablespoons of baking soda to boil in a wide saucepan.
- You are going to coat your bread in this mixture for about a minute, before lifting out and placing on baking parchment on a baking tray, or the shaped tin you are baking it in. Using a wide slotted fish slice , or similar, should help. Before placing in preheated oven sprinkle with sea salt ( I used pink Himalayan ) and and seeds you wish.
- Bake individual pretzels for 15 minutes, or longer for loaves.
They are so delicious and I may get better with the pretzel shape!
Traditionally pretzels were eaten with beer, but I'd say eat them with anything you like…