150ml warm water
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
3 liters of water
100g baking soda
Coarse salt as required
- Dissolve the yeast in warm water and add sugar. Let the mixture sit as you continue on to the next steps.
- Melt the butter in a bain-marie or a saucepan, ensuring it does not burn. Put flour in the mixer along with the yeast mixture and melted butter. Start the machine. After two minutes, add salt and continue kneading for another four to five minutes. Take the dough out in a bowl and dust with flour. Cover with a cloth and let it rise for at least 1 hour at room temperature, until the dough has just about doubled in size.
- At the end of this first rise, put the dough in the machine again and knead for another four to five minutes. Take the dough out and, on a lightly floured surface, divide it in small balls. Roll each ball with your hands until they are 40cm long and give them the classic pretzel form. To do that, roll each ball into a long rope of about 45cm. Then, connect the ends of the rope together and twist once or twice. Then bring the twisted ends towards the bottom and fold it over the bottom curve. Dab a bit of water or milk to wet the ends and make them stick to the bottom curve. Once all the pretzels are shaped, let them rest for 10 minutes.
- Bring a pot of water to the boil and add baking soda. Immerse the pretzel, just one or two at a time so you don't crowd the pot, in the boiling water for 20 seconds, then place them on a parchment-lined baking tray and cover them with coarse salt. Cook the pretzels in the oven at 220°C (200°C fan) for 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature and enjoy.
- Though you can use dry yeast, fresh yeast will yield a more tasty result.
- Avoid over-flouring your countertop. To help make the process neater, have a bowl of water by you so you can wet your hands before working with the flour.
- Be creative with toppings! Feel free to use sesame, cumin seeds, everything bagel seasoning, or more. But make sure to add any topping just after boiling and before the oven, so that they stick to the pretzel better.