Step by step recipe:
- 5 min.
- 10 min.Knead for 10 minutes on slow speed.
Note: For the best way to knead, see: A few tips for effective kneading at home.
- 2 hours
- 5 min.After this time, cut and weigh the dough into 100 g portions.
- 8 min.Roll these into balls. You can see the gesture in this video.
- 30 min.Cover the balls of dough with a sheet of plastic and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
- 10 min.After this time, roll out a ball of dough into a long "sausage" about 50 cm (25 inches) long, then wind it into the traditional pretzel shape. You can see how in the video at the side.
Make all the pretzels like this.
- 1 hour 30 min.Arrange the pretzels on a baking sheet, cover with a sheet of plastic and leave to rest for 1 hour 30 minutes.
- 10 min.After this time, preheat the oven to 230°C (450°F).
Bring a pan with 1 litre of water to the boil and, when boiling, add the 50 g of bicarbonate of soda (be careful, as this reacts and may well make the pan boil over, so add it a little at a time).
- Turn off the heat under the pan and plunge a pretzel into the water containing the bicarbonate of soda. It will sink, then rise back up to the surface...
- 10 min....take it out with a skimmer and place it on the baking sheet.
Do this with all the pretzels.
This bath of bicarbonate of soda in water gives a sharp flavour to the pretzels.
- 3 min.Scatter poppy seeds or coarse salt crystals over the top of each pretzel.
- 20 min.Put in the oven immediately. It is important that the pretzels are still wet when they go into the oven, so that they will turn a lovely golden brown.
If you have to wait and your pretzels dry out, wet them again with a brush dipped in the pan of water and bicarbonate of soda.
- Bake until they are just starting to brown and are still soft, about 20 minutes.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Remarks:To give that famous piquancy, professionals use caustic soda (well-diluted, of course), rather than baking soda.
And to drink?To set the right mood, a good beer.
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