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Pretzels

This recipe is brought to you by Our Kitchen.

Makes 8 pretzels

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Image credit: Sara

Ingredients

  • 500g (1.1lb) bread flour
  • 250ml (1/2 pt) tepid water
  • 11g (0.4oz) salt
  • 5g (0.2oz) sugar
  • 20g (0.7 oz) lard or butter, softened
  • 20g (0.7 oz) bakers yeast
  • coarse salt
  • 1L (1 qt) 4% sodium hydroxide solution (food grade)

Sodium bicarbonate alternative

  • 1L (1 qt) water
  • 3 tbsp sodium bicarbonate

Instructions

  1. Place flour, salt and lard or butter in a bowl.
  2. In a seperate bowl add sugar and yeast to the tepid water. Cover this with a tea towel and wait 5-10 minutes for the yeast to foam.
  3. Combine yeast mixture and flour mixture to form a dough then turn out onto a lightly floured bench and knead for 10 minutes, until smooth.
  4. Cover dough and rest in a warm dark place for 30 min (the warm function set to LO is ideal for this).
  5. Knead dough again and divide into 8 equal portions.
  6. Roll each portion into a long sausage shape, 30cm (12 inch) in length. Note that they will spring back slightly.
  7. Once all are rolled, re-roll into a sausage, 60cm (24 inch) in length. You want to keep them fatter in the center (forming the belly of the pretzel) and tapered out towards the ends.
  8. Form the pretzel shape: Take one sausage. Make an upside-down U in front of you. Take the two ends and cross them over. Take the two ends and cross them over once more. Take the two ends and bring them up to the to the top (belly) of the pretzel. Attach the ends by wetting with a little water and pressing down (note they do not stick down well at this stage). Repeat with each sausage.
  9. Place the dough portions onto a plate, cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  10. Wearing gloves and protective eye wear and mask, dip dough portions into the sodium hydroxide solution (for 10 seconds each) and place on a lined oven tray (a silicone mat is best).
    If you are using the sodium bicarbonate solution:
  11. Bring water to the boil and add sodium bicarbonate. Dip each pretzel into the boiling solution for 30 seconds.
  12. Rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Preheat your oven to 200ºC (390°F) on Bake.
  13. Cut the belly of each pretzel 5mm (1/4 inch) deep. Sprinkle with course salt and bake for 15 to 20 minutes (until golden brown).