It feels like I haven’t made anything new that’s bread-related for ages! I’m still plugging away, trying to achieve the ideal sourdough loaf (why is it so hard?!) but when I’m making bread, I tend to stick to the same go-to’s at the moment. So today, I thought I’ll have a dabble with a new bread recipe and try making pretzels.
Now I eat pretzels a lot. After living in Germany for eight years, I can now officially class them as one of the main food groups. My favourite is a butter bretzel, where the thick, bottom part is sliced through and simply filled with butter. So dreamy. I’ve never attempted to make them at home before because of the lye dip that’s used in German pretzels. I like them, but not enough to buy safety gloves and goggles for (lye can burn the skin). So, I found a recipe in my trusty Bread Ahead book for American soft pretzels and decided to give that a try instead.
They’re made in pretty much the same way as the bagels I made were, except the recipe called for a little Tabasco sauce which I didn’t have. I did add some blackstrap molasses instead of malt syrup to try and get that lovely brown colour, but I’m not sure if that was a mistake or not as all it was all I could smell whilst we were making them.
The shaping of the pretzels was the best bit! They were so much fun to twirl around into these weird shapes. I made half a batch, but actually wish I’d made more, purely for the shaping. As with bagels, you have to briefly poach pretzels to get that slightly chewy crust, and it was the transfer of the beautifully shaped pretzels into the pot of boiling water that proved most difficult. One completely went haywire, and we ended up with an avant-garde pretzel to enjoy. Overall though, they turned out a lot better than I was expecting.
I had mine, German-style, with a lovely thick spread of butter inside. They were so tasty, and something I’ll definitely make again!