Appetizers/Starters, Breads, Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Savory Snacks

Laugenbrezeln (Brezn) / Swabian/Bavarian Pretzels

250 g 12% protein flour
250 g 14% protein flour
50 g active-dry yeast
250 ml water, heated to 100-110F
50 g butter, cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 liters water
4 1/2 tablespoons cooking lye
Coarse salt for sprinkling

In the work bowl of your stand mixer, place 100 g of the flour. Make a small indentation and then sprinkle in the yeast, the sugar and half of the water. Place the butter cubes on top and wait 15 minutes, until the yeast becomes foamy.

Add the remaining water, flour and the salt and combine with the paddle attachment on low. Once completely combines, switch to a dough hook and use the stand mixer to knead the dough for 10 minutes on medium until a dough forms and does not stick to the sides. After 10 minutes, transfer to a floured board and knead by hand for an additional 5-6 minutes.

Place dough in a bowl coated with the vegetable oil (oil the dough as well), cover with plastic wrap and a clean dish towel. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, approximately 2 hours.

Divide dough into 14 balls for small pretzels, 10 balls for medium pretzels. Roll into snakes and form into pretzels. Let rest for an additional 15 minutes covered with the clean dish towel(s).

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare two baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper.

In a shallow pot (or wide-rimmed pan with sides 3 inches deep), bring the water to a rolling bowl. Add the cooking lye and continue to boil until the lye is completely dissolved. Then turn the water to a simmer. Using a spider or slotted spoon, submerge each pretzel, one or two at a time, into the simmering water for 30-45 seconds (but no more!). Immediately transfer to the baking sheet, cut a small slit in the bottom section and sprinkle with coarse salt.

Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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