I absolutely love pretzels and there is nothing better than these fresh from the oven. Best of all you can put your favourite toppings on them. The pretzels are great with a drink and the rolls I like cut open with some mountain ham, salami or cheese.
Pretzels & Pretzel Rolls
For the Dough
250g plain white flour
250g strong white flour
1 tsp fast action yeast
½ tbsp brown sugar
40g butter, melted
For the Solution
2 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
For the topping
Rock salt or
Seeds or (e.g. poppy, sunflower, sesame)
For the starter dough, in a bowl, mix together 50g of the plain flour, the yeast and water. Cover with cling film or a shower cap and leave in a warm place for 1 hour.
Add the remaining flour, sugar, salt and butter and mix together. Turn out onto a work surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a large bowl and cover with cling film or a shower cap. Leave to rise until doubled in size for 1½ hours.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and gently knead for a minute. Now it is ready for shaping. Depending on the size you would like, divide the dough into 6 – 10 equal pieces (I like medium size rolls and pretzels so I make 10).
For traditional pretzels you need to roll the dough into a long rope, about 40 cm long and leaving the middle 4cm about 3cm thick and tapering to ½ cm at the ends. Bring the two ends together then twist them twice about 5cm in and bring them over the thicker middle.
For the rolls, either shape the dough into batons or rounds. Leave to rise uncovered for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan. In a saucepan, bring the water and bicarbonate of soda to a boil. Drop the dough shapes one at a time for about 5 seconds into the solution. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with your chosen topping then slash the pretzels at the back of the thickest part and the rolls on top.
Bake in the oven for 15 – 18 minutes until a deep brown colour. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.