The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

German Pretzel Rolls (Laugenweck)

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isand66's picture
isand66

German Pretzel Rolls (Laugenweck)

There is nothing like authentic German Pretzel Rolls hot from the oven.  I made these to bring to a friend's house for Christmas Eve and everyone was raving about them all night.

The key to making these is that you must use Food Grade Lye better known as Sodium Hydroxide.  Don't let anyone tell you that you can skip this step by using baking soda.  If you want the real deal you must use Sodium Hydroxide or the crust will not be dark brown like it is supposed to.  You must be careful of course when using this product and where protective gloves and long sleeves and goggles.  Do not ever add the crystals to hot water or you will cause the water mixture to over flow and probably burn yourself in the process.

You can order Sodiuym Hydroxide on-line through Amazon and it will take about 4-5 days to ship since it is considered dangerous cargo.

I followed this recipe from German Foodie as posted on the The Fresh Loaf and it worked out great.

Another note, don't do what I did the first time and use parchment paper to line your cookie sheets.  I did this foolish thing and had to cut the paper off the bottom of most of the pretzel rolls.  Instead, use metal baking sheets and spray them heavily with cooking spray.  If they still stick you can simply use your dough scraper to loosen them from the baking sheet.

Make sure you have real pretzel salt as this will make a huge difference if you don't.

They came out just as good the second time around as the first.  Next time I will start experimenting a little and try some with cheese stuffed inside and I may try adding some rye flour into a batch to make Pumpernickel pretzels.

I made double the recipe which makes around 20 pretzel rolls.

Make sure after you mix the dough you use a big enough container to let the dough double in size while in the refrigerator.

 

Comments

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

rolls I've seen on TFL.  See why you need lye for real NY bagels?  Just not the same without it.  As soon as we get some lye we will will have to make your version if my apprentice doesn't go on strike or retire.  She's been pooping out on out 2 mile walks lately.   Will have to put some cheese in them so hurry up and bake that batch so we will know what to do!

Very Nice Baking - maybe the bet yet!

isand66's picture
isand66

Thanks DA....once I got over the fear of causing caustic burn marks all over my body it is rather easy.  Make sure you have a frying spyder to dunk the rolls in the Lye bath.  I see a yeast water version in yours and my future.  Keep walking your apprentice so she can stay in shape for 2013!  You have plenty of baking to do and you need her in tip top shape!

Regards,
Ian

linder's picture
linder

Those are beautiful looking rolls - I can just taste the salt, the chewy roll.  Mmmm. 

Linda

isand66's picture
isand66

Thanks Linda for the compliment.

Do try these when you get a chance.  They won't dissapoint.

Regards,
Ian

cranbo's picture
cranbo

they look delicious! nice job. 

BTW, for those that don't want to go all the way with the lye, but want more slitheriness than baking soda provides, there's always baked soda, which you can read about here.  

isand66's picture
isand66

Thank you Cranbo.

That is a very interesting article and I must give that try one day and see how it holds up to using Lye.

cranbo's picture
cranbo

IMO it's not as good as lye, but I have found it significantly better than plain baking soda. 

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Nicely done Ian.  I personally have never tried this type of bread, but I can imagine what it would taste like.  I think I have seen a version at a Walmart bakery.

I would love to make pretzel buns this summer.  The same ones you see all the restaurants using with their specialty burgers.

Good job :)

John

isand66's picture
isand66

Thanks John 

They are quite addictive and you will not be disappointed.

Regards,

ian

varda's picture
varda

Looks just like German Foodie's.   I salute your willingness to bake with goggles and gloves to get the real thing.     -Varda

isand66's picture
isand66

Thanks Varda....I confess I wear glasses and I couldn't find my goggles so I winged it.  Alas I can still see...poorly as always, but no further damage!

Regards,
Ian

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hi Ian,
Those salt-crusted rolls look absolutely delicious!
:^) breadsong

isand66's picture
isand66

Thank you breadsong!

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

and look equally delicious.  Very nicely done!  

Makes me sorry, I'm to chicken to make the real deal with the lye or have it in the house.

Sylvia

 

isand66's picture
isand66

Thank you Sylvia.

I know it is a little scary to use the lye but I have not managed to do any damage yet :).

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

Yum  :)

anna

isand66's picture
isand66

Thank you Anna.  I just ate one toasted for breakfast with some cheese.

Regards,
Ian

Mebake's picture
Mebake

They look super tasty Ian! I have never had pretzels, nor bagels, nor a challah before, well i may have sampled a pretzel when i went for a visit to germany with my parents when i was young, but i can vaguely remember them now. 

Khalid

 

isand66's picture
isand66

Thank you Khalid.

I urge you to give these a try when you are back on your baking feet. If you can't find the lye try the "baked" baking soda trick and you will still be in for a treat.

Happy New Year to you and your family.

Regards,

Ian

AR's picture
AR

Just saw these beautiful rolls and needed to express "outstanding" and since we eat with our eyes I know they are delicious.  I'm not affraid of any ole Sodium Hydroxide if I can turn out these things of beauty...way to go.

 

Thanks,

AR

isand66's picture
isand66

Thank you AR.

They are worth the trouble so give it a shot.  I can't stop eating them.  After a couple of days they are great toasted with cheese.

Regards,
Ian

AR's picture
AR

Ian,

Thanks for the heads up and I plan on tackeling the rolls this week.  I can only hope they turn out as beautiful and tasteful as yours.  Oddly, I make Bagels all of the time and never made these or should say pretzels for that matter.

Happy New Year and Happy Baking!

AR