The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


michaelreeves's picture

Vinegar mixed in pretzel dough?

April 10, 2013 - 4:59pm -- michaelreeves

Hi all,


I've been scouring the internet and books trying to find, what I'd call "trade secrets" of pretzel making. The basic properties of the pretzel taste is about contrast in pH. Which, is why a strong alkalie solution is used to dip the pretzels, imparting its wonderful flavor on the crust, so it will act in contrast with an acidic crumb taste.


DiJonCamacho's picture

I made these the other day and they were gone in minutes. I went to a restaurant called Bar Louie and ordered these and said, "I have to make these". I already love pretzels, so why not?

RebelBakingCompany's picture

Perfecting My Pretzel, Critique Please!

October 20, 2012 - 7:08am -- RebelBakingCompany

My recipe has turned into a mass combination of dozens of others, which I've experimented with over the years. Truthfully, I think they are delicious. But there may be room for improvement. I have never been able to figure out ratios and I think I may be using too much or too little of some ingredients...while adding others that provide little 'function' at all. Feedback?

4.5 c. bread flour

1.75 tsp salt

1.5 T brown sugar (should I use malt powder instead?)

2 tsp. instant yeast (recently started using 1 pkg. of active dry)

1.5 c. warm water

dabrownman's picture

We have been eating lunch well the last day or two with our last Pretzel Roll bake for sandwiches - P and J and Baja Grilled Chicken with Grilled Veggies.  The J is caramelized Minneola Marmalade.  There is part of a croissant, some nice red pepper hummus, cucumber salad and fruits and veggies of all kinds.  All very healthy and my assistant cleaned herself up for a photo with her new bow!

Baja Grilled Chicken, squash and eggplant and some new Kosher Dill Pickles - Medium Hot. 

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Happy New Year to everyone!

Around my native town Freiburg in south-west Germany we have thae habit to eat some huge and elaborately decoreted brezels made of sweet dough for breakfast on New Year's Day. (Usually they are made by professional bakers.)

I made  some of them in the past, here some impressions from this year's bake.

A little mouse made by my wife, peeking into the future:


The somewhat more conventional Neujahrs-Brezel I made:

I used DiMuzio's sweet challah dough - I love to work with it, and it comes pretty close to what bakers use for these brezels in Germany.

The problem with making these is worktop space - the strand for a 600g brezel is about 1.3 metres long!

Best Wishes,



Emelye's picture

In honor of National Pretzel Day in the US (yesterday):

purplepig's picture

Pretzels - Which pan to use?

April 22, 2011 - 10:08am -- purplepig


One of my favorite recipes I have found here is

However, I am not satified with using a cookie sheet to bake these. The bottoms sometims stick or come out improperly cooked. I was thinking of switching to a pizza screen or perforated baking sheet. Any suggestions?

R.cubebaker's picture

I found a great pretzel recipe here by Floydm The crumb was crunchy and the real bread was chewy. Again, This is a great pretzel recipe and I recommend every one to try it. Thank you Floydm.

I also converted the measurements to grams. Find the conversions below.

      1 tsp Active dry yeast ( 3g)  The yeast ran out, it was actually less 1 tsp.

      1 tbsp malt powder (12 g)

      2-3 cups of King Arthur bread flour (351g = 2cups+25 grams).

      1 tsp salt ( 6g)

      1 cup of warm milk ( one minute in microwave) (240g)


Cold baking soda method :

         Happy baking,       


CJRoman's picture

Can you "Pretzel" it?

March 26, 2011 - 6:57pm -- CJRoman

I'm on a mission to perfect Pretzel Rolls and Buns...and see just what else on earth I can "Pretzel."

I know pretzel dough requires a lot of flour in order to be chewy...but the yield for rolls and buns is very disappointing.

I thought I'd try an Italina Bread recipe, something big and high-rise and just "pretzel" the dough before baking (dunk in baking soda bath). I reasoned that this type of bread expands more and so perhaps I will end up with a bigger more sandwhich-like result, that still tastes like a pretzel.

copyu's picture

Hi all,

I'm getting tired of repeating myself on "Pretzel-Related" threads where discussion of "Lye" is concerned and I always have to resist the temptation to turn the whole discussion into a Chemistry lecture. I decided a few days ago to do a little "Kitchen Science" and do an incomplete, but slightly more detailed explanation of what alkalis are all about

What I wanted to do was examine some of the claims I've read here, and on many other pretzel-making/baking/soap-making sites. I got tired of reading YahooAnswers, where someone says "If you can't get Sodium Carbonate (Na2CO3), use Sodium BI-Carbonate, because they are very similar chemicals..." This is a true, but totally vapid and rather stupid statement. Common Salt, Sodium Chloride, (NaCL) is also a 'similar chemical' to Sodium BI-Carbonate, (NaHCO3) and similar to Caustic Soda, (NaOH) because they all have only one sodium ion, per molecule, when in solution...It doesn't mean they will perform similar chemical reactions on your bread or noodle dough, however

Understanding pH in detail isn't that straightforward or easy, but as a guide-line, pH7.0 is completely 'neutral' (or in balance) and it's the measurement you should get from pure distilled water. Lower numbers are found with sour, acidic foods, such as lemon juice and vinegar, around pH3-4. Numbers above 7.0 indicate a 'basic' or 'alkaline' property. Any liquid you test will be either acidic, [low pH, well-under pH7.0]; neutral [pH7.0 or pretty close to it]; or alkaline [pH higher than 7.0]

The problems arise when people fail to realize that the pH scale is "logarithmic" [or negative logarithmic] in the same way that dB [deciBels] are in electronics. This is an "engineering solution" to dealing with ridiculously big numbers. What this means is that the difference between one point on the pH scale represents a difference of a power of ten: pH8.0 is about TEN TIMES more alkaline than pH 7.0; a solution of pH9.0 is 100 times more alkaline; pH10 is 1000 times more alkaline, and so on...A tap-water reading in many cities around the world could be as high as pH8.5, which is also the most-often quoted pH figure for Baking Soda. Caustic Soda, or 'Pretzel Lye', on the other hand (one of the strongest known alkalis), is at least 5pH points higher, meaning that it is at least 100,000 times stronger than baking soda. It is this which allows the alkali to attack the surface starch of your pretzel dough quickly and that gives the brown color and the perfect crust that many pretzel fanatics love!

What I did was make solutions using 'Aqua Purificata', the nearest thing you'll find to pure, ion-free, distilled water at a reasonable price. I measured 3g each, using my most accurate scale, of Baking Soda, Kansui Powder (the ingredients of Chinese Lye Water) and Caustic Soda (or 'Pretzel lye') and mixed the powders with 100g of purified water. I mixed each solution for two minutes in brand-new plastic containers, rinsed with the pure water and dried with heavy paper towels. I measured the pH using an $80 pH meter that is fairly well-calibrated. After 3 minutes in each solution, I took photos of the meter readings. I now think I should have delayed the photography until 5 minutes had passed, but the pics I have will give you an idea of the differences among the three main chemicals I tested

I hope this is clear enough and useful to somebody,






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