The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pretzel Baking........

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Sedlmaierin's picture
Sedlmaierin

Pretzel Baking........

Today was an exciting day- I almost kissed and hugged the UPS delivery guy, since he brought me my coveted package of food grade lye! A few days ago I finally received Hamelman's "Bread"book and was very eager to try out his pretzel recipe. I had read some good things about it on a German blog, and sicne my one and only pretzel makign attempt a few years ago, was HORRID, I had high hopes for this one.


There were a few changes that I ended up making to the recipe-one was I had no bread flour so just used all-purpose and the second was, I ended up having to refrigerate the pate fermentee for a few hours before proceeding.


Words cannot describe my elation at the finished product!Knowing that there are many different ways of making a pretzel(and not intending to put down any other methods)- my pretzel desires are pretty straightforward- I want a bavarian Laugenbreze-a lye dipped pretzel.Crunchy, with that distinctive taste made only by the lye bath, slightly chewy in the middle, and the arms need to be crispy.


My shaping still leaves much to be desired-it said to shape them with their bellies being slightly thicker-well, my guys are PREGNANT! But the taste, oh the taste, could not be better.


All I can say, is these are PRETZELS in my book! I swear-this is one of the best days in my US-bound life! I now can make and eat real pretzels!


YIPPIE!



Christina


P.S.: I also made some very yummy sourdough waffles this morning-even my son(who for some strange reason doesn't like waffles) ate them with glee!Oh happy day!

Comments

copyu's picture
copyu

It's clear from the color that you used an alkali to attack the outer layer of starch on those scrummy-looking pretzels/Brezeln. 


Would you mind sharing the name or web address of the place that delivers food-grade 'lye' with the rest of us? Here in Japan, I would need my wife to go with me to the local pharmacy to explain what I need and why, but our schedules (weekends) don't match up at the moment...


Cheers and well done!


copyu 

Boboshempy's picture
Boboshempy

These look soooooo good!  I love how they came out.  I've been to Munich a bunch of times and have never had pretzels in the US as good as in Germany.  Your post makes me want to give a try at these.  Where did you buy the lye from?


Nick

Sedlmaierin's picture
Sedlmaierin

Thanks to both of you for the compliments-unfortunately they are all gone now! I guess I will have to start another batch today............I purchased the lye here:


http://www.essentialdepot.com/servlet/the-2/2-lbs-Food-Grade/Detail


It was a really quick turnaround and I think shipping was around $11. I read on a German website that one is supposed to be able to store and reuse the lye solution-I have not done so,but might in the future.


Happy baking!


Christina

copyu's picture
copyu

Your link was much appreciated, even though they won't ship to Japan <Grrr!>


I have a nephew living in Germany and will ask him to bring a couple of hundred grams of NaOH pellets for me when he visits us next month. (It will be a good test of his German language skills talking to a pharmacist...)


I'm dying to try some 'real' pretzels again!


Thanks for the reply and for the original post.


copyu

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Now you have given me another project on my list of things I have to do! Thanks a lot! I'll be ordering lye this week. We'll see what happens. I think there's even a whole wheat recipe in the Whole Grains Recipe book from PR. Those are some yummy looking preggo pretzels!

smasty's picture
smasty

I've been wanting to make authentic pretzels too!  I'll have to check my "Bread" book...I assume he gives instructions on the use of the lye?  Did you get special pretzel salt?  Where?

Sedlmaierin's picture
Sedlmaierin

Nope, no special Pretzel Salt-it is just coarse sea salt and a lot of it,since I love salty Pretzels and one can always rub it off if too it's much but you can't add any if you  put too little on to begin with ;p


Am making another batch today-the excitment is almost too much to take! And yeah, Hamelman gives directions for the lye bath-I ended up not even using the gloves since I dipped each pretzel separately and it really wasn't hard to keep my fingers out of the solution.Have fun!