The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pretzel help

Atropine's picture

Pretzel help

I posted a question on the preztle recipe thread, but thought this was more appropriate place.

 I have tried to make pretzels but the problem I have is that when I put the dough into the boiling water, it instantly started to turn into noodle--soggy and messy.

 Then when I tried to bake them (thinking "Well, these are the instructions, that must be what it is supposed to do") it was exactly as successful as baking a giant soggy noddle might be--namely UNsuccessful.


Is y'all's dough just REALLY stiff?  Air dried slightly so that there is a skin?  How do you get it to hold up to the boiling water?  Even the quickest dip resulted in the outside misshaping and "noodling".


I love hot the butter and the I need the bread!  Thanks for your help! :-)

staff of life's picture
staff of life


I've never made pretzels, but here are a couple thoughts:

I know bagels are pretzels' kin, and in order to keep bagels from falling apart in the boiling water (and also for the right texture), you have to use high-gluten flour.  Maybe your flour is too low in gluten?  I don't think even regular high-protein bread flour would work, it has to be labeled high-gluten flour.

Also, are you letting it rise before dunking it in the water?  That also would make it more fragile, and is not recommended (at least in the recipes that I've seen) for bagels.

 Good Luck and let me try one when you're done!


alconnell's picture

I make these pretzels all the time:

Yes the dough is really stiff, and yes, it is lye that is used.  Some folks report good results using baking soda instead of lye, but I never found them to taste the same.  I just dip them for about 30 sec. in the solution, then bake.  It is not boiling.  Also, this dough is not proofed much, nor kneaded much.