The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

pretzel problem shaping

restless baker's picture
restless baker

pretzel problem shaping

hey guys, long time no see.  I have been trying pretzel but after 3 times of trying, i have some problems with shaping and taste. since we don't have a pretzel in my country I am not sure how it must end up tasting. 

first try: ugly and bad 

second try: too sweet, looked better still shape is off, fluffy, more water content. used oil and not butter. too hard to shape. 65% hydration 


third try: added salt crystals, it's saltier, it I use almost 55% hydration. the shape is still off. used too much eggwash.

140 grams water 
260 grams flour
5 grams salt
2 grams sugar
7 grams yeast
22 grams melted butter

120 grams baking soda 2 liters of water---> for baking soda bath

kneaded the dough for 15 min then rest for 1 hour, then tried to shape it on an oiled surface. then left it in baking soda bath for 30 seconds and then baked it for 15 min at 220 degrees C. 

it tastes good, salty, not too fluffy. what should I do to make it look better and taste better, I mean I have problems not only with shaping but also I guess with taste, please guide me and let me know what I must do. 

Rube Goldberg's picture
Rube Goldberg

I assume you don't want to mess with lye? Everyone says it is necessary to make great pretzels but, I don't want to use it either. Alton Brown's soft pretzel recipe is good and easy. it uses and egg wash. Recipe is here........

Rube Goldberg's picture
Rube Goldberg
Rube Goldberg's picture
Rube Goldberg

Still taste good! :)

RedEng's picture


I recently tried this recipe and found it quite easy and delicious.

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

Did you bake your baking soda?  That is trick to using it instead of lye.

restless baker's picture
restless baker

dear Rube Goldberg : i used the recipe you shared and I also did some of my own adjustments and this time I got it right. 

dear RedEng : awesome link I will look into it.

dear Edo Bread : I didn't look for lye and I guess its more expensive than baking soda, so I made a baking soda bath. 

last attempt :