The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


staff of life's picture
staff of life


I just spoke with a woman today who had come back from Germany.  She said she had enjoyed Laugensbrot there, which to me, basically sounds like a pretzel in bread shape.  Anyone have any more info or a recipe?


Eli's picture

I have had Landbrot but I don't recall laugensbrot unless it is strictly a bakery (house) recipe.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Take a bagel recipe then put lots of soda in the water bath and boil it. If you use too little soda, the pretzel flavor will be missing but you will end up with bagels. I think 1/4 cup soda to one quart water. Bagels are older than pretzels, and I think pretzels originated out of an bagel recipe. The similarities are uncanny. The longer the shaped dough is allowed to rise, the fluffier the bread.

You will smell the effect right away. If you need to add soda to hot water, do it slowly, sifting it in otherwise the pot might foam over.

My favorite form is to make a cigar shape and tie it into a simple knot and let rest.

Mini O

kgpowell's picture

I just joined here, so this is my first post.  I've been baking bread for a couple of months.

My wife, kids and I lived in Germany for a year, and visit there occasionally. Laugenbrot is a favorite of ours.  It basically comes in three forms: Laugenbroetchen (rolls), Laugenbrezeln (pretzels) and Laugenstangen (mini-batards).  All are salted, have a dark exterior, and a very "pretzel" taste. Zingerman's bakery here in Ann Arbor sell Laugenstange as "pretzel bread." Laugen is German for lye - Laugenbrot is lye-bread.

So when I started baking bread, my first mission was to bake Laugenbrot.  My first effort was along the lines of the above post - I made bagel dough, replacing a sweetened water dip with a caustic water dip using a baking soda solution.  The result was pretty good, but wasn't quite right.

I found a recipe for pretzels in Michel Suas's Advanced bread and pastry.  Here it is:



  • 48 g bread flour

  • 48 g water

  • pinch instant yeast

Mix and ferment 12-16 hours at room temperature


Final dough


  • 491 g bread flour

  • 146 g water

  • 146 g milk

  • 4 g instant yeast

  • 10 g salt

  • 14 g butter

  • 96 g poolish

Mix (3 minutes on lowest setting, 6 minutes on next setting).  Ferment 30 minutes, divide into 10 85 gram pieces, preshape as a light ball.  Rest 20 minutes, shape as a pretzel or a batard.  Proof 1 1/2 hours.

Then comes the interesting step.  Dip for five seconds in a 3-4% solution of food-grade lye.  I got this from AAA chemical.  It's nasty stuff; you need gloves and glasses when measuring it (it's in small crystals, like salt) and pouring it into the water.  I use 1 liter of water and 30 g of lye.  I learned the hard way to pour the lye into cold water and THEN boil the water.  Otherwise it foams over and makes a caustic, nasty mess.

Then roll in coarse salt, score and bake 15 minutes at 450 F.

Here's the result for Laugenstange.  Tastes great!

RFMonaco's picture

Thanks for the info! (Brightened the pic a bit)

Smo's picture

Neat!  I also lived a while in Germany (half a year in Stuttgart), and came back craving laugenbroetchen.  I liked to slice them in half and make nutella sandwiches.  :)


My favorite laugeney treat was the laugencroissant.  Most of the bakeries in Stuttgart made horrible, lifeless blobs, but Hafendoerfers (easily the best in Stuttgart) made wonderful light, fluffy, salty croissants.  I wonder if they're made using the same dough as other laugenstaenge?


My efforts in bread-baking have been an attempt to duplicate the 100% WW spelt breads made in that bakery; I don't know how they did it, but I've got a copy of their brochure and the ingredients are only spelt flour, sourdough starter, frischquark (a type of cheese), yeast, salt, and water.

sitzhaki's picture



you can take a look at this German web site:

I have been baking the Laugenstangen recipe with great success. The result is very similar to a mix between rolls and pretzels.

Mix flour, yeast, 150ml water, sugar, butter and salt in a bowl.

Shape into 6 pieces, with the center slightly thicker than the ends. Cover with cloth and leave for 10 minutes. Boil 1 L water with baking soda on medium heat.

Cook each roll for 30 seconds in the boilding water, remove and drain. Place each roll on baking parchment and spread coarse salt, sesame etc. Leave to cool for 30 minutes covered.

Bake for 20 minutes in pre-heated oven to 225C until golden brown.

The recipe for 6 rolls:


250g strong flour

20g yeast

2tsp sugar

150ml warm water

2tsp salt

10g butter

1L water

1tsp baking soda

coarse salt, sesame etc.


Good Luck,