Bretzeln (pronounced bret tz eln) are the soft variety that you can find at German bakeries.
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (about 37C or 100F)
2 1/2 cups flour (more or less depending on the humidity)
3 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoons sugar
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Mix in one half of the flour, oil and sugar. With an electric mixer (or a spoon) beat the mixture for about 3 minutes, or until it becomes smooth. Stir in the remaining flour until it forms a loose ball. On a floured surface, kneed the dough for about 5 minutes. (Until the dough is smooth and elastic) Put the dough back in an oiled bowl, cover. Place in a warm place until the dough doubles. (This should take about an hour)
Next, punch down the dough and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Form each section into a rope that's about 45cm or 1 1/2 feet. Twist the dough into a pretzel shape. (or for something new, you can also make your own knot shapes) Place all of the formed pretzels on an oiled baking sheet, cover and let them rest for a half an hour. (until they've risen and almost doubled)
In a large stainless steel pot, boil the water and add 1 tablespoon of baking soda for every cup of water. Gently place one pretzel in the water and let it boil for 20 seconds. Repeat with all of the pretzels and place then back on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt, and then bake them for 13 minutes (or until nicely browned) in a 220C or 450F oven.
Serve them warm with butter, or mustard. When they're room temperature you can also cut them in half and use them for a sandwich.
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