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GERMAN BUTTER PRETZEL - "SCHOKKO CROISSANT"

These are soft pretzels with an Old World taste and filled with butter.



Also called "Brezlen" these pretzels are an in-between-meals snack. Germans eat their pretzels with butter and forgo the mustard and cheese as in the U.S.A. German bakers also make a pretzel roll that is great with "Aufschnitt" (bologna) or the German favorite, "liverwurst".


RECIPE PRINTED FROM: THEGUTSYGOURMET.NET©


INGREDIENTS: Makes 10-12 Soft Pretzels

   •	1 T. yeast (or 1 package), dissolved for 5 minutes in 1/4 c. warm water and 2 tsp. sugar (proofed)
	•	4¼ c. bread flour
	•	1¼ c. warm water
	•	2 tsp. salt
	•	2½ T. salted butter
	•	Plastic gloves
	•	Safety goggles
	•	1 oz. food-grade lye, dissolved in 1 quart of water
	•	Salt, large flakes like Kosher salt are best

DIRECTIONS: 

 1. Pretzels are not made at home very often, because their secret taste is due to them being dipped in lye before
    baking. Lye, or caustic soda burns skin and eyes and gloves and safety glasses are recommended when making
    this pretzel recipe. Not recommended for baking with children.

USE CAUTION WHEN WORKING WITH LYE - EXTREMELY CAUSTIC!

 2. Lye is caustic and a 3% solution is considered corrosive. Always use gloves and safety glasses. Wearing long
    sleeves, pants and close-toed shoes is recommended.

 3. Measure the flour into a mixing bowl, add the salt and the proofed yeast and 1 cup of warm water. Mix by hand
    or with a stand mixer with dough hook until flour mixture comes together into a stiff ball. Add water as needed
    to form dough.

 4. Knead for 5 minutes, let rest for a few minutes and then add the butter and knead for at least 5 more minutes,
    or until butter is fully incorporated. At this time, the dough should be firm and soft, velvety to the touch.

 5. Form into a ball, butter all surfaces and let rise until double, about 1 hour in a warm spot.


 6. Wipe up spills with paper towels and dispose immediately. Rinse with water or vinegar (VINEGAR IS BEST,
    AS IT IS AN ACID AND WILL BETTER NEUTRALIZE THE ALKALINITY OF THE LYE). Rinse all utensils and
    gloves with large amounts of water and wash arms and hands after working with the solution. If you feel
    anything burning on the skin, rewash with soap and water, rinse and dry.

 7. Place wax paper on a baking sheet.

 8. De-gas the dough (punch down) and divide into 12, 2 ounce pieces. Form into balls. Using very little flour, form
     balls into 1-foot long strands, thicker in the middle and tapering towards the ends. I use water to make the
     dough slightly sticky. This helps with shaping.

 9. Take each strand and roll out again to form 2-foot strands. Twist into pretzel shape, using a little water again
     to make the ends stick to the loop. Pretzel bakers can flip pretzels into shape, but I have to coax them.

10. A good, German Pretzel is thick and soft in the middle, thin and crunchy but not dry on the arms, or ends and
      splits the loop of dough into three equal parts. The picture shows amateur pretzels lacking these traits.

11. Place the pretzels on the baking sheet and refrigerate for 1 hour. This dries out the surface and makes them
      easier to handle.

Make the lye solution**:SEE COOK'S NOTES** Put on gloves and goggles. Place 1 quart of
water in a plastic or glass container, weigh 1 ounce of food grade or reagent grade sodium hydroxide
into a bowl and add slowly to the water, stirring with a plastic spoon or similar object. 
ALWAYS ADD THE LYE TO THE WATER! NOT WATER TO THE LYE!
For scientists:  
The lye solution will be approximately 0.75 M NaOH (FW 39.99g/mol) or almost 3% w/w.

1. Remove pretzels from refrigerator and dip each for 30 seconds in the lye solution. Remove with a
slotted spoon and place on greased or parchment-paper-lined baking sheet.

2. Sprinkle pretzel with salt. Make a deep cut through the thick part of the pretzel horizontally with a
razor blade or lamé. Let pretzels rest for 15 minutes.

3. Heat oven to 375°F. Bake pretzels for 20-25 minutes, or until deep golden brown.

Dispose of lye solution according to county and state hazardous waste regulations. This might
include dilution of the solution with water, neutralization with an acid and subsequent dilution, or
taking the waste to a disposal facility. You might also keep the lye solution in a tightly closed, non
metallic container, clearly labeled, to use again, although I don't recommend this.

COOKS NOTES** 
READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS ABOUT USING LYE CAREFULLY BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO MAKE PRETZELS USING
THIS OLD AND TESTED METHOD.

NOTE: ALTHOUGH NOT THE EXACT RECIPE SHOWN,  THE VIDEO BELOW MIGHT BE OF HELP.  THIS IS A RECIPE
FOR SOFT PRETZELS AND DOES NOT USE LYE AND IS THEREFORE NOT THE REAL GERMAN RECIPE.
IT IS A VERY GOOD RECIPE THOUGH AND THAT IS WHY I INCLUDED IT.  THE RECIPE IS AS CLOSE AS
YOU ARE GOING TO GET WITHOUT USING THE LYE RECIPE.


  HOW TO MAKE SOFT PRETZELS


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