A pretzel is a twisted braided bread of German origin. They are either soft or hard. Hard pretzel, like "Salzstangen" sold as snack in every supermarkets in Germany. Other flavours, like chocolate or sugar icing coated hard pretzels are popular too. Soft pretzel is usually made from wheat flour, water, and yeast, sprinkled with coarse salt. Enjoy them with sausages, mustard and beer!
Dissolve the yeast with the lukewarm milk in a mixing bowl. Place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and make a well. Pour the yeast mixture in the well. Stir the dough until thoroughly mixed and the dough loses its stickiness. Cover and let rest until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and roll each into a rope about 15 inches /38 cm long. Twist into a pretzel shape by crossing the ends of the rope to make a loop, then twisting the crossed ends once and fold across the loop, firmly pinching the ends together. Let the dough rest for about 10-15 minutes.
- Bring a large saucepan (non-aluminum) of water to a boil. Stir in baking soda and reduce to a simmer. With a slotted spatula, lower 3 or 4 pretzels at a time into the pan. Let simmer for about 30 seconds. Drain and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt and bake in a preheated 200C/400F oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.