Glorious Pretzel

Oh those glorious Hungarian pretzels! I remember how I longed for them when I was a little girl. Wandering about the magnificent Zoo in Budapest and passing the cages by, neither elephant,kangaroo, or zebra was as exciting as seeing the pretzels on the top of each other at the small buffet car. The huge golden pretzels were stitched onto a wooden pole like somebody had been playing a horseshoes game with them. I love the saltines of the pretzel; eating them was like a ritual for me. First, I got rid of all the salt hanging from the pretzel, and by ‘get rid of’ I meant ate it! The next bite was from the pretzel’s big ring which was usually crispy and often cold from the weather. Then I had the heart of the pretzel, the twisty middle which was always soft. Oh those glorious pretzels!

 

Ingredients for 8 pretzel

500 g self rising flour

250 ml milk

yeast

1/2 teaspoon castersugar

1 teaspoon salt

1.5 (21 ml) tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon baking powder

 

For the top

1 egg

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoon flour

or sunflower seeds

or cheese

water

 

I start with reactivating the yeast in warm milk. The amount of the yeast used depends on what kind of yeast are you using, check the packaging for the exact measurement. I used 12 g dried active yeast for this recipe. Put the sugar and a pinch of flour into 100 ml warm milk, stir it till until it dissolves then add the yeast, and stir again. Keep in a warm warm place if you can and wait until it develops some froth on top. Usually it takes 10-15 minutes.

Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, add the salt, olive oil, the rest of the milk and the frothy yeast. Work on the dough till you get a fairly firm, flexible dough then set aside to rest for 45 minutes.

Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces then from each piece roll a long, 1 cm diameter cylinder and fold into a pretzel shape you like. Usually I create a ”U” shape first then hold together the ends and twist twice then pull the corner over the twist. It”s much simpler than it sounds.

Preheat the oven 210 °C. Boil some water in a tall pot with the baking powder and briefly place the pretzels inside. Cook each one for 15 seconds then move them to a tray and rest them for 10 minutes.. The best is if you cover the tray gently with olive oil before-hand so the pretzels won’t stick.

Whisk the egg and use it to paint the pretzels. You can sprinkle some seeds but if you like to have salty or cheesy pretzels just leave them naked. Pop them into a hot oven for 12 minutes. While they are cooking mix up the flour and salt with a bit of water till you get a texture similar to a yogurt. After 12 minutes take out the pretzels, sprinkle with the salty mixture or grated cheese and put back in the oven for another 5 minutes.

Enjoy it!

Cooking time:120 minutes

Calories and nutrition:l

Calories: 266 Carbohydrate: 48.6 g Protein: 1.8 g Fat: 2.9 g Cholesterol: 2.6 g

 

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