Soft Pretzels

The Soft Pretzels Recipe is the German breads are great fun to make; the two-stage glazing method gives an authentic result.

Rising and proofing time:
1 1⁄2 – 2 1⁄2 hrs

2 cups bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp dried yeast
1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil,
plus extra for greasing

For the glaze:
¼ tsp baking soda
coarse sea salt
1 egg, beaten

1 Put the two types of flour, salt, and sugar into a large bowl.

2 Sprinkle the yeast over 11⁄4 cups warm water. Stir, leave for 5 minutes, and add the oil.

3 Gradually pour the liquid into the flour mixture, stirring to form a soft dough.

4 Knead for 10 minutes until smooth, soft, and pliable. Transfer to an oiled bowl.

5 Cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 1–2 hours, until nearly doubled.

6 Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knock it back.

7 Divide the dough into 16 equal sized pieces, using a sharp knife to cut it cleanly.

8 Take each piece of dough and roll it under your palm to make a log shape.

9 Using your palms, continue to roll the dough toward each end, until it is 18in (45cm) long.

10 If difficult to stretch, hold by either end and rotate in a looping action, like a jump rope.

11 Take each end of the dough and cross them over each other, forming a heart shape.

12 Now twist the ends around each other, as though they had linked arms.

13 Secure the ends to the sides of the pretzel; it will appear quite loose at this stage.

14 Repeat to make 16 pretzels, placing them on baking sheets lined with parchment.

15 Cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Leave in a warm place for 30 minutes, until puffed up.

16 Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Mix the soda in 2 tablespoons boiling water.

17 Brush the pretzels with the mixture. This gives them a dark color and chewy exterior.

18 Scatter flakes of sea salt or sesame seeds over the brushed pretzels. Bake for 15 minutes.

19 Remove from the oven and brush with a little beaten egg. Bake for another 5 minutes.

20 Remove from the oven. The pretzels should be dark golden brown with a shiny finish.

21 Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Soft Pretzels Recipe
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