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Bayern Brezen - German Soft Pretzels
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Serves/Makes:12 pretzels

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup (225 ml) warm water
  • 2 cups (475 ml) to 3 cups (700 ml) all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) salad oil
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) sugar
  • 6 tbsp (90 ml) baking soda in 6 cups (1425 ml) water
  • coarse salt
  • In a bowl, dissolve yeast in water.
  • Add 1-1/2 cups (350 ml) of the flour, the oil, and sugar.
  • Beat for about 3 minutes to make a smooth batter.
  • Gradually stir in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn out onto a floured board and knead until smooth and satiny (about 5 minutes) adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.
  • Place dough in a greased bowl; turn over to grease top.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place until double (about 1 hour).
  • Punch down dough, turn out onto a floured board,and divide into 12 pieces.
  • Shape each into a smooth ball by gently kneading.
  • Then roll each into a smooth rope about 18 inches long, and twist into a pretzel shape.
  • Place slightly apart on a greased baking sheet turning loose ends underneath.
  • Let rise, uncovered, until puffy (about 25 minutes).
  • Meanwhile, in a 3-quart stainless steel or enameled pan (not aluminum) bring soda water to a boil; adjust water to keep water boiling gently.
  • With a slotted spatula, lower 1 pretzel at a time into pan.
  • Let simmer for 10 seconds on each side, then lift from water, drain briefly on spatula, and return to baking sheet.
  • Let dry briefly, then sprinkle with coarse salt and let stand, uncovered, until all have simmered.
  • Bake in a preheated 425 degree (225 C.) oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Transfer to racks.
  • Serve warm with butter, mustard or even cream cheese.
  • Or let cool completely, wrap airtight,and freeze.
  • To reheat, place frozen on ungreased baking sheets and bake in a preheated 400 degree (200 C.) oven for about 10 minutes or until hot.

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