From: (Micaela Pantke)

Date: Tue, 27 Jul 93 13:17:12 +0200



(8 pretzels)

From: (David M. Martin Jr.)

This is essentially the same recipe that Steve Schmid posted to on January 9, 1992, modified for household quantities
and American kitchens (i.e., volumes instead of weights)

1 cup whole milk
4 teaspoons sugar
1/4 oz yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1 tsp shortening
3 cups flour
Pretzel or kosher salt for sprinkling
Lye dip

The lye dip is an essential part of this recipe.  To prepare it, get a
sealable container, perhaps a tupperware sort of thing, and fill it with
a gallon of cold water.  Wearing latex gloves and protective eyegear,
*slowly* add 6oz of (caustic soda alias lye alias NaOH) pellets,
stirring carefully with a metal spoon until the pellets are dissolved. 
Seal the container until you are ready to use it.  Notes:

1.  This stuff is not only poisonous, it is extremely...  well, caustic. 
It will eat a hole in your hand if you let it, so don't play any games
with it & keep it far away from kids.  Flush any unintentional contact
with water. 

2.  I didn't quite have 6oz when I made the dip.  In fact, I don't know
how much I had for sure..  maybe 3oz or so, and I used less water, and
everything came out fine.  I don't think the recipe is particularly
sensitive to the exact proportions of lye to water, so don't worry too
much about this. 

Procedure (about 2 hours from start to finish):
1.  Warm the milk somewhat and dissolve the sugar and yeast into it.  (I
usually zap the milk for about 45 secs.  The warming part might not be

2.  Add the salt and shortening. 

3.  Gradually add the flour.  As soon as you can work on it with your
hands, move it to a pastry board and knead in enough of the flour to
make a good stiff dough.  It shouldn't be sticky at all when you start
forming the knots. 

4.  Form the knots: chop off a tenth or so of the dough.  Using both
hands, roll it into a rope with tapered ends and a relatively thick
middle.  Tie the characteristic pretzel knot shape:
		 _   _
		/ \ / \
		|  X  |
		 /   \

Transfer the pretzel to a baking pan or something and cover it with a
damp cloth to keep it fresh. 

5.  When you have them all formed, put them somewhere warm 80-90F) to
rise for 1/2 hour or less.  (I turn my electric oven on to 150F for a
minute, turn it off, and let the pretzels rise there.)

6.  When they have risen, they will be somewhat bumpy, sweaty, and ugly. 
Remove the covers and let them cool for 10 minutes or so in front of a
fan or in the refrigerator until the outer skin has become tough and can
take some handling. 

7.  You are now ready to dip and bake them.  My biggest problem with
this recipe is keeping the pretzels from sticking when I bake them. 
Dipping them in liquid on the way into the oven makes them want to stick
to just about every surface I have tried, even when I toughen the
bottoms as well in step 6.  The best solution I have is to use bread
stones with gobs of cornmeal.  I hope someone in netland has a better
idea!  Heat the oven to 400F. 

8.  Remove your heated baking surface from the oven and place it close
to your lye dip and ready-to-bake pretzels.  Don't burn your counter! 
Wearing your protective gear, individually dip the pretzels and place
them on the baking surface.  Be careful: the pretzels become fragile
after being dipped.  After you have dipped them all, sprinkle salt on
the thick part and bake them for about 15 minutes.  Note: Steve's
original recipe called for 30 minutes at 400F.  I really can't explain
the discrepancy, although I've never calibrated my oven.  Perhaps it's
running hot. 

9.  Many people like them as is or with mustard.  In Swabia Germany),
they are sliced about half-way through from the thick end to the thin
(as if you were opening a clam), smeared with butter, and eaten as a
little sandwich.  Of course, they're great with a fine beer. 

These pretzels are fun to make and great to eat, but they don't keep
very long.  After 10 hours or so, the sprinkled salt will begin to seep
back into the dough and vanish entirely, leaving hideous warts, and the
dough will toughen. 

(12 soft pretzels)

From: (Glenn Chappell)

1 pkg    yeast
3 cups   bread flour
1/2 tsp  sugar
1 cup    warm/hot water (whatever temperature you use for yeast breads)
1 egg    yolk
1 Tbsp   water (any temperature)
coarse salt

Mix 1st four ingredients, knead, and let rise.  (Okay, what *I* do is
stick the whole mess in my handy-dandy DAK Turbo IV on the
White-Manual-Turbo cycle, and let it do the dirty work.  It doesn't do
the baking, though.)

Separate dough into 12 equally-sized blobs.  Mix egg yolk & Tbsp water
in a bowl.  For each blob, roll into cylinder about 18 inches long,
shape into a pretzel (this is harder than you might think ...) brush
with egg stuff, sprinkle with coarse salt, and put on greased cookie

Note: Feel free to use egg substitute instead of the egg, or just skip
the egg, and brush with only water (to help the salt stick).  Or, leave
off the glaze and the salt entirely. 

Let pretzels rise again for 30 minutes.  (Very impatient and/or hungry
people can omit this step.  I often do.)

Bake for 10-12 minutes in preheated 475 deg (F) oven.  Eat as soon as

I've been making lots of (soft) pretzels lately. I've generally been
quite happy with how they turn out, and all my friends love 'em. They
taste just *perfect*, but they don't look right, i.e., they come out
an off-white "bread color", not the smooth dark brown "pretzel color"
that every pretzel I've ever bought had.


From: (Greg Richter)

1 pkg       active dry yeast
1 cup       of warm water
2 3/4 cups  flour
2 tblsp     soft butter
1/2 tsp     salt
1/2 cup     baking soda
more water 

Proof 1 package active dry yeast in 1 cup of warm water.

In a food processor or mixer, place: 1 1/2 cups flour 2 tablespoons soft
butter 1/2 tsp salt

Add the yeast and beat or process for several minutes (longer than you
think you should - you can start with cooler water if using the food
processor, as it heats the dough up quite a bit.)

Add 1 1/4 cups flour, and knead until the dough is no longer sticky. 
Let rise in a covered greased bowl until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. 
Punch down and divide into 12 pieces.  Keep them under a towel until you
are ready to shape them.  Shape each piece into a large pretzel, and
place on a greased sheet to rise for about 20 minutes.  

In the meantime, in a large non-aluminum skillet, heat a lot of water
with about 1/2 cup baking soda in it.  If you have a bread baking stone
or tile (recommended) place it in the oven to preheat to 500 degrees
(yes, 500).  With a slotted spoon, carefully lower each pretzel into the
simmering baking soda water, turn it to coat it, and then put it back
onto the pan (or on the stone, whichever you are using).  Sprinkle each
pretzel with coarse salt. 

Bake about 10-15 minutes.  The pretzels will get a very shiny brown,
thanks to the baking soda.  For extra crispness, let them bake the last
5 minutes directly on the lowest oven rack. 


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