I pretzel, or pretzels, are a variety of bread typical of German-speaking countries. They are popular in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The origin of the pretzels, however, would be French or your country and their design has been attributed to medieval monks. Their home preparation can be done using the mother pasta to get one natural leavening.
The gilding and polishing of the pretzel surface is obtained from a brief immersion in boiling water e sodium bicarbonate, which replaces the caustic soda used in their industrial version. With the indicated doses you will be able to obtain 12-15 medium sized pretzels.
For the refreshment of sourdough
100 grams of sourdough
100 grams of organic or wholemeal flour
For the dough
400 grams of organic or wholemeal flour
5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Salt up whole
For the preparation
2 liters of water
1 tablespoon of baking soda
Fennel, poppy or sesame seeds (optional)
1) Start with the sourdough refreshment. Pour it into a bowl by combining half a glass of water in which to dissolve the sourdough and 100 grams of flour. Work everything with your fingers until you return to the initial consistency of the sourdough. Peel off half of it and place it in its jar for storage.
2) Switch todough of pretzels adding the flour, extra virgin olive oil, salt and water to the sourdough remaining in the bowl to form an elastic and easily workable dough. Knead with your hands for a few minutes until the mixture is smooth and homogeneous. Leave bump up the dough at room temperature, placing it in a bowl covered with a cloth, for 6-8 hours, until its volume is doubled.
3) When the dough is ready, divide it into medium-sized balls and start making pretzels. With each ball of dough create an elongated stripe, as in the preparation of gnocchi, measuring about 30 centimeters. Fold everything, as shown in the following images, to form the pretzels. Arrange them one by one on a floured surface or tray.
4) Meanwhile bring to a boil 2 liters of water, to which you will add a tablespoon of bicarbonate. Lift each pretzel with one metal skimmer and immerse it in boiling water for 30 seconds. Then place it on a baking sheet covered with baking paper. Proceed like this for all the pretzels.
5) Decorate each pretzel with coarse salt and fennel, sesame or poppy seeds when the surface is still wet and press lightly with your fingers. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 ° C for 40-45 minutes until golden brown. Let the pretzels cool before serving. In Germany, pretzels are often served with mustard sauce.
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