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Novemberfest: Pretzels with the Weston Baking Mat


Just over six months ago, I was sitting in a warm Augustiner in Munich debating with my friends about the neatly tucked pretzels in the basket that was in the middle of our long table:

"No! Don't eat them! We don't know how much they cost yet!"

"But they look so good. Who cares!"

If there's anything we learned from Italy, it was not to consume anything placed on the table until you found out how much it costs. It may sound cheap, but eat three baskets of bread at the wrong ristorante and you'll see what I mean.

But, since no one wanted to be the one to ask "wie viel? (how much?)" - which was completely unnecessary anyway as we soon discovered that just about everyone in Munich speaks English - we gobbled down about three baskets of pretzels, no questions asked. Luckily, it turned out that after the first basket, each pretzel taken from the baskets after that was 25 euro cents - considerably less expensive and far more delicious than good old Aunt Anne's.


And so I set out to recreate the buttery goodness of those pretzels. I started by making the dough with yeast, butter, flour, brown sugar, salt, and water. I let it rise for an hour and then I began rolling the dough until it was about the thickness of a pencil and 18" in length.

To twist the pretzel, I crossed the dough so that the two ends made bunny ears and the middle made a loop. Then, I twisted together the bunny ears, pinched the ends, and brought them back down to the loop (the pictures in the slideshow above help illustrate this). I always like to work in a highly floured area when I work with dough for insurance sake, and pretzel dough is no exception.

With a spatula, I dropped them carefully into boiling baking soda water for ten seconds on each side. I took them out and placed them on my salted Weston Baking Mat. I glazed them with melted butter and salted them with kosher salt, then baked them in the oven for ten minutes. I had one warm out of the oven and my kitchen table might as well have been in Munich. I saved the rest in my Weston Vacuum Dome for later.

Recipes
Bavarian Pretzels

Techniques
How To Twist A Pretzel

Tools
Weston Baking Mat                Weston Vacuum Dome



Sample Product Label
Norton
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