Pretzel or Laugen Knots

Of course this is a nod to my motherland – and how could you not love anything pretzel? There is a little bit of cheating involved here as professional bakers will use a lye bath for the rolls to give them their distinct colour and flavour. That is not only hard to come by but also to be used with caution, so the salt bath you are giving them instead is a great way to get pretty much the same result. Of course you can just make them into rolls, but the knot reminds me even more of home and it is not that difficult to do. This amount of dough will give you 8 knots or rolls.


Dough Salt Bath

400 gr strong bread flour 2 litres of water

10gr dry active yeast OR 20 gr of fresh yeast 2 heaped table spoons of salt

200 to 250 ml of warm water

1 table spoon of caster sugar

1 heaped teaspoon salt

some milk or beaten egg to brush

Coarse salt or mixed seeds to sprinkle on top

Start by mixing the yeast, sugar and a good 200ml of water to make the initial mixture and let it rest for about ten minutes

Mix the flour thoroughly with the salt in the meantime

Using the dough hook, gradually add the flour to the yeast mixture. Add some more water if you think the mixture is too dry but only a little at a time until you have a smooth ball of dough

Place the dough in a slightly oiled bowl shaped into a neat ball, cover it with a dry tea towel and let it rest in a warm place for about an hour or until it has doubled in size

Have a cup of tea and put your feet up

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees

Knead the dough for a few minutes to get rid of any trapped air, then divide it into 8 equal parts

Roll them each out into a sausage, then form them into a knot or just roll them into a ball. If you do the latter, flatten them gently with your hand and cut a cross in the top

Add the salt to the water and bring it to the boil

Add your knots or rolls to the boiling water, but only for 30 seconds, then flip them over and leave them another 30 seconds before removing them onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. They will puff up in the salt bath and dry very quickly once removed

Brush them with some milk, I prefer that but you can use a beaten egg if you like

Sprinkle with coarse salt or seeds or just leave them plain

Bake them for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are a golden brown on top


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