Jack here with my second recipe on the Love and Lemons blog. This recipe is one near and dear to my heart – big, doughy, German-style pretzels!
Now, while Germans tend to dip their Laugenbrezel in butter, that’s not how I do it. I dip them in spicy brown mustard. And when we started working with Sir Kensington’s, the first thing I said when I opened up the sample package of Ketchup and Mayonnaise was “Where is the mustard?” Sir Kensington himself has heard my call, and here is the mustard. And its best friend – pretzels.
The traditional recipe for Laugenbrezel is nothing short of terrifying. Why? Because they make the dough, twirl it up and dip it in lye. As in, the stuff that soap used to be made of. As in, the stuff you wear rubber gloves and eyewear to handle. We will not be doing that. But one thing we will be doing – and what does NOT terrify me – is making dough.
Dough has become one of my favorite things to work with. Many of you may not know this, but I’m a software engineer by trade, and I like things to be… measured. When I’m cooking with Jeanine, it’s always “a pinch of this, a splash of that.” Also, Jeanine has a fairly well documented problem with waiting in lines. Well, working with dough is full of exact measurements, and waiting for it to rise may as well be waiting in line to her. So I’ve found my “thing” for the blog now, and my thing is dough.
These pretzels are wonderful and simple, because you’re essentially making fairly standard dough, using baking soda and boiling water to smooth out the outside, then baking it. That’s really about it. The hardest part, probably, is twirling the pretzel. My main modifications from Laugenbrezel are to use maple syrup instead of barley malt syrup, oil instead of butter, and baking soda instead of severe burns and lawsuits (lye).
And of course, serve these wonderful vegan pretzels with your favorite spicy brown mustard. Might we suggest Sir Kensington’s?
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ package (1/2 tablespoon) active dry yeast
- ¾ cup water (1/4 cup for proofing, ½ cup for dough)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons baking soda (this is for the boiling water NOT the dough)
- 6 cups water, in a pot (for boiling)
- Coarse salt (for sprinkling)
- Proof the yeast: Put ¼ cup warm water, maple syrup, and yeast into a small cup and stir until yeast dissolves. If yeast does not foam, try again with another yeast packet.
- Make the dough: If you have a mixer with a dough hook, put the flour, salt, oil, proofed yeast mixture, and an additional ½ cup of water (for a total of ¾ cups water) into the mixer. Run on medium low for about 5-6 minutes (until the dough pulls away from the bowl). If you don’t have a dough hook, mix and knead dough ingredients for about 8-10 minutes.
- Brush the inside of a large glass bowl with a little bit of oil. Form the dough into a ball and put it in the bowl. Cover and allow the dough to rise for about 40 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
- Uncover your dough and punch it down few times. Really let it have it.
- Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper on it. Set aside.
- Prepare an oiled work surface. Cut the dough into 4 or 6 equal sections (depending on the size you want your pretzels), and roll each out to an approx. 18-24 inches long rope.
- Grab the ends of each dough rope to make a U shape, then form into a pretzel shape.
- Put 6 cups of water into a pot and dissolve the 2 tablespoons of baking soda into the water and bring to a rolling boil.
- Drop pretzels, one at a time, into the pot (get close so it doesn’t splash!). Each should sink a little then rise up. Wait 30 seconds, then lift out using a slotted spoon and place each onto the cookie sheet. While still wet, sprinkle liberally with coarse salt. Take a sharp knife and cut a 4-6 inch slit along the bottom of the pretzel. (This slit will open up during baking).
- Bake for about 14 minutes. Watch them like a hawk – when they’re golden brown, they’re done.
This recipe is built up of some research of multiple recipes, but is mostly based on this recipe from Saveur.
This post is sponsored by Sir Kensington’s. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that keep us cooking!