PRET­ZELS MAKES 12

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1kg T55 flour (hard white wheat flour, used for mak­ing breads, avail­able in most su­per­mar­kets) 10g dry yeast 20g salt 5g bread im­prover (used to im­prove the strength and work­a­bil­ity of the dough, from spe­cial­ity bak­ery sup­pli­ers) 60g soft­ened but­ter 550-600ml cold wa­ter 50g coarse sea salt FOR THE LYE SO­LU­TION: 1l iced wa­ter 30g pret­zel lye pow­der (food­grade sodium hy­drox­ide, from spe­cial­ity bak­ery sup­pli­ers) Place all the ingredients for the dough, ex­cept the coarse salt, in a mixer with a dough hook and mix for five min­utes at medium speed, then in­crease the speed and knead for five min­utes. The dough should be smooth and elas­tic. You can also mix and knead by hand, 15 to 20 min­utes. Cover the dough with a damp tea towel and let rest for 20 min­utes. Shape the dough into the knot, prove on a bak­ing sheet at room tem­per­a­ture for 25-30 min­utes, then freeze for 20 min­utes. Add the lye to the wa­ter, stir, and place the pret­zels in the liq­uid for three min­utes. Use tongs (as lye is cor­ro­sive) to turn them over and leave for an­other three min­utes. Us­ing tongs, trans­fer pret­zels to a parch­ment-lined bak­ing sheet. Sprin­kle with coarse salt and score the top. Bake ina pre­heated oven at 210°C for 17 min­utes. Re­move from the oven, spray with wa­ter and cool.

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