PRETZELS MAKES 12
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.