Growing up in Baden-Württemberg the first real schwabian food most kids have is a fresh Bretzel. Most of the children on the streets sitting in the strollers have one in the hand. Car seats all over are cleaned on Saturdays from the crumbs of this delicious treat.
Don`t think that a schwabian Brezel is like a Bavarian one. We have a part that is bigger and with a cut making it possible to have a soft roll like part and a crispy part on the same Brezel.
Our Brezels are eaten in the morning or as a treat with a cup of coffee in the evening.
It`s hard for me to talk about it but at this point in time its hard to get a good Brezel. Most of the Bakers have closed or use horrible frozen Brezeln.
They are tasteless, either bone-dry or rubbery.
So no wonder I started to bake my own.
I was inspired by this Recipe from Hefe und Mehr. But I made some changes, because that`s just what I do.
yield 20 Pretzels or Rolls
100g bread flour
1g fresh yeast
500g bread flour
400g spelt flour
300g milk (I use Goat since my boys are allergic to cow)
18g fresh yeast
1 liter water
40g NaOH pellets
coarse Salt for sprinkling
Mix water, flour and yeast for the Sponge and ferment it overnight (12 to 16 hours).
The next day: Mix all ingredients for the dough and knead it for about 3 min at low speed, then 6 min on high speed.
Ferment the dough for 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into pieces of 80g and form them into balls.
Rest them for 30 more minutes.
Now roll the dough to a strand of 65 cm. The strand should be thick in the middle and really thin at the ends. Form to a pretzel and place on a well floured tray. Proof one hour at room temperature, then place the tray for 5 minutes into the freezer ( or 30 min in the fridge). This makes the dough firmer, so it easier to place the pretzel in the lye.
In the meantime prepare the lye and heat the oven to 225°C.
Dip the pretzels for 10 seconds in the lye, then take them out with a slotted spoon.
Place on a tray lined with baking parchment. Slash the thick part of the pretzel, sprinkle with coarse salt and bake it at 225°C for 15-18 Minutes.
Place on a cooling rack and Enjoy.