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Can I Make "Pretzel Bread"?

Updated: Aug 26, 2020

This was one of things I did as part of my #quarantinebaking . :) The pretzel bread from allrecipes.com via Pinterest looked really good.

It fits for Pretzel Day too! Info about this at the bottom of the post.



Attempt #1:

I made a half-batch; so I used half of this recipe. I didn't use an egg wash either.

What I used:

- 1 Egg

- 2 tbsp Butter or margarine

- 3 cups All-purpose flour

- 3/4 cup Baking soda

- 2 tbsp Brown sugar

- 1 envelope Fleischmann's rapidrise yeast

- 2 tsp Salt

- 1 cup Milk

- 3 1/8 qt Water

Yeast in milk vs. water?

Something that is interesting when I notice when I'm baking is how yeast is used. I've mentioned before it's like a little science experiment and I wonder if the bread will rise. It does. In this recipe, you add the yeast to warm milk and butter mixture. In other baking recipes I've tried, you add the yeast to water. I wonder what the difference between adding yeast to milk or water does. This recipe you add a little brown sugar vs. granulated white sugar I've used in other recipes.

What does baking soda bath do for pretzels?

Something I like about making pretzels whether it be for pretzel bites from pre-made pizza dough (link and photo right) is that you put them in a baking soda bath. So I wondered what does this do.


"Traditionally this alkaline bath was made using food-grade lye. However, lye can be tricky to get your hands on and trickier to use — it’s a hazardous chemical and requires special precautions in order to use it safely. If this sounds a little too adventurous for your taste, never fear: baking soda makes a fine substitute. Your pretzels won’t getquitethe same depth of color or deep pretzel-y flavor, but it’s the method that I use and recommend. (P.S. Harold McGee says that you can get a near-lye-like quality with your pretzels bybaking the baking sodabefore using it. Give it a try if you have some time!) "


"That's because the alkaline lye bath affects the way the Maillard reaction plays out when the pretzel bakes, says Bread Science author Emily Buehler. The Maillard process is integral to all bread baking — it shapes the way the crust forms and tastes. In the case of the pretzel, the Maillard reaction is responsible for the deep brown crust, crunchy arms and distinctive taste.

At its most basic, the Maillard process is a heat-activated reaction between small sugars and amino acids. Dipping dough in lye alters the ratio between sugar and protein, because lye breaks proteins present in the dough into smaller bits. Those are the small amino acids that then combine with sugars in the dip to create the flavor compounds at the pretzel's crust."



Here is the yeast with butter, milk, and brown sugar. Then I kneaded it for 8-10 min. (while watching TV) it into a dough. This photo on the right is before kneading.

I let it rise for an hour or so.

Then I gave them a bath in baking soda and water. They puff up some more. I baked them at 400 degrees for about 18-20 min.

RESULT: Success! :)

We are good at this! They were nice and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I ate them as a roll, but you can use them for sandwiches. They are yummy!

Some photos and info about Pretzel Day at the bottom of the post.

Give it a try! We are good at this!


Pretzel Day

National Pretzel Day is observed annually on April 26.  A bag of nice crunchy, salty pretzels or a big, warm, soft, cinnamon pretzel is the question of the day.  Either one is an excellent choice.

There are a few different accounts of the origin of the pretzel.  Most people agree that it does have a Christian background, and they were developed by the monks.  According to The History of Science and Technology, in 610 AD, “an Italian monk invents pretzels as a reward to children who learn their prayers.  He calls the strips of baked dough, folded to resemble arms crossing the chest, pretiola (little rewards).”

Another source puts the invention in a monastery in southern France. The looped pretzel may also be related to a Greek Ring bread from the communion bread used in monasteries a thousand years ago.  In the Catholic Church, pretzels had a religious significance for both ingredients and shape. The loops in pretzel may have served a practical purpose: bakers could hang them on sticks, projecting upwards from a central column, as shown in Job Berckheyde’s (1681) painting.

The Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants introduced pretzels to North America in the 19th century.  At this time, many handmade pretzel bakeries populated central Pennsylvania, and their popularity quickly spread.

It was in the 20th century that soft pretzels were very popular in areas such as Philadelphia, Chicago and New York. 


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