Pretzels originated in Germany, Austria and Switzerland during the middle ages, but today however are one of the most popular bar snacks throughout America.
As apposed to the small hard cracker like pretzels, this recipe is for the large soft ones.
Soft pretzels are easy to make but be warned, they are deliciously addictive. With a salty and hard exterior and a slightly salty and sweet chewy interior you can understand why they are a number one bar snack perfect along side a cold beer, or a gin and tonic – now all you need is a sports game to watch. Does cricket substitute for baseball?
500g plain flour
4 packets (28g) active dry yeast
40g caster sugar
75g lard, softened and chopped finely
325ml, tepid milk
125ml salted warm water, for brushing
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan forced). In a bowl or food processor with a dough hook attachment mix together the flour, a pinch salt, yeast, sugar and the lard. Stir to combine and slowly add the milk until a moist dough forms. (Add the milk slowly as you may not need all of the milk depending on your flour and yeast.)
Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a draught free place for 15 minutes to rise.
After 15 minutes either by hand or with a dough hook kneed the dough until it is smooth and elastic. – This should take 15 minutes.
Dust your hands with flour and divide the dough into 12. Roll each ball into 40cm long rolls about 1cm in diameter. Roll each end slightly thinner and bring the 2 ends together. Twist the thin ends together and fold inwards to make a loose knot.
Place the pretzels in a greased baking sheet and brush with the salted water and sprinkle with salt.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, brushing the pretzels with more water twice again during the baking so they are crisp and golden.
Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.