In Alsace, the bretzel is the traditional accompaniment of beers.
- 500g Stronghold flour
- 10g Salt
- 50g Yeast
- 50g Butter
- 20cl Milk
- 1 Egg yolk
- Some Sea salt and cumin seeds (caraway seeds)
Mix well the flour and the salt and separately mix the milk and the yeast. Form a dough with the flour, melted butter and the yeast flour mixture.
Knead on a floured board for 10 to 15 minutes. Cover with a clean kitchen cloth and let proof for 1 hour.
Knead the risen dough for another 5 minutes. Take some of the dough and form a cylinder about 12 inches long. Tie a knot to give the bretzel its traditional shape (see picture). Repeat until all the dough has been used.
The next step is to poach them in simmering salted water for 2 minutes. Place them to dry on a clean kitchen cloth. It is not the easiest part of the job!
Place your bretzel on tray, brush with some egg wash. Set aside to rest for an another hour.
Sprinkle with the sea salt and cumin seeds and bake at 200 degrees Centigrade for 15 minutes. Let cool down on a pastry rack.
Finally I would like to put a stop to the whole Bretzel VS Pretzel war that is going on. The only difference between these two is: a letter. They are the same thing. But, as I am a firm believer of the respect of the original definition of a traditional recipes I have to say that I am a little bit irritated with the Pretzel. But hey! Everybody is entitled to his/ her own opinion!
"How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?"
Charles De Gaulle