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Yearning for adventure and beauty, longing for moment of peace, hoping for a breath of fresh air.
Announcing our 2020 Photography calendars, with stunning photos telling of these incredible precious and fragile places we call the wilderness of the West.
When the weather turns and the cold creeps into the house I turn to baking to keep the family well fed and in good spirits. Not just for Oktoberfest, but year round this a one of my family’s favorite recipes.
The most amazing pretzels you can bake at home (now with lye, because you only live once!)
Inspiration: This recipe is adaptation from a recipe I found in Daniel Leader’s book Bread Alone. It is a wonderful bread baking book in which Daniel Leader, baker of famed ‘Bread Alone’ from Boiceville, New York tells the stories of his travels all over Europe, where he finds the most amazing local recipes from Italy, France, Germany, and other areas. Buy it — it’s worth every penny!
(Makes two baking sheets full, or about 16, depending on the size, because why wouldn’t you want that many?)
Yes, all measurements are in grams, because if you’re baking and haven’t switched to grams, you are doing it wrong.
Boil the pretzels or dip them in a lye solution. I used to only boil them because I was a chicken and didn’t want to deal with the lye. I finally broke down, bought some lye on Amazon and carefully followed the steps in Luisa Weiss excellent ‘Classic German Baking‘ book.
Alternate, but subpar option: Bring a big pot of water to a boil, and carefully! add the baking soda. Be really careful as the baking soda makes the water bubble up violently. Add the pretzels to the simmering water, make sure you don’t crowd the pot. Boil them for 20 seconds on each side, take them out with a slotted spoon and arrange them on the baking sheet with space so they don’t touch each other.
Eat warm, with nothing but butter. Well, nothing but butter and of course a German Hefeweizen.
The pretzels also freeze really well if you put them in zip lock bags right after they completely cooled down. Take them out for lunches throughout the week. Or of course, to stay on message, take them hiking with you.
This recipe I had posted once on my personal blog, then refined for a Medium post and published here on The Outdoor Society a couple years ago, but I refined the recipe and felt the need to update it – you are welcome!