Soft Pretzel is very popular in Japan nowadays. I did not even know that there are now “Auntie Anne’s’ pretzel shops in Japan now. I will be probably is eating real pretzels, sitting at a cafe in Frankfurt by the time this post goes live.
I only knew about the hard, small pretzels when I was living in Japan and ate it for a snack. I didn’t know there are bigger ones! The soft pretzel become very popular because of the unique cute shape of the bread. Idid not really eat pretzels a lot in Japan, actually none. I don’t have any memory of eating pretzels in Japan. It was not as famous and common as Baumkuchen was when I was living in Japan in 80’s.
I started to eat pretzels just recently. My daughter is a big fan of ptetzels and she often buys all sorts of pretzels from local markets every weekend. So of course I did not know how to make pretzels, why the surface is so shiny brown and how to make it look like that. I did the research and wanted to make it with “Japanese infusion”.
I have practiced making that unique shape. I guess professional bakers in Germany will handle the bread dough with the same sills as Italian chefs make pizza, flipping pizza dough high in the air. Instead of making the the dough flat and round, the pretzel dough will be rolled out into a thin long tube shape then twisted. To be able to do that requires years. I don’t have that much time, so I rolled it out on the kitchen bench to about 50 cm long, I took both ends and twisted it twice, then flipped it back onto the mid part as the photo indicates. I saw someone doing this in the air on Youtube.
To have that unique shiny brown colour, the pretzel dough needs to be boiled in water with baking soda in it. Soft pretzel dough need to be boiled in water with bicarbonate soda in it. Soft pretzels are easy and quicker to make than I thought because they do not need to raise. I am going to make more when my daughter comes back. I will update you when I eat the “real pretzel in Germany”.
Easy Soft Pretzel
250 g Baker's flour
3 g dry yeast
3 g sugar
5 g salt
145 ml water
sea rock salt to sprinkle
750 ml water for boiling
2 tbs bicarbonate soda
- Place all ingredients in a large bowl and knee for about 10 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 4.
- Roll out into a 50cm rope, cross the ends and twist them twice.
- Flip the twisted ends onto the middle round part
- Boil 750ml water with 2tbs bicarbonate soda, boil the shaped pretzel dough for about 3 minutes each.
- Take it out and leave it on the baking paper for 10- 15 minutes and sprinkle with sea rock salt
- Start to heat the oven to 200 degree celsius
- Bake the pretzel for 15-20 minutes.