Pretzels

Pretzels are crisp, crunchy biscuits, delicious served on their own with drinks or, as an alternative to more traditional biscuits, as an accompaniment to cheese. Pretzels may be stored for up to

2 weeks in an airtight tin.

48 PRETZELS

1 oz. plus

1 teaspoon butter |- oz. fresh yeast

½ teaspoon sugar

8 fl. oz. lukewarm milk

12 oz. flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons coarse sea salt

With the teaspoon of butter, grease two large baking sheets and set aside.

Crumble the yeast into a small bowl and mash in the sugar with a kitchen fork. Add

2 tablespoons of the lukewarm milk and cream the milk and yeast together. Set the bowl aside in a warm, draught-free place for

15 to

20 minutes or until the yeast mixture is puffed up and frothy.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the remaining butter in the remaining milk over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the milk mixture to cool to lukewarm.

Sift the flour and salt into a warmed, large mixing bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of the caraway seeds to the flour mixture. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast end milk and butter mixtures. Using your fingers or a spatula, gradually draw the flour mixture into the liquid. Continue mixing until all the flour is incorporated and the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured board or marble slab and knead it for 8 minutes, reflouring the surface if the dough becomes sticky. The dough should be smooth and elastic.

Rinse, thoroughly dry and lightly grease the large mixing bowl. Shape the dough into a ball and return it to the bowl.

Cover the bowl with a clean damp cloth and set it in a warm, draught-free place for 45 minutes or until the dough has risen slightly.

Turn the risen dough out of the bowl on to a floured surface and knead it for 4 minutes.

Using your hands, form the dough into a roll 12-inches long. Cut the roll into 48 equal pieces with a knife. Roll out each piece of dough into a thin sausage shape, about 6-inches long. Place each dough piece on a working surface and curve the ends toward yourself. Cross the loop halfway along each side and twist once. Bend the ends back and press them firmly on to the curve of the loop.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375 °F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C).

Half-fill a large saucepan with boiling water and bring the water to the boil again over moderately high heat. Drop the dough pieces into the water, a few at a time. Cook for 1 minute or until they

Light sponge cakes, encased in rich marzipan and topped with cream and fruit, Prinsessbakelser are delicious with coffee. rise to the surface of the water. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pieces from the pan and drain them in a colander. Cook the remaining dough in the same way. Put the pretzels on the baking sheets.

Using a pastry brush, coat each dough piece with the beaten egg, and sprinkle it with the remaining caraway seeds and the sea salt.

Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake the pretzels for 15 minutes or until they are golden brown and firm to the touch.

Remove the baking sheets from the oven and transfer the pretzels to a wire rack to cool completely.

Either serve immediately or store until required.

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