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Nov 12, 2006 05:45 PM

German Pretzels (Bretzeln) [moved from Int'l board]

Why is it impossible to duplicate the crisp golden texture of a German Soft Pretzel, and suggestions? I was told that it is a certain type of acid dip that the dough is placed in before baking...I have tried Baking Soda/water wash that is common in the states..have also tried the old egg wash routine..same boring results...HELP !!! Can't afford to travel for the Mueller experience at this time

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  1. I can't help you, but your internet search might go better if you type in "bretzeln" not "bretzen." Good luck.

    1 Reply
    1. re: aelph

      Sorry my mistake, but I also see it come up under both spellings, thanks...Correct it doesn't solve my problem

    2. There is a bakery, Rockenwanger in Culver City, CA that makes excellent and authentic Bretzeln. I actually favor Laugenstange covered in seeds. For a very short time when it first opened, the Corner Bakery at Union Station in DC made excellent Laugenstange, now they are a waste of time for most anything. Here are two recipes for Laugen (in German)

      If I'm not mistaken, Laugen is the type of dough. Breze is the shape. Bretzlen is a diminutive of Breze. I once had a Reisenbreze at the Plaerrerfest in Augsburg. It was large, which was great for budget eating.

      1. Thank You I need to learn to read German so I can figure out if these recipes tell me how to get that crisp coating. PROST !

        1. ok, now that i have found that it is Natrium Hydroxide that is the acid that makes the crisp coating, Na the atomic symbol which is also latin for "Sodium"..Is there a place (possibly a drug store) where I can purchase Sodium Hydroxide for this purpose. It is my understanding that I would only need approx. 15g to 30g per batch of 8 or so. The mixture of Sodium Hydroxide is approx. 3 to 4% for this purpose. Any further info would be appreciated.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Jimbosox04

            Perhaps you can use a potassium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate solution sold in Chinese food markets. It's also known as lye water. See picture in article link:


            I'm assuming you should dilute the solution before using it for your German pretzels. Good luck!

            1. re: Jimbosox04

              Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) is commonly known as lye. I think it's used in
              making hominy too. Maybe ask a pharmacist? It's a real common chemical
              but who knows what terrorist terror has done to its availability.

              1. re: Jimbosox04

                NaOH (sodium hydroxide) is not an acid but a base. I am not sure if you get food grade NaOH easily anywhere. (And I would make it very sure that the NaOH you are using is food grade). At least in Germany NaOH is available at some pharmacies.

                1. re: honkman

                  ok, I guess alot of this post that was on another board was not carried over. I did find NaOH3 and it is food grade. I do understand that it is a base, an extreme caustic which is still hazardous to the hands and face being that is it corrosive. it can be purchase at and a 4% dilution when baked at the temperature needed renders it very edible and not a problem.

              2. Use babelfish to translate the webpage. It's not perfect, but you can usually get the gist of what they're saying.
                I live in W├╝rzburg - it comes-in real hand, believe me!


                Good luck and Be Careful with the sodium hydroxcide!