Sunday, January 25, 2009


Pretzel is called Brezel in German (Bretzn in Bavaria) and it is a typical bread from southern part of Germany. And as much as the pretzel looks peculiar that much it tastes peculiar as well. The taste however doesn't come from its dough-ingredients, like one would assume, but rather from the glaze that is put on the pretzel just before baking.

The glaze is made of lye, an alkaline solution, which in reaction with heat when baked gives pretzel its colour and taste. Lye is also used when making Chinese mooncakes, lutfisk (Swedish air-dried fish) and hominy corn.

The shape of pretzel makes it soft and chewy in thicker parts and crunchy in thinner parts, so it is definitely not a boring type of bread, it gives you a bit of everything. Pretzels are usually sliced horizontally and buttered, or filled with ham and cheese, or eaten with white sausage.

There are also many other shapes of lye-bread and in German they are distinguished by putting "Laugen" (=lye), in their name. Below are some common variations of pretzels and other lye-breads that can be found in bakeries.

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