These pretzels are making us … feisty!

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Well. To anyone who says I give Lenny too much hassle and back-talk in the kitchen, I say just watch this episode.

I reckon I’m pretty capable with dough and have a good feel for the right texture, moisture and density. So when we decided to make pretzels – the big soft chewy bready variety, not the nasty little crunchy bar snacks – I decided to take charge.

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I got hooked on these things in Canada where there was a chain in shopping malls that baked and sold them fresh. I always wonder about those instant-baked breads – do they use yeast, for example, or some sort of chemical for a quicker result? Anyway, they were still good enough to suck me in repeatedly.

Where we live in London a local deli sells pretzels every now and then, but it’s not a reliable supply. So I did some research and found a couple of traditional pretzel recipes on the web. I amalgamated these into something that would suit Crash Test Kitchen (i.e. not too fussy in the preparation or execution!).

Shaping the pretzels is easily enough learned – the trick is in getting the dough just right. And rolling it out into long ropes a bit thicker than a pencil.

Boiling before baking is optional, but it adds a chewy skin and seems to fluff them up. I reckon you’d be mad not to boil them first.

Keep an eye on them while baking – it all happens pretty quickly and you could easily end up with something that looks and tastes like a charred piece of tangled rope.

Devour with melted butter and salt. Nothing better.

– Waz

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18 Responses to “These pretzels are making us … feisty!”

  • Waz, why are you SUCH an asshole in this episode? Seriously, were you having a REALLY bad day?

  • Hey, quite cool how you managed to bake these pretzels!!
    As a bavarian I can tell you: They look really good!
    Perhaps I should try out this recipe.

  • Come on, Shannon! What about how much shite Lenny was giving me about the dough??? On that particular day we were under a lot of time pressure to get it done … had loads of other things to do … and Lenny kept bloody second-guessing me at every turn! Despite her KNOWING that I am DAS PRETZELN OBERFUEHRER!

    – Waz

  • Delicious! They looked great. I don’t mind the squabbling, either. Nice to have the toutch of vérité.

    But — the baker in me cringes when you measure. I wish I could donate some measuring spoons to you two! 😉

  • Oh guys, thanks for the great laugh! And Waz? Lenny is always right 😉

  • You guys are awesome. By the way, Waz, when flipping the pretzels in the boiling water, you should have used one of those long 2-pronged forks that they use for roast beef (like my technical terms?). It would have made the flipping a ton easier…
    All things considered though, really awesome episode.

  • It’s fun watching you guys, but perhaps you should invest in measuring tools. Also, why were you eating the pretzels without any beer? Come on… get with it!

  • I agree with the beer comment. Shame. Watched this on a Sony mobile phone on a bus in Croatia with Chef Michelle. Nice work.

  • Why don’t you typeout the recipe on the website!! I’m not actually going to write it all down while watching the video!

  • Steve,

    We don’t want to become just another recipe website. There are plenty of them out there, much bigger than us. The idea is to watch the videos. So get your pen and paper out and write down that recipe!


  • Wow. Congratulations on making Time magazines important peoplefor 2006. I guess CTK has now had 15 mins. of fame. Hope for you entertainers it turns to 15 hours. keep up the excellent work. Jim.

  • Hey,

    your bretzels (or pretzels in english)look fine …
    i’ll try it sometime … hope it turns out as good as the ones i have in strasbourg and germany.

    See ya

  • First stop here..via Serious Eats somehow…I like it! I made pretzels once for a football game (Go Buckeyes) and they were good and fun. My nephew asked his Mom to get “the map” (directions=recipe) so I said “great thing to do with kids” and started to write it up…but as I detailed what not to do to avoid catastrophe (baking soda in FULL pot of BOILING water= equals a mess to rival a restaurant line Ansul system blow up) I decided the best directions for a 5 year old were “Ask Aunt Cary to make you some.” Still tasty fun…

  • A lesson I learned the hard way when cooking yeast-breads:

    The sugar MUST be added to the luke-warm water BEFORE the yeast. Then, let stand for 10 min.

    It should bubble up, if it doesn’t – it’s bad yeast.

    You will probably find that your pretzels will rise a lot higher and be softer. Good luck.

  • hey guys, saw you in time.
    i must say, you guys are cute..
    keep on rockin’…

  • This is actually the first crash test kitchen podcast I have ever seen, and I was very, very impressed.
    Those Pretzels looked tasty, so that same day, I ran down to the grocers, and picked up some yeast, then I came home and copied everything you guys did, and when they were done, I must admit they were very tasty! (Not as good looking as yours were though)

    Anywho, keep up the fantastic work guys!

  • Hi, this is my first time at your site and I loved the pretzel video! I’m off to watch some other subscribe to the podcast now :-)

  • Dont fight!
    Gee, you guys are funny.

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