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Thread: Laugenbrotchen (a.k.a., Bavarian Pretzel Rolls)

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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Laugenbrotchen (a.k.a., Bavarian Pretzel Rolls)

    Homemade Laugenbrotchen. Something a little different to go with last nights BBQ...

    Laugenbrotchen.jpg
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    Re: Laugenbrotchen (a.k.a., Bavarian Pretzel Rolls)

    Bo maybe you should open up little BBQ place !! They look great. What did you have for BBQ ?
    Jeff
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    Re: Laugenbrotchen (a.k.a., Bavarian Pretzel Rolls)

    It was actually a potluck BBQ with several friends. We had all the meat groups covered: brisket, pulled pork, and smoked chicken wrapped in bacon. Also had several sides and desserts. Oh yeah...there were also various adult beverages to wash everything down.
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    Re: Laugenbrotchen (a.k.a., Bavarian Pretzel Rolls)

    Wow! Those are appealing! Are they soft or hard?
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    Re: Laugenbrotchen (a.k.a., Bavarian Pretzel Rolls)

    Quote Originally Posted by BoDarville View Post
    It was actually a potluck BBQ with several friends. We had all the meat groups covered: brisket, pulled pork, and smoked chicken wrapped in bacon. Also had several sides and desserts. Oh yeah...there were also various adult beverages to wash everything down.
    You are the MAN !!
    Jeff
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    Re: Laugenbrotchen (a.k.a., Bavarian Pretzel Rolls)

    They are soft. The crust has a certain texture that is perhaps best described as a cross between flaky and crispy but nowhere near as crispy as a pretzel. The roll itself is soft like a dinner roll with slightly more body but with a pretzel-like flavor and just a hint of sweetness.
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    Re: Laugenbrotchen (a.k.a., Bavarian Pretzel Rolls)

    I'm drooling just a little......old age, probably. I know I need some lunch.
    Dave S.
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    Re: Laugenbrotchen (a.k.a., Bavarian Pretzel Rolls)

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    I'm drooling just a little......old age, probably. I know I need some lunch.
    *throws a towel at Dave to wipe the slobber*
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    Re: Laugenbrotchen (a.k.a., Bavarian Pretzel Rolls)

    Care to share the recipe? Those look great!
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    Re: Laugenbrotchen (a.k.a., Bavarian Pretzel Rolls)

    Quote Originally Posted by Melt In The Sun View Post
    Care to share the recipe? Those look great!

    +1....mmmmmm!!!!
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    Re: Laugenbrotchen (a.k.a., Bavarian Pretzel Rolls)

    There is a Bavarian restaurant in town that imports these rolls (sometimes referred to as Laugensemmel in parts of Bavaria) from Germany. Apparently, they are so popular they have started charging for extras beyond what is included in the initial complimentary mixed dinner roll basket. I am trying to duplicate these rolls, but am not quite there yet. Of course, they are not going to give out their recipe, so it’s trial & error time. Being that this is a work-in-progress, this recipe is most definitely subject to change.

    Having lived in Germany for a while many years ago, I was aware that the secret of getting that dark pretzel crust is soaking the rolls in a food-grade lye & cold water bath prior to baking. Lye (a.k.a., sodium hydroxide) is a very strong alkali that serves to accelerate the Maillard reaction that give these rolls that dark brown crust. Using lye is not for the faint of heart. Lye is on the opposite end of the pH scale from muriatic acid. Like MA, lye gives off some fumes when added to water and will burn exposed skin. Therefore, latex, rubber, or nitrile gloves are a must. Goggles are also a good idea. It is a virtual certainty that you will not find lye in the grocery store or even at the “foodie” specialty stores. Most recipes in the US call for substituting lye with baking soda in a hot water bath which is much safer to handle. However, the results are not the same. Here’s why...The pH scale of 1-14 is logarithmic. This means that a 1 point change on the pH scale equates to a 10 X change in acidity or alkalinity. The result is that lye, having a pH of ~13, is an alkali that is nearly 100,000 times stronger than baking soda (with a pH of ~ 8.2).

    As for cooking equipment, a large glass bowl is needed for the lye / cold water bath and the rolls must be baked using a stainless steel baking pan sprayed with spray-oil. An aluminum baking pan cannot be used since the aluminum will react to the raw lye-dipped rolls. Also, do not use parchment paper. The lye reacts with that as well – I learned that lesson the first time I tried to make these using the lye-cold water bath.

    Now you are probably wondering, are these safe to eat? Absolutely, as Bavarians have done for generations. The heat of the oven produces chemical reactions that reduce the pH of the crust to around 8-9. In fact, most people could benefit from a diet that includes more alkaline ingredients to counteract the acidity of the typical western diet, but that would be the subject of another article.

    Equipment:

    • Rubber, latex, or nitrile gloves
    • Goggles – highly recommended
    • Bowl to mix dough in
    • Non-reactive bowl for water-lye solution
    • Non-reactive stirring implement (stainless steel whisk, plastic/silicone spatula, slotted spoon or similar)
    • Stainless steel baking pan
    • Spray oil


    Yeast Dough:
    4 cups bread flour
    1 tsp active dry yeast
    1 tsp brown sugar

    1 3/4 tsp salt
    3 tbsp butter, unsalted, softened
    1 cup milk, lukewarm


    Coarse salt – optional, for sprinkling on lye-dipped rolls prior to baking.

    ---for lye water bath --------------
    • 10 cups cold tap water
    • 1/2 cup lye
    • 4 tsp (20 ml) salt - optional

    Heat the milk together until lukewarm ~105 and 110F. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk and set aside for ten minutes. In a very large bowl, add and mix the flour, sugar, & salt and make a well in the center. Add the milk-yeast mixture and butter to the flour by pouring them into the well.

    Remove to a lightly floured board and knead for about ten minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Avoid using too much flour at this stage. Return the dough to clean, lightly oiled bowl & cover with a cloth and allow to rise for about one hour in a warm place.

    Tip the dough onto lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or so to expel any large bubbles. Divide into ten equal parts and roll into round balls. Dab the base of each ball in flour and placing on a tray – can use aluminum tray for this stage. Allow to rise for 15 - 20 minutes.

    Spray a stainless steel baking pan with spray oil and set aside.

    Add 10 C cold tap water to a non-reactive bowl (I use glass). Don your gloves and slowly add the powdered lye to the water and gently stir using a plastic or stainless steel whisk, spatula, or similar implement. Do not add water to the lye – always add lye to the water. The water will heat up as the lye is incorporated. When the lye is completely dissolved, gently drop the dough balls into the water-lye solution for about 30 seconds (turn rolls over once so the entire surface is coated with the water-lye solution). Use a non-reactive slotted spoon or spatula to place them on the stainless steel baking tray. Using a very sharp knife, incise the tops in a slotted or cross formation.

    Sprinkle with the coarse sea salt, if desired.

    Bake at 400F for 16-20 minutes.
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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Laugenbrotchen (a.k.a., Bavarian Pretzel Rolls)

    Wow, that is not for the faint of heart. Still, thanks for the recipe! I may give it a shot.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: Laugenbrotchen (a.k.a., Bavarian Pretzel Rolls)

    Nice! Thanks for sharing
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