To encourage browning, you should bake pretzels at a high temperature. Bertinet recommends that a 250 degree C oven be turned down to 230 degrees C after the pretzels are in the oven.
Moskin and Joseph recommend a slightly more moderate temperature of 220 degrees C, which appears to be safer if they cook through before burning.
That will be useful if you decide to sprinkle them with something a bit more exciting than traditional rock salt.
Serve with a large, cold beer and/or mustard, cured meat, sausages, and butter. Get the details here.
The perfect pretzel (makes 10)
500 grams of white bread strong flour
1 tsp fine salt
5g/1 tsp quick-action yeast
150 grams bicarbonate of soda
255 ml warm water
1 tbsp malt syrup
25 grams of room-temperature butter, cut up into small pieces
Rock salt, for sprinkling
Whisk together the salt, yeast, and flour inside of a large mixing bowl or a food mixer bowl and then mix the butter in.
Whisk together the warm water and the syrup, and then stir it in in order to make a dryish, firm dough. It should all come together so that the bowl is left clean, without it being damp.
If necessary, add a couple of more drops. Knead the dough on a lower speed for around 15 minutes, or by hand on a clean surface for around 20 to 25 minutes, until the dough is very elastic and smooth.
Allow it to rest underneath a cloth for about 15 minutes, and then divide it up into 10 pieces of around 75 grams each. In the meantime, take lightly greased greaseproof paper and use it to line two baking sheets with.
Keep the rest of the dough covered. Then roll out a piece into the form of a sausage that is about 35 cm long (don’t worry if the middle is fatter than the middle.
Simply call it a Bavarian-style pretzel if that is the case). Form the dough into a circle, and then cross the ends on the top.
Next, twist the around one another again and then bring them down across the center and stick down firm on around the four o’clock and eight o’clock on the circle. Place on the baking tray and then repeat the process.
Leave covered for 30 minutes at room temperature, and then uncover and place in the refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours.
One hour before you would like to bake your pretzels heat up the oven to 320 degrees F /160 degrees C and then bake your bicarbonate of soda for an hour. Allow it to cool, and then turn your oven up to 425 degrees F/220 degrees C.
Put on rubber gloves and then mix together 500 ml of water with 100 grams of bicarbonate of soda in a big glass dish.
Dip the pretzels carefully into the solution for around four minutes (you will have to do that in several batches). Next, grain well and arrange the pretzels well-space on your baking sheets.
Sprinkle with salt, and then bake the pretzels or 12 to 15 minutes until they are well browned. Eat them while they are warm.