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Did you know that this popular German snack food has quite a history? Back in seventh-century Europe, pretzels were eaten during Lent. The shape is said to resemble the crossed arms of a monk in prayer and the three holes may represent the Holy Trinity.


250g flour, plus extra to dust
1 tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
25g butter
5g instant yeast
150 ml lukewarm water
1 egg, beaten
4 tsp flaked salt

1. Mix the flour, salt and sugar. Rub in the butter, then mix in the yeast.
2. Add enough of the water to form a soft, but not sticky, dough. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
3. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover it with a damp dishcloth. Leave in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 25 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 180°C, dust a baking tray with flour and bring a large pot of water to the boil.
5. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a 45 cm-long, 2 cm-thick rope. Holding the ends of the rope, make a ‘U’ shape, then cross the ends over each other and press them on to the opposite sides of the ‘U’.
6. Boil each pretzel for 45 seconds, then arrange on the baking tray.
7. Brush each pretzel with egg, sprinkle with salt and bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack for 5 minutes before serving.

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