Fennel Salt Pretzels

What’s a gal to do on a rainy evening? Get her hands dirty and bake something! My itch to bake came as I curled up with a cup of tea and drooled over the rich warm harvest photos in the latest Donna Hay magazine. On page 93, my interest was peaked by the chewy and salty Fennel Salt Pretzels. I haven’t made pretzels in ages. I remember making them as a kid. Dropping them into the boiling water and fishing them out once they get this soft and fluffy look that you know will make them chewy and delicious. The sprinkle of fennel seeds in this pretzel recipe added a nice touch of licorice flavour and a slight crunch that was divine. Can a pretzel be divine? I think so!

fennel salt pretzels
Donna Hay magazine Issue 57, page 93
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 litre of water
2 tablespoons baking soda
egg, lightly beaten
salt flakes and fennel seeds, for sprinkling

Place yeast and water in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside in a warm place for 5 minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface. Add the flour, oil and salt and stir to combine. Using your hands, bring the dough together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean, damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. 
Preheat oven to 425°F. Divide the dough into 12 equal balls. Roll each ball into 40cm ropes, twist to form pretzel shapes and place on baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper.
Place the water and baking soda in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the pretzels, one at a time, and cook for 1 minute each. Remove with a slotted spoon and return to the baking tray. Brush with the egg and sprinkle with salt and fennel seeds. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden.
Makes 12 pretzels.

There’s nothing like warming up to a freshly baked goodie!

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