The pretzel is one of the most popular variants of brioche bread, which can easily be recognized by its original form. Delices and Gourmandises makes you discover this little Alsatian pastry, through a short history and food pairing tips.
Even though it is said that the pretzel existed since the eighth century thanks to Carolingian monks, its best known story remains the wacky and touching circumstances of its invention in 1477. According to the pretzel legend, the royal palace’s baker, who failed to bake the bread properly, was sentenced to death by the king and summoned to create “bread in which the sun would shine 3 times”.
Its twisted knot-shape was inspired from the baker wife’s posture while praying, arms crossed. The three holes would represent the Holy Trinity, and soon became a symbol of good luck, long life and prosperity.
And it’s her cat that overthrew the baking soda solution on the dough before it was put in oven, giving the bread its particular taste which was highly appreciated by the sovereign. Depending on the region, pretzel can be called Pretzeln, Brezetta, Brätschellen, Precedella, Brezitella, Brezel, etc.
French pretzel is part of popular culture. With Delices and Gourmandises, you’ll find out the multiple ways to enjoy this tasty baked bread. As a matter of fact, the original recipe requests it to be sprinkled with sea salt, but various flavors have appeared over the years: garlic, cheese, sesame seeds or cumin and even bacon.
With its slightly salty taste, Pretzel is better when served warm to accompany a soup or with all the dishes in sauce. In countries of the former USSR, it is flavored with cocoa and topped with almonds to be offered as Christmas candy.
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