The hotel was perfectly located right next to the English Garden. As soon as I would reach the hotel, I would quickly freshen up, pick up my book, music and head straight to the open food court which was located just by a large lake at the centre of the garden.
I have never been to a more peaceful and relaxing place as this! The food court had different kiosks selling beer, cold food, warm food, breads etc. I would always take a decent enough meal and loads of bread to feed the ducks by the pond. Read my books and listen to music till I could no longer keep my eyes open. The last best part of going to English Garden was that, on my way back to the hotel, I would always pick up a HUMOUNGOUS 2L glass of beer and while paying for it, pick up these 2 - 3 pretzels and wear them in my hand, and walk back eating those off my hand an sipping on the best beer! There are some large enough that you can actually wear them around your neck with a thread and eat them as and when you want.
I can hardly wait to go back to the garden and do the same.
A definite must try for salt lovers!
Sprinkle the yeast into 100 ml of the water in a bowl. Leave for 5 minutes; stir to dissolve.
Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeasted water.
Use a wooden spoon to draw enough of the flour into the yeasted water to form a soft paste. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to 'sponge' until frothy and risen, about 20 minutes.
1 1/2 to 2 hours OR
till it has doubled in size
220 deg C / 425 deg F
15 - 20 minutes
15 gms fresh yeast
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
Put the dough in a bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave to rise until doubled in size for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
Knock back, leave to rest for 10 minutes.
Divide into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round rill and then into an oval shape. Roll each of these dough balls forwards and backwards, moving your fingers along the dough towards the end of it, forming a long strip which is bulky in between and thin towards the end.
Make an egg glaze with one whole egg, 1 tbsp water and a pinch of salt.
Once the proving is done, brush the egg glaze over the pretzels and sprinkle with the topping of your choice.
Bake in a pre-heated oven until golden brown, about 15 - 20 minutes.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.
If this is not done, then once the bread is proved and baked, it will end up looking like a bread bun, and not a pretzel. (shown below)
After rolling the pretzel to a long shape, place it on the baking tray and then shape it. Makes it easier to maintain the shape, than to shape it on the working surface and then transferring it to the baking tray.