Caraway with a Twist: Viennese Caraway Pretzels

The other day I was in the mood for some savory baked goods, so I perused the "Crackers and Savory Cookies" chapter of Nick Malgieri's Cookies Unlimited. The large photo of the "Viennese Caraway Pretzels" immediately caught my eye. I quickly surveyed our spice shelf, and since we had a bottle of caraway seeds on hand, I decided to give them a try.

The pretzel dough contains only a few ingredients, which you mix together in the food processor: flour, salt, cold butter, and yeast that has been dissolved in water. After the dough comes together into a ball, you knead it a few times and let it rest for 30 minutes, "until it puffs slightly." After 30 minutes, the ball of dough wasn't exactly puffy -- the texture appeared to be almost the same, but I could tell that it was slightly larger, so I decided to run with it. You flatten the dough into a rectangle and chill it for at least an hour. Then you divide the dough into 36 pieces, each of which you roll into an 8-inch rope and form in the pretzel shape. You brush the pretzels with egg wash and sprinkle them with caraway seeds and coarse salt before baking.

These pretzels were quite small, two inches across. I only sprinkled caraway seeds on about half of the pretzels, thinking that the caraway might not have broad appeal (after all, rye bread with caraway seeds is not exactly universally popular). After tasting both varieties, I think the caraway seed is a necessity; the ones without it were somewhat bland. While I liked the buttery-salty combination of flavors in the pretzel, I didn't know what to make of its texture. The pretzel was close to a cracker, but it wasn't crispy. I guess that I expect pretzels either to be bready (like the sort you buy at the food court at the mall), or crisp and dry (like the kind you buy in the potato chip aisle at the supermarket). These pretzels were neither, and for that reason I found them to be unsatisfying.

Recipe: "Viennese Caraway Pretzels," from Cookies Unlimited, by Nick Malgieri.


yummm...this looks crazy delicious..;)
new to your space
lovely space you have
happy following you.:)
do stop by mine sometime
Tasty Appetite
Thanks for stopping by, Jay! Your recipes look very tasty indeed!