My Mom wanted authentic German pretzels like she grew up with. She actually worked in a German bakery as a girl and remembers the baker making pretzels.
So I bought some food grade lye and we read the recipe and directions very carefully. It was a full day process as there are at least two times they must rise or rest for an hour and other steps of resting in between. I started the dough at 11 am and we had hot pretzels at 4 pm.
And they were delicious. Worth the goggles, gloves and covering up. Worth every step. We made a dozen. I got four and left the rest for her and my Dad. My Dad doesn’t see what all the fuss is about, but does think they’re good. My Mom is in heaven.
We’re making them again on Christmas Eve day so she can have fresh pretzels that night and the next day. I’m busy eating mine for breakfast. I have two more that will last me until Thursday. So I’ll have to wait until Saturday for more. I can see this becoming a Christmas tradition.
It is a shame that U.S. bakeries are not allowed to use lye when making pretzels. That is the ONLY way to get that authentic taste.