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Pretzel. A baked snack item of variable size, generally crisp and crunchy in character, that is formed from a thin dough (q.v.) string twisted into a traditional shape. Made from a relatively lean and stiff dough, the formed dough product is immersed in a hot, dilute sodium hydroxide (NaOH) solution for 10 to 13 seconds and passed under a curtain of coarse salt (q.v.) prior to baking at 400¦ to 500¦F (204¦ to 260¦C) for 3.5 to 8 minutes. To reduce its moisture content to 2% to 3%, the product is subjected to drying after emerging from the oven. Soft varieties with a relatively high moisture content are also produced.