I love pretzels of all kinds (bread-y ones, crispy ones, OK, I like both kinds of pretzels) and was keen to make some more savoury snacks for our blog-day party. I bought ‘Scandinavian Cooking’ by Beryl Frank, (published by Evans Brothers, 1978) recently but have yet to cook anything from it – the bread section looks particularly good and I had high hopes for these based on the illustration.


  • These were a lot of work – I had to calculate how long it would take me to make them, what with all the rising.
  • I was very confused by the direction that the dough should be left in the fridge to rise. Shorely yeast needs heat to rise? Anyway, I don’t cook with yeast very often and on the  occasions (two) when I a) have and b)have gone un peu off-recipe, it has always been a disaster. So I decided to follow all instructions absolutely and completely.
  • The dough did not appear to be rising much throughout the process but I carried on, blindly!


They didn’t rise. They puffed up a bit in the heat but basically, they were just slightly salted pastry-like biscuits. Pleasant but boring and not worth the time and effort at all. I will have another go at these in future and let them rise at room temp and see if this is more successful.  For shame, Scandinavian Cookery, don’t let me down when 13th December rolls around and I have a go at  St Lucia’s bread!

Pretzeled by Elly


3 responses to “Pretzels

  1. Yeast works best with plain bread mixtures, i.e. flour, water & salt. Adding milk, egg and/or butter (or any fat) will slow down its activity so we need either to: a) use more yeast [this recipe uses plenty] or, b) give the dough longer to rise.

  2. travelingwilbury

    Yeast is alive so it will still rise even if you put it in the fridge. What will happen is that the proving will be slower, sometimes this is made on purpose (as when you leave the dough in the fridge overnight to prevent it from over-rising. Other times the recipe specifies to place it in the fridge for no reason (I’ve seen a few of those).
    Leaving the dough in the fridge for only 15 minutes makes no sense to me. Sometimes the recipes are just wrong…

  3. Perfectionist bread-makers reckon that slow-rising gives a better result, and deplore the commercial practices that accelerate the process, e.g. vitamin C (ascorbic acid) makes the yeast work faster. Not that one always has time, or forward-planning, to be such a perfectionist!