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Add 100g flour + 2 tsp fast action dried yeast (or 42g fresh if using)  + 260 ml water (lukewarm) into a bowl. Mix, cover with cling-film and leave in a warm place for 5 hours + to create the yeast flavor.
Add the rest of the flour +2 tbsp Salt (unrefined) +1 tbsp brown sugar +80 g Butter (unsalted, molten). Mix and knead the mixture to make a firm dough (around 10 minutes) and leave for approx 1-1/2 hours or until a point pushed in gentle springs back.
Roll the dough out to be a long (40 cm) rope with the middle 5cm bulged to a diameter of around 3 cm, tapering to the ends being around 0.75 cm thick. Bring the two ends together about 5 cm in, overlap them, twist, and bring back to go over the main body. Almost like tying a knot. Leave for 30 minutes uncovered in a warm room to rise and develop.
Once the dough has risen, place the trays next to a cold window with some wind blowing. A fan can be used if there is no breeze. This develops a skin on the pretzels which gives that special chewy texture.
In the meantime bring the 1.5 liters of water to the boil in a large pot (around 20cm diameter) and add the baking soda. If you can find food grade sodium hydroxide (lye) use that at 3-4 tbs per liter.
Drop the shaped dough into the boiling solution (one at a time) until they float (about 5 second), fish out with a fish slice (or similar) and lay on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Sprinkle with sea salt (lightly at first, you find your own taste preference later) and slash the dough to a depth of around 1cm in the thick part at the top-back.
Add the baking sheets to the 200C oven for around 16 minutes, until a nice deep bready brown is seen on the pretzels. Don’t go for gold or chestnut, go for brown, the flavor goes with it!

Pain au levin pour les paresseux gourmés

Le Starteur:

Mélangez 1p d’eau avec 1p de farine pour pain dans un pot masson; couvrir avec une feuille d’alu comme couvercle.
Avant la cuisson enlever presque tout en laissant 1 càs dans le pot pour le futur. Mélangez cette masse avec 1/3 t d’eau et 1/3 t de farine avec une cuillère. Nourrissez-le avec ces quantités 3x/jour.

Préparer la pâte

  1. Mélangez 500ml de farine avec 1 càs de sel dans un grand bol

  2. Remplissez un autre bol de 300g d’eau (température de la pièce); ajoutez 1/4 t du starteur. Un Starter en santé va flotter à la surface. Mélanger les deux et versez sur la farine

  3. Mélanger les deux bien ensemble afin d’obtenir une consistance égale.

  4. Couvrir et laisser fermenter pendant 12 heures.

Façonner la pâte

  1. Placez la pâte sur une surface farinée. Poussez la délicatement pour former un rectangle.

  2. Pliez la le long en tiers (voire 2e photo)

  3. Pliez la ensuite 1x dans la verticale (voir 3e image)

  4. Placez la pâte avec le plis vers en bas sur la surface farinée et façonnez avec un main et une spatule par rotation une boule; cela crée une surface plus ferme que l’intérieur.

  5. Placez la boule dans un banneton couvert pour 2à3 heures.


  1. Utilisez un contenant de cuisson (Le creuset ou double pot en argile) pour contenir la chaleur et éviter que la vapeur s’échappe pour avoir une croûte ferme. Faire préchauffer les deux à 260º (500ºF).

  2. Placer la pâte dans le contenant à cuisson; façonnez un ‘x’ avec un couteau dans la croute.

  3. Fermez le couvercle et placez le pot dans le four. Réduire la tempérautre à 230ºC (450ºF) et faire cuire pendat 25 minutes couvert.

  4. Enlevez le couvercle et cuire pendant un autre 25 minutes.

Starting the sourdough

Whisk ¼ cup flour with sourdough starter (if using) and 3 tablespsoons filtered water in a small bowl. Pour this into a jar, and let it sit for twelve hours. Twelve hours later, whisk in ½ cup flour with ⅓ cup filtered water and continue adding ½ cup flour and ⅓ cup water every twelve hours for one week until your starter is brisk and bubbling. As you feed your starter, take care to whisk in the flour and water thoroughly into the established starter aerating the starter will help to yield the best and most reliable results.

To accomodate for expansion of the sourdough when fed, make sure that your jar is only half full after each feeding. If you have made too much sourdough starter for the capacity of your jar, pour some off and use it in sourdough biscuits, sourdough pancakes or sourdough crackers

Maintaining the sourdough: After a week, your sourdough should be sturdy enough to withstand storage. If you bake infrequently (that is: if you bake less than once a week), you can store your sourdough in the refrigerator, bring it to room temperature and feed it well about twelve hours before you plan to bake. If you bake more frequently every day or a few times a week you can store your sourdough at room temperature and feed it with ½ cup flour and ⅓ cup filtered water once a day.

Special considerations: If a brown liquid appears floating on top of your sourdough starter, simply pour it off. Sourdough bakers call this liquid  and it is harmless; however, it often signifies that you have fed your starter too much water in relation to flour or have let your starter go too long between feedings. Sourdough starters are relatively resilient, and bounce back quickly once you resume proper care of them.