Mini bretzels

Mini bretzels

Petits bretzels

Luke Nguyen's France
Alan Benson

I found the food in Alsace completely different from anywhere else in France. Its close proximity to Germany gives the cuisine a very strong German accent, as dishes are served with lots of sausages, pork knuckle and sauerkraut. Bretzel is another great example of this crossover; it is basically an Alsatian version of the German pretzel.


Quantity Ingredient
150ml olive oil
1/2 red capsicum, finely diced
1/2 green capsicum, finely diced
1/2 yellow capsicum, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh summer savory leaves or thyme leaves, (see glossary)
2 teaspoons chopped celery leaf
1kg plain flour
2 teaspoons sea salt
60g semi-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
60g finely chopped green olives
60g finely chopped black olives
20g fresh yeast
200g emmental or gruyere cheese, grated, (see glossary)

Water bath

Quantity Ingredient
3 litres water
200g bicarbonate of soda


  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the capsicum, garlic and herbs and cook for 4 minutes, or until the capsicum is tender. Set aside and leave to cool.
  2. Place the flour, salt and cooked capsicum mixture in a large bowl. Add the tomato, olives and yeast, then mix by hand to a crumbly consistency. Add 500 ml water and keep mixing until combined. Divide into two portions, roll into sausage shapes, then wrap in plastic wrap. Leave to rest for 40 minutes.
  3. Line a baking tray with baking paper. On a floured work surface, flatten the dough by rolling each portion into a thick tube shape. Cut into 50 g pieces, using a scale for accurate size and weight. Rolling the dough pieces from the middle outwards and moving your hands towards the end of the dough, roll them into strips about 25–30 cm long. They should be slightly thicker in the centre, and thinner at each end. Now shape into horseshoe shapes, about 8 cm wide at the ends. Taking each end, twist twice and fold the ends to the opposite side. Press to join, then gently spread the three ‘windows’ open.
  4. Transfer to the baking tray and leave to rise for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180˚C.
  5. Prepare a water bath by combining the water and bicarbonate of soda in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then dip each bretzel into the water bath for 30 seconds. Drain, then place back on the baking tray.
  6. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake for 20–25 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the bretzels are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before serving.
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