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This week's recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

October 23, 2011 |  7:30 am



Great pretzels from scratch? Yes, it is possible. This week, Food explores how to make homemade pretzels:

I can't remember the last time I had a really great pretzel. Freshly puffed and temptingly aromatic, they're the ones with the deep brown sheen that — if you're lucky — you get still warm, the large specks of salt catching the light just so as they're slid out of the oven.

Chance upon a good bakery at the right time, and you might be able to snag one. But homemade? Until recently, I simply didn't think it was possible. But I couldn't shake the thought of trying. It took a little trial and error, but I've found the process is surprisingly easy....

The secret? Lye. The trick to great pretzels is dipping the pretzels in a liquid wash before baking — and not just any wash, but a combination of water and lye. That's what gives pretzels their terrific color, texture and flavor. To find out more about the process, and how to make great pretzels at home, check out the story here.

This week's recipes include:

When you try one of this week's recipes, or any L.A. Times recipes, let us know! Upload a photo onto the "Our Recipes, Your Kitchen" gallery to share your take on the recipe and tell us about yourself. Your photo will be posted online and may be selected to run in print with our weekly section. 


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-- Noelle Carter

Photo: Soft pretzel with salt. Credit: Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times