[Sca-cooks] Not bagels, pretzels

David Friedman ddfr at daviddfriedman.com
Thu May 3 10:38:29 PDT 2007

>Brazzatelle di latte, e zuccaro
>sounds like a sweet, not savory
>is there a recipe you would be willing to share??

Pretzels of Milk and Sugar
from Messibugio, Libro Novo 1557

To make fifty pretzels of four ounces each you 
will take fifteen lbs of best flour, three ounces 
of rose water, three pounds of milk, two pounds 
of white sugar, 25 eggs, four ounces of butter, 
and you will knead these things together very 

Then you will make your pretzels according to the 
method you want to use, and then you will let 
rise with careful attention, and after it has 
risen you will boil your water, and then you will 
place inside the above-mentioned pretzels to 
cook, and when they come to the top you will take 
out, and then you will put in fresh water, and 
when you have removed them from within you will 
put them to cook in the oven, and if you want to 
put inside anise it is a good deed.

(1/3 of the original recipe)

5 lb flour--about 16c
4/3 oz rose water
1 lb milk--about 2 c
2/3 lb sugar=4/3 c
8 eggs
16/9 oz butter
(2 c sourdough)

Combine flour and sugar; cut in the (softened) 
butter. Combine the liquid ingredients, including 
the sourdough, mix, add to the dry ingredients 
and knead until you have a smooth dough. Cover 
with a damp towel, let rise at least twelve 
hours. Then divide into eighteen equal portions, 
roll each into a cylinder about 18 inches long, 
make into a pretzel shape. (If you are 
interpreting them as bagels, make each into a 
cylinder about 9-10" long, join the ends to form 
a bagel shape). Leave it until it has risen 
again, which should be another five hours or so 
at room temperature (i.e. 70° F). Your rising 
times may differ from this, depending on your 
sourdough culture.

When they have risen, fill a pot at least five 
inches deep with water, if possible more. Bring 
the water to a boil. Put in as many of the 
pretzels as you can manage without too much of a 
problem of sticking. Boil until they rise to the 
top, which should start happening in three or 
four minutes. Make sure they have not stuck to 
the bottom; if they have loosen with a spatula 
(pancake turner). When each floats to the top 
take it out, dunk it briefly in a bowl of water, 
drain, put on a cookie sheet or the like. Bake 
them in a 400° oven until brown--about 20 minutes.

For half of them, I kneaded in 1 1/2 t of aniseed.

Note 1: The Italian title is Brazzatelle di 
latte, e zuccaro; the technique of boiling and 
then baking could be for either bagels or 
pretzels. The translator thought they were bagels 
and I did them that way the first time, but since 
our word "pretzel" derives from old high German 
"brezitella," I think it's reasonably certain 
that they are actually pretzels and have modified 
the translation above accordingly.

Note 2: The recipes says it produces fifty 
pretzels weighing four ounces each, but uses 
about 18-20 lbs of ingredients, after allowing 
for cooking off the water in the milk. I 
concluded that it was using a 12 ounce pound, 
like the troy pound or the Islamic ratl, rather 
than a 16 ounce pound. The first time I did the 
recipe (interpreting the pretzels as bagels!) 
they weighed about 7 avoirdoupois ounces, which 
is still a little heavy; on my assumption it 
should have been 5 1/3 ounces.

Note 3: The recipe is for a leavened bread, but 
no leavening is mentioned. My guess is that it is 
using either sourdough or a kneading trough with 
its own yeast culture. I used sourdough.


More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list