Focaccia may be the easiest, most foolproof bread to make at home—no sourdough starter, no complicated spreadsheets full of percentages to worry about, no mixer required. The only nonnegotiable is making the dough the night before you plan to bake, which helps to develop flavor. What makes it “pretzel,” you ask? Brushing the surface of the dough with a baking soda–water mixture alkalizes the exterior, producing a deeply browned crust with a pretzel’s signature slightly bitter twang.
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