A pretzel (French: Bretzel, Alsatian: bradchdal, German: Brezel or Brezen) is a baked snack that is traditionally twisted into a unique knot-like shape. The pretzel dough is made from wheat flour and yeast. Before baking, it is dipped into "Natronlauge" (English: sodium lye, sodium hydroxide solution (NaOH) or sodium carbonate solution (Na2CO3)) and sprinkled with coarse salt. During baking, a Maillard reaction then gives the pretzel its characteristic brown color and distinctive flavor. In Bavaria it is obligatory in a Weißwurst breakfast.
Because they are made mostly of wheat, pretzels can be problematic for people who have wheat allergy, Coeliac Disease, or wheat intolerances.
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