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Nun's Pretzels

ingredients

makes 25 - 30 pieces
25 g (1 oz) butter
1 small egg
50 g (2 oz) icing sugar
100 ml (3 1/2 oz) double cream
175 g (6 oz) plain flour, sifted
coarse sugar

method

1. Beat the butter and egg until creamy. Mix in the sugar and cream.

2. Sieve most of the flour on to the work-top, make a well in the centre and drop in the mixture.

3. Combine the ingredients to make a smooth pastry.

4. Roll into a ball, wrap in plastic film and chill for at least 30 minutes.

5. Divide the dough into two and leave half in the refrigerator while you work with the other.

6. Pinch off walnut-sized pieces of dough, and lightly roll each into a rope about 6 mm (1/4 in) thick and 22 cm (9 in long, slightly tapered at the ends.

7. To shape the pretzel, lift up both ends and cross them over in the centre by pressing both the ends lightly on the top of the roll.

8. Place on a greased and floured baking sheet. Finish the rest of the dough in the same way.

9. Brush the pastries with lightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with a little coarse sugar.

10. Bake in the preheated oven at 200°C (400°F) Gas 6 for 20 minutes until only just coloured. Cool on a wire rack.

11. Serve with coffee. Stored in an airtight tin, pretzels will keep fresh for several weeks.

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