Sourdough Pretzels from Slow Dough: Real Bread

We’re sharing some bread you’ll just loaf for #RealBreadWeek!

This recipe is included in Slow Dough: Real Bread by Chris Young, it was contributed by Ursi Widemann. Here’s what she said: “I love pretzels! I could eat them every single day . . . maybe it’s because I’m Bavarian”.

Pretzels are usually dipped in a solution of sodium hydroxide (lye) prior to baking, which gives them their characteristic taste and shiny brown skin. As food-grade sodium hydroxide can be hard to obtain and is hazardous to handle, this recipe uses bicarbonate of soda/baking soda instead, which gets you safely toward a similar result.


Taken from Slow Dough: Real Bread


Makes: 12
From mixing to oven: 12–16 hours
Baking time: 15–20 minutes

For the pre-ferment:
125g/4½oz/¾ cup plus 2 tbsp wholemeal/wholewheat bread flour
20g/1½ tbsp rye sourdough starter
100g/3½oz/½ cup minus 1 tbsp water
For the dough:
375g/13oz/223 cups white bread flour
25g/1oz/2 tbsp butter
8g/1½ tsp fine/table salt
160g/5¾oz/23 cup water
For dipping:
1kg/2lb 4oz/4¼ cups water
20g/heaping 1½ tbsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
For the topping:
coarse sea salt flakes or crystals, or you could use sesame seeds, poppy seeds or caraway seeds

Mix the pre-ferment ingredients together, cover and leave at room temperature for 8–12 hours until bubbly.
2 Mix the dough ingredients with the pre-ferment, and knead until you have a firm but supple dough: tighter than usual, but if it really is too stiff to work, add a little more water. Put the dough into a bowl, cover and leave to rise at room temperature for a further 3 hours, giving the dough a single fold halfway through this time.
3 Divide the dough into 12 equal-size pieces (65g/2¼oz), roll into balls, cover and leave for 20 minutes, then roll each piece into a strand about 25cm/10in long that tapers at the ends with a little belly in the middle. Bend each strand into a “U” shape, cross one side over the other about halfway up, give it a twist where they cross, then fold the ends up to meet the bend of the U and press down gently to fix in place. Cover the dough and leave to prove for 45–60 minutes.
4 Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking parchment and heat the oven to 230°C/210°C fan/450°F/gas 8. Meanwhile, bring the water to the boil in a large pan and add the bicarbonate of soda/baking soda. Drop the pretzels into the boiling liquid 2 or 3 at a time for 20 seconds, lift out with a slotted spoon and place onto the baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle with the topping of your choice while the dough is still tacky. Slash the dough at its fattest part and bake for 15–20 minutes until deep brown.

Happy baking! Don’t forget to tag us in your posts – #NourishBooks AND #RealBreadWeek!

Duck & Black Bean Tostadas

If you’re on the lookout for recipes to add to your go-to meals repertoire, look no further than these (35-minute prep time!) Tostadas! The recipe is taken  from the hottest cookbook around, Fire and Spiceby John Gregory-Smith.

Taken from Fire and Spice

From John: ‘My tostadas were inspired by the wonderful giant tostadas of the Central Market in the city of Oaxaca in Mexico. They are completely delicious – you taste hot and cold, crunchy and smooth, spicy and mild, salty and sour in every bite…a real midweek lifesaver.’

Serves 4
Ready in 35 minutes

4 duck breasts (about 150g/5½oz each)
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp chilli powder
4 tbsp olive oil
400g/14oz/2 cups tinned black beans
1½ tsp ground cumin
juice of ½ lime
sea salt and freshly ground
black pepper
1 lettuce, finely sliced, to serve
2 large handfuls of coriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped
4 large tortillas, to serve

For the salsa
1 red onion, peeled and quartered
115g/4oz/heaped ¾ cup drained sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1 tsp smoked paprika juice of ½ lime


1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Trim and score the skin on the duck breasts, and put them in a small roasting tin. Add the garlic, smoked paprika, chilli powder, two tablespoons of the oil and a good pinch of salt. Mix well so that the duck is completely coated. Turn the duck skin-side up, then roast for 25–30 minutes until golden on the outside and juicy and pink in the centre.

2 Meanwhile, drain and rinse the beans and tip them into a saucepan over a medium heat. Mash the beans, using a potato masher, until fairly smooth, then add 55ml/1¾fl oz/ scant ¼ cup water, the rest of the olive oil and the cumin. Add the lime juice, season with salt and pepper, and mix well. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and cook for 8–10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until warmed through and thick. Remove from the heat, cover and leave to one side.

3 To make the salsa, put the onion sun-dried tomatoes, smoked paprika and a pinch of salt into a food processor. Add the lime juice, blend until smooth, then pour into a serving bowl.

4 Finely slice the lettuce and coriander (cilantro), then put them on to a serving plate. Put the tortillas on four serving plates and cover each one with the beans. Slice up the duck and put on top of the beans. Serve with the salad and salsa.

Remember to tag us @NourishBooks on Instagram and Twitter if you use our recipes!

Potions, Elixirs & Brews: ???? Hate Blocker ????

Nourish Books is here to amp up your Valentine’s/Galentine’s plans with some *EXCLUSIVE* recipes from Potions, Elixirs & Brews by Anais Alexandre! See the potion brewing in action on the book’s Tik Tok page, plus so. many. more recipes!

Why not pair this coffee brewed goodness with a slice (or two…) of Nisha Katona’s cardamom custard tart? Sugar, spice and everything nice, the perfect V-Day combo!

From Anais: ‘Your drinkable ally in arms. Walk with your head held high, grasping your favourite reusable traveling cup filled to the brim with a healthy dose of “get the hell out my face!” and just keep on walking. Oh, how the haters love to stare.’


✨ 4 tbsp whipping cream (or non-dairy alternative)

✨ Black lava sea salt (or regular salt; you may also use the collective salt from your haters)

✨ 240ml/8fl oz/1 cup strong black coffee with 6 star anise steeped within

✨ 2 tbsp sweetener of your choice

Magickal Garnish

✨Sea salt


✨ Whip the cream until slightly thickened, then stir in the sea salt and set aside.

✨ Sweeten the coffee with your preferred sweetener.

✨ Strain the anise-steeped coffee into your traveler cup and top with the salted whipped cream.

✨ Sprinkle over a little extra sea salt and enjoy!

✨ Note on drink preference: This coffee-based potion should be made to suit your taste. If you prefer your coffee hot, ice, blended or turned into a latte with milk, it is up to you. It will not interfere with the potency of the potion. As long as you ensure the key correspondence and salt remains, it will remain magickally potent.

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Use the hashtag #Potions to share your brews on social media! Happy celebrating!

Potions, Elixirs & Brews: ????️ Looks to Kill ????️

Nourish Books is here to amp up your Valentine’s/Galentine’s plans with some *EXCLUSIVE* recipes from Potions, Elixirs & Brews by Anais Alexandre! See the potion brewing in action on the book’s Tik Tok page, plus so. many. more recipes!

Why not pair this delicious drink with a slice (or two…) of Heather Whinney’s decadent chocolate and raspberry cake? 30 minute bake time, plus it’s 100% vegan! The perfect V-Day combo.

????️ Looks to Kill ????️

From Anais: ‘There are moments you want to stop people dead in their tracks with your style and grace. If you’re looking to make an entrance that will leave them breathless, then take a swig of this killer potion. Caution: consuming this brew will not only put all eyes on you but will make them bow to you.’


✨ 3½ tbsp gin

✨ 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

✨ 4 tbsp rose simple syrup (see below)

✨ Ice cubes

✨ Splash of soda water/club soda

✨ Rose simple syrup:
– 240ml/8fl oz/1 cup water
– 350g/12oz/1 cup honey
– 1 tsp rose extract + rose petals (optional)

✨ Magickal Garnish
– Twist of lemon peel
– Sugared rose petals (to make: coat flower petals in a thin layer of egg white wash, then dip them into caster/ granulated sugar and leave them to dry for a few hours.)


✨ Put the water and honey into a small saucepan over a medium-low heat and simmer until the honey has dissolved. Leave to cool for 7 mins alongside a rose quartz crystal you have charged with the intention of being the most badass witch in existence. Then add the rose water extract.

✨ If you’re serving right away, you could add rose petals to the syrup for beautiful presentation. Any leftover syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

✨ To make the cocktail, add the gin, lemon juice and syrup to a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake for 30 secs. Strain into a short glass with a large ice cube and add a splash of soda water/club soda. Garnish with the lemon peel and a petal.

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Use the hashtag #Potions to share your brews on social media! Happy celebrating!