Fastenwähe (Carnival Caraway-Seed Pretzel of Basel)

Total Time
Prep 2 hrs 30 mins
Cook 30 mins

The Fastenwähe or Fastenwaje is a carnival caraway-seed pretzel. We get to enjoy it in the region of Basel only around this time of year. The Fastenwähe made it's very first appearance way back in the year 1554 in the Swiss Rheinfelden 20 km away from Basel (Switzerland). More about history (in german):

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Mix in a bowl milk, butter, sugar and half of the flour.
  2. Add yeast, mix well again and let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the flour, the salt and form a soft dough.
  4. Make 12 portions and form with each a 15 cm long oval roll.
  5. Flat the rolls and make 4 5cm long opposite cuts (as shown in the photo).
  6. Toss with your hands and place on your trays (I use 2 of them).
  7. Swirl yolk and water together and brush on the breads.
  8. Top with caraway seed.
  9. Keep for about 2 hours in the cold oven or until they double their volume (keeping a bowl with warm water in the oven helps the breads to rise better).
  10. Take out of the oven and preheat the oven at 200°C (heat and timing are basing it on convection oven).
  11. Place a fireproof bowl with hot water in the oven and bake the breads of the first tray for 15-20 minutes until golden. Repeat with the other tray.
  12. Let cool on a grade end enjoy them.


Most Helpful

These are very good. Used measurement converter. These turned out great. Everyone liked them. Made as directed. Thank You. Made for ZWT7~Emerald City Shakers.

MomLuvs6 June 30, 2011

I made this fun bread for the Swiss leg of ZWT7. I made them this morning and there are only 3 remaining because they have proven to be highly addictive walk by munchies. I used the bread maker to make the dough and then just did the shaping and cuts. I'll be making this great recipe again and next time there will be pix awalde (using a borrowed laptop at present). A for this one :D

Annacia June 29, 2011

I had some difficulties with understanding some of the directions but I was able to figure it out. Coming into this cooking project with not much background information it was surprisingly a tremendous success! The directions for explaining how to shape the dough could be clearer, luckily awalde posted a picture in the veg forum for guidance. If I did this correctly, the pieces are rolled into cylindrical shapes about 5 inches long then flattened. Three slices with a sharp knife are done down the center of each roll. The dough proofed for 1 hour in a warm oven. A medium coarse Corsican salt was lightly sprinkled on each pretzel. I had to rely on the not always so reliable measurement converter to prep this recipe, too. Reviewed for Veg Tag January.

COOKGIRl January 17, 2011

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