1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (about 110'F)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour (or 22 oz)
2 oz melted butter (cooled a bit, no hotter than 115'F)
Vegetable oil, for the pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt (if you have it....or course sea salt)
In a large bowl, combine the lukewarm water with the sugar and salt, then sprinkle the yeast on top. Set aside for 5 minutes at which time the yeast will have started to foam a bit.
Pour in the flour and butter and mix until well combined. Pour out onto a smooth surface (I found that I did not need to dust the surface with flour as the dough did not stick. If you find that it's sticking to your surface, dust slightly but try not to use too much. You don't want too much flour added to your dough). Knead the dough until smooth. This will take 5 - 10 minutes.
Clean the bowl you had mixed it all in, dry it and oil it. Place your nice smooth ball into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap
Let it sit in a draft free place in your kitchen and allow to rise for about 50 - 55 minutes. At which point your dough has doubled in size
Preheat your oven to 450'F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and lightly grease the parchment paper with vegetable oil.
In a large pot or stock pot, bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil.
While the water is heating.....lightly grease your counter space where you'll be working the dough. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.
Roll each piece into a 24" long rope. I think that was the most challenging part for me. My ropes kept springing back. I probably should've let the 8 balls rest a few minutes before working them so much.
Anyways....now that you have the ropes made, shape them into pretzels
Place the pretzels on your prepared baking sheets.
Now....your water should be boiling like crazy. If not.....it will be soon. Once it is, gently and carefully place one pretzel in the water and boil for 30 seconds, carefully flipping it over halfway through the process. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pretzel from the water and return to the baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining pretzels, one at a time.
Take your egg wash and brush over the tops...then sprinkle with course salt.\Bake for about 12 - 14 minutes or until a deep golden brown. Allow to cool on a cooling rack for a few minutes before eating
Pairs Well With
This is something I've wanted to try baking for years. Had I known they were so easy to make, I would've tried long ago!
Let me just tell you about a personal observation about these though....when I bit into one, fresh out of the oven...still warm and soft....it reminded me of salty soft bread. I was a bit disappointed at first. BUT....after they cooled a bit more...to room temperature, the pretzel flavor shined through and I was thrilled.