From Smitten Kitchen
Oooh, I love a good soft pretzel. This recipe is so good and addicting. Ben is not a big pretzel fan, so I am cursed to forever having to make up excuses to make them. Be sure to prepare some mustard or dipping sauce because these are going to blow your mind.
This recipe (like a lot of breads) was a little time intensive, but try not to rush it. My first attempts did not turn out so well...
but I kept at it and by the time I rolled my last it was downright cute.
2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
5-6 cups flour
1 Tbsp salt
2 tsp canola or other neutral oil
1/4 cup baking soda
1 large egg
1. Pour warm water into a bowl, combine with 1 Tbsp sugar. Stir gently, add yeast and let sit for 10 minutes (until foamy)
2. Combine 1 cup of flour and yeast in a large bowl, and mix until combined. Add salt and 4 cups flour, and knead together for a few minutes. If the dough is still wet and sticky, add 1/2 cup more flour. Knead until smooth.
3. Pour oil in a large bowl; swirl to coat sides. Transfer dough to bowl, turning dough completely cover all sides. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour (or until doubled).
4. Preheat oven to 450. Lightly spray two baking sheets and set aside. Take dough and punch it down to remove bubbles, then transferred to a lightly floured surface. Knead once or twice and cut to divide into 16 pieces.
5. Roll one piece of dough at a time into an 18 inch strip. Twist into a pretzel shape and place on a floured surface (maybe use corn meal? I had trouble removing the rolled dough without messing up the shape). Cover with a towel and let rise for 15 minutes.
6. After all the pretzels are rolled, fill a large, shallow pot with a couple inches of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and add baking soda (step back, it foams quickly!) and remaining 2 Tbsp sugar. Transfer 2-3 pretzels into the water and poach for 1 minute each side. Use a slotted spoon to take pretzels out, drip dry for a few seconds and then place them on the prepared baking sheet. Continue until all pretzels have been poached.
7. Beat egg with 1 Tbsp water, and brush pretzels with the glaze. Sprinkle with salt. Bake until a golden brown (12-15 minutes) and let cook on a wire rack.
Pretzels are best the same day but will keep at room temperature, uncovered for two days. Do not store in covered container or they will become soggy.