I made these today for our trip to CA and they were so AMAZING we ate half of them and froze the rest. They are a little more work than my previous pretzel recipe but TOTALLY worth it!
1. In a small bowl, dissolve 4 teaspoons of yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar in 1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees). Let stand about 10 minutes until creamy.
2. In a large bowl mix 4 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Make a well in the center.
3. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil into the yeast mixture. Then pour this into the flour.
4. Mix and form into dough. Knead for 7-8 minutes, until smooth. Add water or flour if too dry or to wet.
5. Lightly oil a large bowl, place dough in bowl, cover with damp towel and place in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
6. Preheat oven to 400-425 and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
7. Heat 8 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of baking soda to a simmer (180 degrees) in a large pot.
8. Divide dough into pieces and roll into ropes. Twist into pretzel shapes.
9. Gently drop 2-3 pretzels at a time into the soda water. After 15 seconds, flip the pretzels and leave soaking another 15 seconds. Carefully remove pretzels from water and place on baking rack to drain.
10. Place pretzels on baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt.
11. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately remove from baking sheet to baking rack to cool.
12. Eat while warm. These should be eaten the same day or frozen. But they are MUCH better fresh from the oven!
Thanks to Will for the great pic!