Seriously: these are super easy to make, and fun — even when you’re in a hurry; even when you’ve got three kids underfoot. This is a basic bread dough, really. What makes a pretzel a pretzel is the key step of boiling them in baking soda water, so don’t skip it.
- 2 packets active dry yeast (0.5 oz. total)
- 2 cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
- 1/2 cup + 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- sea salt
Dissolve yeast and 1 tsp. sugar in warm water until bubbly, about 10 minutes. Beat together egg, butter, salt and sugar. Add in 2 cups flour and yeast/water solution and blend well. Gradually add in remaining 4 1/2 cups flour, switching from spoon to hands for mixing when necessary. Knead for 5-10 minutes or until sort of rubbery and flexible: bread dough tells you when it’s ready. Allow to rise 1 hour in large bowl covered with a dishcloth.
When dough has doubled in size, punch down and divide into 16 equal portions. Roll each portion into a 20″ rope and twist into pretzel shape. Boil 6 cups water with 1/2 cup baking soda added in. Toss each finished pretzel into boiling water until it rises to the surface, <5 minutes. Remove each pretzel and sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake pretzels 4 at a time on oiled baking sheet on top rack of oven, or various bits will burn, for 10-15 minutes or until nicely browned. Transfer to rack for cooling. Makes 16 awesomely delicious soft pretzels.