1/8 cup hot water
1 TBS dry yeast
1 1/3 cup warm water
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 1/2 cups flour
5 TBS baking soda
Coarse kosher salt (table salt works, too)
Egg whites (optional--makes pretzels shiny when cooked)
Mix hot water and yeast. Add in warm water and brown sugar. Stir in flour. Knead dough (with extra flour as needed) for 8-10 minutes. Set aside. (Dough will not be moist and fluffy like bread dough. It is more dry and rubbery.)
Grease cookie sheets. (Use your old ugly ones. They will get stained.) Fill a pot with water (about 5 cups). Add 1 TBS of baking soda for every cup of water. Bring water to a gentle boil.
Pinch off golf-ball size pieces of dough and shape as desired. (Dense shapes like a ball don't work well. If you want traditional shaped pretzels, watch this tutorial.) Lower pretzels into boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and place on greased cookie sheets. Brush with egg whites, if desired, and sprinkle with salt.
Bake at 450 for 8 minutes. Best eaten warm with cream cheese--try some fun flavors!
This is Lisa...I got this fantastic recipe from my college roommate, Jess. It's become an informal family tradition to make them on New Years Eve. They're also great for group dates, game nights, and YSA FHE activities. Little kids love to make them, too!