1 1/2 c warm (110 degrees F) water
1 T sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
4 1/2 c of all-purpose flour
4 T butter (melted)
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top.
Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam.
Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Pray your mixer doesn't blow up and spew oil everywhere. lol
Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place (I placed mine on counter in the sunlight) for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Take two sheet pans and line with parchment paper and lightly brush with the paper with vegetable oil. Set aside.
Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart dutch oven.
While you are waiting for water to boil, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope of dough holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.
Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 at a time for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Confession... I didn't have pretzel salt so I just used kosher salt.
Bake until dark golden brown in color. I baked mine for 12 minutes.Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.
You can dip in your favorite mustard or cheese sauce.
Oh and if you have a weakness for all things bread...make sure someone else is in the house to share them. I managed to eat three of these darn things before dinner. WOW I am miserably full!