- 4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp salt
- 3 quarts boiling water
- 1 slightly beaten egg white
- 1 tbsp water
- Coarse salt for sprinkling on pretzels
Stir together 1 1/2 cups of the flour with the yeast and set aside. Heat and stir the milk, sugar, oil, and the 1 tsp of salt until warm (120º-130ºF). Add this to the dry mix. Beat the mix, and then beat in the remaining flour until thick enough to knead. Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes. Shape into a ball, cover, and let rise in a greased bowl set in a warm spot.
Yield: About 20 pretzels
After about 1 1/4 hours, punch it down and turn onto a kneading surface, and let it rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Grease baking sheets. Cut dough into 16-inch ropes and shape each into a large pretzel. Bake at 475ºF for only 4 minutes. Have the 3 quarts of boiling water (with 2 tbsp salt) ready when they are to come out, and also have the slightly beaten egg white mixed with 1 tbsp water. Turn the oven down to 350ºF when the pretzels come out. Now they should be stiff enough to handle with tongs. Dip each pretzel in the salt water, and then brush with the mixture of egg white and 1 tbsp water. If you have coarse salt, sprinkle the pretzels before returning to the oven at 350ºF. Cook for 20-25 minutes.
Note: If you don't do the pretzel knot right, you can end up with something that looks suspiciously like a dog turd. Never fear, it's still delicious even when it's shaped like poo.
Source: Better Homes & Gardens, New Baking Book
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