A little over a month ago I stumbled over a recipe for soft pretzels (I was looking for a recipe for hamburger buns- which turned out to be awful, and since I have found a couple alternatives that I can purchase). These are delicious and in my opinion taste very similar to a popular mall pretzel franchise's pretzel. You can add salt like the recipe instructs or you can add cinnamon sugar prior to baking, which makes for a really yummy sweet alternative!
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
2 4/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
7 cups of water
1/2 cup baking soda
coarse salt for sprinkling
In a large bowl, combine the yeast, warm water and sugar, agitating until the yeast is dissolved. Let stand for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbly. Add the flour gradually until forming a soft dough that is neither sticky nor dry, adding extra flour if necessary. Turn the dough onto a clean work surface and knead until elastic and smooth, about 3-4 minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
Preaheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a large baking sheet and set aside.
Bring the water and baking soda to a rolling boil in a medium large saucepan over medium high heat. Punch the dough down and turn out onto a clean work surface. Separate the dough into 8 pieces and kned each until elastic. Shape unto rolls about 3-4 inches long.
Drop one roll at a time into the boiling water. Boil for about one minute, remove using a slotted spoon and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat this until all of your rolls have been boiled. Sprinkle with coarse salt and bake until golden brown about 12-14 minutes. Allow rolls to cool slightly before serving, and allow to cool uncovered on a wire cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.