Bavarian Pretzel Recipe - makes one dozen large pretzels:
- 1 packet active dry bread yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons soft butter or margarine
- 2 3/4 cups bread flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 5 teaspoons baking soda (for glazing)
- Coarse salt (if desired)
- In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup warm water and packet of yeast.
- Mix in 1-1/2 cups of flower, the 2 tblsp margarine, 1/2 tsp salt and tblsp sugar. Beat the entire mixture for 3 minutes to mix well.
- Slowly mix in the remaining 1-1/4 cups of flour, and knead dough until all of the flour is mixed in and dough loses its stickiness.
- Set aside in bowl, and let it rise until dough reaches approximately double its original size.
- Divide dough into twelve approximately equal pieces. Using your palms, roll each piece into 18" lengths about pencil thickness. Loop and twist the lengths into pretzel shapes and place on a greased baking sheet. Allow pretzels to rise again until they're approximately double in girth.
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees, and ready a boiling solution of 4 cups of water, and the 5 tsp of baking soda in a shallow non-aluminum (note - aluminum may react with baking soda)
- With a plastic spatula, carefully lift each pretzel from the sheet and lower it into the boiling baking soda solution for 15-20 seconds. This will glaze the pretzels once you bake them.
- Sprinkle the pretzels with coarse salt (if desired, they're great without salt as well), and bake approximately 7-10 minutes until browned. Serve warm, topped with mustard or cheese.