21/4 tsp or 1 packet of active dry yeast
Processing and Finishing Ingredients
4 cups water
1. Make the Dough
Combine yeast, brown sugar, salt, butter, and warm water and mix well. Stir in flour until dough forms. Knead dough for 5-10 minutes until it is smooth and no longer sticky.
Put dough in a covered bowl and set in a warm place to rise for about a half hour.
2. Roll and shape the pretzels
Punch down the dough and knead for about a minute. Divide into 12 pieces for large pretzels, or 24 pieces for small ones.
Gather a group of helpers to make the job go faster. Roll each piece into a half-inch wide rope. Pull each end to the center of the rope to form the pretzel. Or, cut into one-inch-long pieces to make nuggets. Or, cut to 6-inch pieces and leave straight to make sticks.
3. Boil the pretzels
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
The boiling step makes the pretzels taste like pretzels instead of chewy rolls. It also gives the pretzels a sticky skin for the salt to stick to.
Mix the baking soda and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Boil the pretzels for one minute (they will float), then flip them over and boil another minute. Remove and drain with a slotted spoon and place on a greased cookie sheet.
4. Salt and Bake
Sprinkle with coarse salt and bake at 450 degrees for about 8 minutes, until golden brown. If desired, brush with melted butter just when they come out of the oven.
5. Eat 'em up!
They don't taste nearly as good the next day.
(c) 2006 Karen Cole