We made these last week and they turned out really well. Of course, I had to tweak the recipe and substitute honey for sugar and white whole wheat for the flour (I did use some unbleached flour). I was skeptical about dipping them in the baking soda solution before baking but I won’t question it again. My kids declared that these are as good as or better than Auntie Anne’s at the mall. Make certain you really roll them out thin, as they puff up a lot. Some of the shapes the kids made were a bit doughy in thicker places (but still yummy). Make a double batch – they disappear fast.
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water
1/4 cup kosher salt, for topping
1.In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2.In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
3.Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.
4.When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
5.Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, until browned.