Making pretzels is not as hard as you think. The key is in the kneading and the soda water bath that gives these pretzels their chewy yet soft texture. Make them with a coarse salt topping or with cinnamon sugar for an extra special treat.

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1 1/2 cups warm water
2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp butter, melted
4 cups flour
10 cups water
1/2 cup baking soda

Ingredients – Salted Pretzels
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tbsp coarse sea salt

Ingredients – Cinnamon Pretzels
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar

Mix the yeast and sugar and pour in warm water. Set aside and allow the yeast to rise (approximately 10 minutes). In the meantime, mix the flour and salt. Once the yeast has risen, add it to the flour followed by the butter. Mix together the dough and transfer to a floured surface to knead. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, folding it in thirds over itself. Once you have finished kneading the dough, cover it and let it rise for at least one hour. The dough will be smooth to the touch.

After the dough has risen, on a floured surface roll it out into a log shape and cut into 18 equal pieces. Take each piece and roll out into a thin stick approximately 18” to 20” long. Bring the two ends together to form a beaker shape (round at the bottom and straight at the top). Twist together once at the midpoint of the shape and bring the twisted pieces towards you attaching one end to one side of the circle and the other end to the other side. Round out the dough bottom if necessary.

While you are shaping the dough, bring the water to a boil with the baking soda and preheat your oven to 400°F. Drop the shaped pretzels into the water two at a time and allow them to boil for no more than 20 seconds (any more the pretzels get a metallic taste). Use a slotted spatula to remove them and place them on a baking sheet lined with silicone baking mats. If making salted pretzels, sprinkle the sea salt on the pretzels at this point (for cinnamon pretzels, leave them bare).

Allow the pretzels to dry for 10 minutes before baking. Note: Boiled pretzels can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Once cooked, brush with melted butter for added shine. For cinnamon pretzels, mix together cinnamon and sugar and dust over pretzels that have been brushed with butter.

Makes 18 pretzels.

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