Soft Pretzels

makes 6-8 big pretzels

Ingredients:

1.5 cups warm water (but not hot)
1 tablespoon instant yeast (fast acting, Rapid Rise, etc.)
1 tablespoon sugar
4 cups AP flour
1 egg, beaten with a little bit of water
coarse kosher or sea salt for sprinkling

Instructions:

In a large bowl, add first four ingredients in the order listed.  Mix well until it forms a nice dough.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Take pieces of the dough and roll into shapes.  I like to do traditional pretzel twists, but you can also make pretzel rods or any shape you want, like letters.  

Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle liberally with salt.

Bake about 15 -20 minutes at 425 F degrees, until deep golden brown.  

Variations: 

Pizza Pretzels: Add 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese and 3 ounces of chopped pepperoni when mixing the dough, to make pizza pretzels.  Top with salt and any other seasoning you like - cracked black pepper, red chili pepper, oregano, etc.

Seasoned Pretzels:  Add 1 teaspoon each of black pepper, coarse sea salt, dry rosemary and 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder in a small bowl and mix well.  Sprinkle on pretzels after the egg wash.  Grate Parmesan Cheese on top and bake.

The Italian Dish
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