Soft Pretzels

Ingredients

  • 3 to 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 egg white, slightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • coarse salt, sesame seed or poppy seed

Directions

In large mixing bowl stir together 1 cup of the flour and yeast. In saucepan heat and stir milk, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt just until warm (120° to 130°). Add to flour mixture. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on high speed 3 minutes. Stir in as much of remaining flour as you can.
Knead in enough of remaining flour to make moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Place dough in lightly greased bowl; turn to grease surface of dough. Cover and let rise in warm place until double (about 1 1/4 hours).
Punch dough down on lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Roll dough into 12×10-inch rectangle. Cut into twelve 10×1-inch strips. Pull each strip about 16 inches long. Shape by crossing one end over the other to form circle, overlapping about 4 inches from ends. Twist once where dough overlaps. Lift ends across to opposite edge of circle; tuck ends under edges. Press to seal. Place on greased baking sheets. Bake in 475° oven about 4 minutes. Remove from oven. Lower oven temperature to 350°.
Dissolve 2 tablespoons salt in 3 quarts boiling water. Lower pretzels, three at a time, into boiling water. Boil 2 minutes, turning once. Remove pretzels and drain on paper towels. Let stand a few seconds, then place about 1/2 inch apart on well-greased baking sheets. Combine egg white and 1 tablespoon water. Brush pretzels with egg mixture. Sprinkle pretzels lightly with coarse salt. Bake in 350° oven 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheets. Cool on wire racks. Makes 12 pretzels.
Note: Try dipped in yellow mustard.

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