I figured Sunday night was the right time make these. It was a cloudy day so I couldn't be outside all day. Game 7 of the Celtics playoffs were on. This means that there is a whole lot of yelling, clapping and screaming going on in the living room. My husband would need the extra carbs to energize him for the intensity.
This recipe makes 6 large pretzels. I made 4 salted and 2 cinnamon sugar for myself. We both enjoyed the two different kinds. I prefer the cinnamon sugar only because I prefer sweet over savory foods. Hubby liked the salty. These came together very easily and are best served warm out of the oven. While they aren't just like the pretzels at the mall they do the trick to satisfy the taste buds.
Source: Food Network Magazine
Yield: 6 large pretzels
1 cup milk
1 package active dry yeast
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/3 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons coarse salt
Warm the milk in a saucepan until it's about 110 degrees; pour into a medium bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Let the yeast soften, about 2 minutes; stir in the brown sugar and 1 cup flour with a wooden spoon. Dice 2 tablespoons butter and soften; stir into the mix. Add the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour and the fine salt to make a sticky dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if needed, until smooth but still slightly tacky, about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and grease a large baking sheet. Punch the dough to deflate it, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. (If the dough seems tight, cover and let rest until it relaxes.) Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a 30-inch rope, holding the ends and slapping the middle of the rope on the counter as you stretch. Form each rope into a pretzel shape.
Dissolve the baking soda in 3 cups warm water in a shallow baking dish. Gently dip each pretzel in the soda solution, then arrange on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the coarse salt. Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.
Melt the remaining 8 tablespoons butter in a shallow dish. Dip the hot pretzels in the butter, turning to coat; place on a wire rack to let excess butter drip off. **I forgot to do this step. I did it for the cinnamon sugar variety only to get the sugar to stick but I didn't do it for the salted pretzels. Next time I will. A little extra butter makes everything OK.