1 & 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 generous tablespoon of dry yeast
4 cups all purpose flour (divided)
2 tablespoons canola oil
In your stand mixer, mix two cups of the flour, sugar, yeast and kosher salt. Pour the warm water and oil over the top and mix with wooden spoon until all ingredients are wet. Let this stand for about 10 minutes.
Attach the dough hook to your mixer and gradually beat in the additional 2 cups of flour (1/2 cup at a time). If dough is still sticky after you get the 4 cups of flour mixed in, had a little more flour (tablespoon at a time) until the dough pulls cleanly away from the inside walls of your mixing bowl. Once it does that, knead on low for about five minutes (see note).
Remove the dough from your mixing bowl and spray the inside of the bowl with vegetable spray; return the dough to the bowl and spritz the top of the dough with vegetable spray; cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let dough sit for an hour or until it doubles in size.
Preheat your oven to 450. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and spritz the paper with vegetable spray then rub a paper towel over the parchment paper to remove excess spray. Set aside.
Punch down the dough and cut it into 8 pieces. Roll out each piece into a 24" rope and twist it into a pretzel shape (pinching ends together tightly). Place pretzels on the prepared parchment paper.
In a large (wide bottomed sauce pan), bring 10 cups of water + 2/3 cup baking soda to a rolling boil (it will really bubble). Gently place one of your pretzels onto a slotted FLAT spatula and gently lower the spatula (with pretzel) into the boiling water. Shake the spatula very gently and the pretzel will float off into the water. COOK ONLY ONE PRETZEL AT A TIME.
Boil each pretzel for 30 seconds then gently lift it back out of the water and (before you put it BACK on the parchment paper) rest the slotted spatula/pretzel gently on a kitchen towel (for a couple of seconds) so that it will absorb any water drips......THEN put it back on the parchment paper. Repeat this process for each pretzel.
When all pretzels have been through the water bath, gently brush the tops of them with egg wash (1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water) and sprinkle with salt and/or seeds.
Bake in 450 oven for 12 minutes or until they are dark golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for five minutes before serving.
Not the best for you, I'm sure, but the cheese dip recipe that is on the back of the Velveeta box is still my favorite: 1 pound of Velveeta (cubed) + 8 ounce jar of your favorite salsa. Mix and microwave on high until cheese is really melted (about 4 or 5 minutes...stir once in a while). When it's completely melted, add 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro. Yum!
This evening, hubby had sweet chicken wings for dinner (not my favorite) so I sliced one of the big pretzels and made an egg salad sandwich with it. Oh man, what a sandwich!
NOTE: I have not tried it, but I do not see why the initial dough mixing and kneading couldn't be done with a bread machine.
NOTE: Be very gentle with the pretzels when you transfer them from the boiling water back to the parchment paper lined baking sheet.