This homemade Soft Pretzels recipe requires a bit of craftiness, but it'll leave you completely satisfied once you've mastered the technique.
1 1⁄2 cups warm water
2 1⁄2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
3 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
Coarse or kosher salt
1 gallon water
1 tablespoon baking soda
In large bowl, combine warm water, yeast and sugar; let sit for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
In separate bowl, combine flour and salt. Add to yeast mixture and mix until it comes together. Use your hands to combine into a ball. On lightly floured work surface, knead dough for a few minutes until a smooth, sticky dough forms.
Place dough in oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for about 45 minutes.
On lightly floured work surface, divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope, 18 to 20 inches long. (Don’t over-flour your hands or the work surface as this will make the pieces more difficult to roll.) Twist each piece into a pretzel shape by placing the arc of the pretzel at the bottom (closest to you). Round the two ends so they’re facing the arc and twist them around; “paste” them to opposite sides of the arc, using a little water, if necessary. Place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
Prepare water bath. Once boiling, use slotted spatula to transfer each pretzel into water and let boil for 3 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Drain on cooling rack and transfer parboiled pretzels back to parchment-lined baking sheet.
Heat oven to 400ºF. Brush egg wash (beat egg with 1 tablespoon water) generously over each pretzel and sprinkle with coarse or kosher salt.
Bake for 25 minutes.