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Published January 27, 2016
Homemade pretzels Photos Susie Iventosch

(Makes 6 large or 8 medium)
1 1/2 cups warm water, at about 110-115 degrees
1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon salt (I use about 12 grinds from my Himalayan pink salt grinder)
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
3-4 cups all-purpose flour (use any excess for kneading dough)
For Water Bath
6 cups of water
1/2 cup baking soda (that's right ... 1/2 CUP!)
For topping
Coarse crystal sea salt
1 beaten egg or 1/4 cup Egg Beaters (for brushing on top of the bagels before baking)
Pour warm water into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle yeast over the top. Whisk together and allow to sit for a few minutes. Add sugar and salt and stir well. Add flour, one cup at a time, mixing with wooden spoon until mixture becomes a thick dough. Dough will still be sticky, so continue to add just enough flour until the dough is no longer sticky.
Turn dough onto a cutting board, or cloth, and knead for about 5 minutes. Place dough into a greased or oiled bowl, turn once to coat both top and bottom with the oil. Cover with a damp towel, and allow to sit until doubled in volume.
Meanwhile, mix the 6 cups of water and baking soda in a large pot and bring to a boil, so that the baking soda dissolves. Remove from heat until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. I also spray the parchment paper to ensure the pretzels will easily come off paper after baking.
Divide dough into the number of pretzels you wish to make. Form a little ball out of each section of dough. Roll the dough ball between your palms until it forms a long, skinny tube - about 20-25 inches long. This can take a little while. Place the doughy pretzels on a flat surface that is dusted with flour until all of them are shaped.
Now, bring the baking soda bath back to a boil, and taking one pretzel at a time, drop them into the bath for about 20 seconds. Flip and repeat on the other side. Remove from bath with a slotted spatula and shake slightly to drip off excess water. Place pretzels onto the prepared baking sheet.
Brush each pretzel top with the egg and sprinkle tops with coarse salt.
Bake for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and turn the oven up to broil. When ready, place pretzels back under broiler for just 10-20 seconds, or until tops are golden brown.
Can prepare a day or two ahead of time and reheat before serving.
Bon appetite and may your favorite team win!


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