I had a hankering for soft pretzels today after seeing some posted on Pinterest this past week. I called my mother-in-law and got her age-old recipe. She made the recipe when her kids were little; it came from a children's magzine back in the late 70's called Geographic World. She even read me the direction, "Get a parent's help when boiling the water." Cute.
Easy ingredients, easy directions...
1 package active dry yeast
1/8 cup hot water
1 1/3 cup warm water
1/3 cup brown sugar
5 cups flour
Mix the dry yeast into the hot water and dissolve it. In a large bowl, stirring constantly, add in the warm water and brown sugar.
Add the flour 1 cup at a time, continuing to mix together until the mixture is smooth and does not stick to the sides of the bowl (I used a wooden spoon, but when I got to the last cup, I had to use my hands).
Lightly flour a board and knead the dough until it is stretchy and smooth.
Grease two cookie sheets very well and sprinkle with coarse kosher salt. Break off golf-ball size pieces and roll to be about 14 inches long and the width of your thumb.
Fill a frying pan with 1 cup water and 1tbs baking soda. Bring to a gentle boil. Use a spatula to lower each pretzel into the pan. Leave them in for 30 seconds and lift them onto the cookie sheet.
Sprinkle with more salt and bake at 475 degrees for 8 minutes.
Look at those beautiful golden brown pretzels--a little skinny, I know.
The recipe made about 25 pretzels. I put most of them in the freezer so we could enjoy them fresher for a while. I called Barbara back to ask about putting cinnamon-sugar on them instead of salt, but she was so repulsed by the idea that she wouldn't even answer the question.