How to Make Soft Pretzels Like the Pennsylvania Dutch
- 1). Mix the brown sugar, salt and 2 1/4 cups of warm but not boiling water in a large bowl. Stir to dissolve sugar and salt. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the warm water solution.
- 2). Add 4 cups of flour to the liquid and stir. Add the last cup of flour little by little, mixing it in just until you have a medium stiff dough that you can knead.
- 3). Knead the dough by hand until the dough looks smooth and is a bit stretchy. Oil it lightly, and put the dough back in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and put it in a warm place. Let the dough rise for about 1 hour.
- 4). Take the dough out and punch it down. Put it on a lightly floured board. Divide it into 15 to 20 pieces. Cover the dough with the damp cloth and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- 5). Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Put about a gallon of water in a wide kettle, and add the baking soda. Bring it to a boil and turn it down so the water stays at a simmering stage.
- 6). Roll each piece of dough into a snake about 2 feet long. Twist each piece into a pretzel shape. Place 3 or 4 at a time into the water. Leave them there for 1 minute, then take them out and drain them on towels.
- 7). Lightly grease a baking sheet. Put the hot pretzels on the sheet, and sprinkle them with coarse kosher salt to taste. Bake the pretzels for about 10 minutes or until they are brown.