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For the seeded topping, generally use 8 tablespoons any combination of seeds/pepper/garlic/onion mixture to 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt.
- 1 1⁄4 cups lukewarm water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (1 pound 1 ounce)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (to coat bowl)
For the Pretzel Boil
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 2 quarts water
For the Topping
- 1 egg, beaten with 2 tsp water
- kosher salt or coarse sea salt
- cumin seed
- caraway seed
- white sesame seeds
- black sesame seed
- poppy seed
- fresh ground black pepper
- dried granulated garlic
- instant instant minced onion
- Combine the water, sugar and yeast in a large mixing bowl and set aside in a warm spot. After 10-15 minutes, the mixture should begin to foam and bubble.
- Add the salt and about half of the flour; mix well with a wooden spoon. Turn the dough out onto a clean, floured surface and gradually knead in the remaining flour to form a smooth and elastic dough.
- Continue to knead the dough for another 5 minutes before transferring to a clean bowl with the bottom coated with olive oil. Turn the dough in the bowl to coat all sides evenly with oil.
- Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft free place until doubled in bulk, about an hour.
- In the meantime, stir together any combination of seeds, pepper, granulated garlic, dried minced onion and salt; set aside. (See description.).
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Punch the dough down and roll into a large log. Pinch off bits of dough and roll into a long rope (about 1/2 inch or less thick) and shape. To form a traditional pretzel shape, simply tie the dough into a loose knot pinching the loose ends across the loops. Transfer the pretzels onto greased baking sheets, being sure to leave generous amounts of room between them. Note: They will expand both as they rise and again as they boil and bake.
- Cover the pretzels with a cloth and allow to rise again, about 5 - 10 minutes.
- Combine the baking soda and the water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lower each pretzel in the boiling water until it begins to float, about 45 seconds to 1 minute. More than one may be boiled at a time, but be sure not to crowd the the pan as they will expand as they boil.
- Drain each pretzel and transfer to a greased baking sheet, brush lightly with the egg-water mixture and sprinkle generously with the salt/seed mixture.
- Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for about 20-24 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with hot mustard and maybe cold beer.
- Store in an air-tight container and rewarm prior to serving.