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When I went to Switzerland, I had amazing soft pretzels from a stand on the side of the road. I've been trying to find a great soft pretzel recipe ever since then. While this one isn't quite as good as the ones I had in Switzerland, they're pretty darn good.
- Mix the water, yeast, brown sugar and salt in a food processor or a large mixing bowl.
- Add the flour and mix until the dough is smooth.
- If you have time, chill the dough for at least an hour so that it is easier to form.
- Now divide the dough into 4, 6 or 12 pieces, depending on how many pretzels you'd like to make.
- Roll each piece into a very thin rope, slightly thicker than a pencil.
- Form each rope of dough into an upside-down U shape on your table.
- Bring the ends pf each rope together and twist them.
- Flatten the ends with your fingers, and bring them to the top of the pretzel pressing them into the dough to secure the shape of the pretzel. (If you have trouble with the twisting, just do your best to make them look like pretzels. The shape won't affect the taste.).
- Place the pretzels on a greased cookie sheet.
- Now let the pretzels rise for about 30 minutes, or until they have roughly doubled in size.
- Boil the 4 cups of water with baking soda, and then dip each pretzel in the solution for 10 seconds.
- Remove the pretzels and place them back on the baking sheet.
- Beat the egg with the 1 teaspoon of water, and then brush it onto the pretzels so that they'll be nice and golden.
- Sprinkle the pretzels with more of the salt, or any other garnish you'd like. (sesame seeds, cheese, cinnamon, etc.).
- Bake for 12-15 minutes on 425 degrees, or until they're brown and golden.