- 354g warm water
- 16g sugar
- 10g Kosher salt
- 10g yeast (I recommend SAF brand)
- 623g AP flour
- 57g unsalted butter, melted
- Vegetable oil, for bowl
- 8 cups water
- 1 Tbsp Lye (baking soda is an OK substitute in a pinch)
- 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Kosher or Pretzel Salt
Combine water, sugar and salt in a stand mixer. Add yeast and let rest for approximately 5 minutes (or until yeast begins to proof).
Add flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Add *small* amounts of flour or water to get the correct consistency. This will vary with the relative humidity in your kitchen.
Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it proof for 45m to 1 hour, depending on the temp. When your dough has doubled in size, you can move on to the next step.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 pans with parchment paper.
Pour 8 cups of water into a wide/shallow container. Tupperware is ok but a large stainless steel frying or sautee pan is best.
**CAUTION** LYE IS DANGEROUS!
Carefully mix lye (or baking soda) into the water (gloves and goggles are recommended).
Turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface (I spray the counter with Pam or a similar product) and divide into 8-10 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other twice and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.
Place entire baking sheet in freezer for 5-8 minutes in order to make it easier to handle the lye dip.
NOTE: You can also stop at this point if you’re going to freeze the dough. Once each pretzel is frozen individually so that it won’t stick to others, simply bag up the pretzels and pull them out as needed.
After chilling the pretzels, place them gently into the lye solution for about 30 seconds, making sure the entire pretzel is submerged and washed in lye. Remove from the solution and place them on the parchment lined pan. Brush each with a small amount of the egg yolk mixture and sprinkle with pretzel or Kosher salt.
Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack for 5 minutes before serving.
NOTE: If using lye, you may notice a slight green discoloration on the bottom of some pretzels. This is a result of some chlorine coming out of your tap water and staining the egg. It’s all good. No worries. If your friends and family are freaked out about the color, that just means more pretzels for you.