The first step towards fail-proof pretzels starts with the dough. There’s a short cut way for pretzels, using store bought biscuit dough but we will be making it from scratch.
Note: Use stand mixer! It’s makes your work easier! If you don’t have stand mixer, use your hands to make dough or use hand mixers.
In this recipe I’m using my hand mixer.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment mix warm water, melted butter, active dry yeast and light brown sugar for few seconds. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
Switch to dough hook attachment. Slowly add flour in parts (1 cup at a time) and kosher salt mix on low speed until well combined.
Increase the speed and continue to mix. If dough is very sticky add 1 tablespoon flour at a time and keep mixing it. Continue mixing dough for about 5 minutes or until smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Poke the dough with your fingers and if it bounces back, dough is ready. Transfer smooth dough to a big bowl greased with vegetable oil. Cover with greased cling wrap or cloth. Set it aside to rest for 30 minutes in warm place until it is doubled in size.
If you used hands to make dough you have to knead the dough to make it smooth.
Lightly sprinkle flour on clean dry surface. Remove dough from the bowl on to the surface. Knead dough for 3 to 5 minutes or until smooth.
Then transfer dough to big bowl greased with vegetable oil. Cover with greased cling wrap or cloth. Set it aside to rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour in warm place until it is doubled in size.
While dough is resting pre heat oven to 425 degree Farhenheit (or 220 degree centigrade). Line a baking sheet with greased parchment paper or silicon mat. Or generously spray oil over baking tray and bake directly on it.
In a large pot bring 8 to 9 cups of water to boil.
Punch down dough that has doubled in size. Knead it for a minute.
With sharp knife divide/cut dough into 8 equal sections.
Roll each section with your hands to form long ropes.
Cut the rope into 1 ½ inch bite size pieces.
When pretzels are cut and ready to cook, carefully add baking soda into boiling water.
Watch your hands while adding baking soda into boiling water. It will boil and pour out depending on the size of the pan used.
Using slotted spoon drop 10 to 12 pretzels into boiling water for a quick boil of 20 seconds. Remove pretzels immediately from boiling water and drain as much as you can. Transfer to greased/lined baking sheet. Make sure the bites aren’t touching. It will stick to each other and break even if left for few seconds.
Arrange pretzel bites with gap into them. Don’t over crowd the tray.
Repeat above step for remaining pretzels.
Beat a large egg with 1 teaspoon water.
Brush beaten egg over each pretzel. Immediately sprinkle coarse sea salt on top of each pretzel.
Bake in pre heated oven at 425F (or 220C) in batches for about 15 minutes. Rotate baking tray 180 degrees half way during the baking for even browning.
Once golden brown, remove baking tray from oven. Immediately brush generous amount of melted butter on each pretzels.
Serve it immediately with cheese sauce.
If you have leftovers, transfer to air tight containers and store it at room temperature for 3 days.