Without a doubt, the most popular way to eat a warm soft and chewy salted pretzel is dipped in yellow mustard, but there are some who prefer warm and melty nacho cheese dip.
2 (0.25-ounce) packages active dry yeast, or 4 1/2 teaspoons
1 cup water - divided use
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon corn oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour - divided use
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon coarse salt
- Dissolve 1/2 of the yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water (105°F to 115°F / 40°C to 45°C); let sit undisturbed for 3 to 5 hours.
- Next, combine remaining yeast with 1/4 cup of warm water (105°F to 115°F / 40°C to 45°C); let sit for 3 to 4 minutes, or until foamy. Dissolve honey in remaining water (hot tap water is fine); stir in oil and salt. When cool, mix it together with both yeast mixtures in a large bowl. Add 2 cups of flour, incorporating it with a spoon or plastic dough scraper and mixing vigorously for 3 or 4 minutes. Turn mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and, using the remaining cup of flour, knead the mass into a medium-firm dough. Let the dough rise, covered and in a warm spot, for 30 minutes, until almost doubled in size.
- Punch dough down and form into a tight ball. Coat with a little corn or vegetable oil and place it back in the bowl. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let it rise in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours. When doubled in size, take dough out of refrigerator and shape it immediately. Divide dough in 14 equal pieces and roll each piece into a log about 24-inches long. The strands of dough should be about 3/4-inches in diameter in the middle and taper down to 1/4 inch at each end. Bend each strand into desired pretzel shape and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush pretzels with a mixture of egg yolk and milk, sprinkle with coarse salt, cover loosely and let rise for 30 more minutes
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Bake pretzels for 30 minutes or until dark golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Makes 14 pretzels.