My friend was in Berlin recently, so I was feeling super German, even though I'm not, and wanted to make pretzels about it. I wanted something super chewy, so I basically made pizza dough, whipped into some pretzel shapes, dipped them into baking soda water, baked them, and called them pretzels. And thus, my pizza version of pretzels was born, and they would make any German person cry, I'm sure. But, you know, throw a stick of butter on anything and it tastes great no matter which country you say it's inspired by, so here we go!
Butter Count: 8 Tbsp
3 1/2 cup warm water, separated
1 1/8 tsp active dry yeast
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/8 tsp salt
2 cups bread flour
2 cups regular flour
2 Tbsp baking soda
6-8 Tbsp melted butter
1. Add the yeasst to 1 1/2 cups warm water in a mixing bowl, stirring until dissolved. Add the sugar and salt, stirring again until dissolved. Add the flours and combine all ingredients thoroughly. Knead until the dough is elastic. Rise about 1 hour.
2. Tear pieces of dough away from the ball and roll them into 10-12 long ropes, about .75 inches thick. Form them into pretzel shapes.
3. Add the baking soda to 2 cups warm water. Stirring the bath often, dip each pretzel into the bath and then transfer to a greased baking sheet. Allow the pretzels to rise about 30 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 450F. Bake about 12 minutes until the pretzels are golden (not brown). Remove from oven and immediately brush liberally with the melted butter. More butter may be necessary. Sprinkle generously with pretzel salt and eat immediately, or store in refrigerator until ready to eat. Serve with mustard of any kind!!! If storing in the refrigerator, I find it is best to microwave about 15 seconds per pretzel before serving to get some of that chew back.