So far the best recipe I have found for one of my favorite snacks.
Philly Style jumbo soft pretzels.
Ingredients, Makes 10 to 12 jumbo pretzels
3 1/2 Tb. dry granular active yeast (2 envelopes active dry yeast)
2 cups of brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 stick of butter (melted)
6 cups all purpose flour (can use high gluten)
3/4 cup baking soda
1 egg (egg wash)
OK, if you have a dough paddle for your mixer, I would recommend you to use it. It will save your arm muscles. If not, have a strong spoon ready.
You want to have your bowl at room temp or warmer. Add the 2 cups of hot water to the bowl and add the brown sugar, mix until it has dissolved. Don't worry that it's too hot, by the time you dissolve the sugar, it will have cooled down. Then sprinkle the yeast over the water and slightly stir in. Let stand for about 5 minutes until the yeast has a good foam.
Now add the oil and butter, mix with the dough paddle (using mixer),
or wisk by hand gently for a few seconds. If you want to flavor the
pretzels with jalapeño peppers or other food items, now is the time to add it.
You can now start adding the flour, two cups at a time, to the wet ingredients, and mix until the dough is sticky, but not wet. If you don't use all of the flour, don't worry. The dough consistency is most
important. If it's too wet, add a bit more flour. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and kneed dough until smooth
and silky. It may take a good 5 minutes.
Once the dough is smooth and feels soft, add some olive oil into the bowl
and return the dough to the bowl while rubbing the oil on the dough until
covered. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit until the dough
doubles in size. It takes about 15-30 minutes depending on room temperature.
When the dough is ready, remove from bowl and divide into 10-12 pcs.
I then like to roll each piece into 24"-27" strands which will make the
jumbo size I like. You could certainly make them shorter making the
pretzels a bit smaller. Now, hold each end of the strand and bend them in 'U' shapes. Holding the ends, double twist and bring them back towards you and rest the ends on the lower part of the U that you started with. Yes, yes, practice does make perfect.
Place appropriate size parchment paper on cookie cookie sheet, and coat with non-stick spray. Place pretzels on the cookie sheet and let the them rest and proof(rise) a bit for about 15 minutes. If you need a break, refridgerate while you take a rest.
While waiting, boil 2-3 quarts of water in a large, wide pot. Once boiling, reduce heat to low to med. boil, and add 1/2 cup of baking soda. Place each pretzel into water for 15- 20 seconds. Remove them by using a large spatula, let drain, and place back onto sprayed sheet pan.
(Complete this step doing one at a time)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. While oven heats, brush egg wash onto pretzels and sprinkle with salt. Place in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
(Place leftover pretzels into ziplock bags, and refrigerate for future uses. Reheat temperature- 200 degrees)