Our aupairs can make their own pretzels with their host children. Here is how:
1 1/2 cups warm (110-115 degrees F) water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil for the pan
10 cups water ( to boil and submerge pretzel dough)
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Combine the 1.5 cups warm water, sugar and kosehr salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the 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 bow, about 4-5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl, and then oil it well with the vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for 50-55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 half-sheet plans with parchment paper and lightly brush with vegetable oil. Set aside.
Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling oil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
While you wait for the water to boil, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 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 and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a traditional pretzel. Place onto the parchment lined pan.
Place the pretzels into the boiling water, one by one, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and ater mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until golden brown in color, about 12-14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before eating.