Feb. 7, 2023, noon

Pretzels are easy and a fun thing to make with your children.

Makes 12

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water 
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast – 1 packet
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar or granulated sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted, slightly cool
3 ¾ to 4 cups all-purpose flour
coarse sea salt for sprinkling
1/2 cup baking soda

Preheat oven to 400° degrees.
Get a big pot of water boiling and add the baking soda.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Silicone baking mats are highly recommended over parchment paper. If using parchment paper, lightly spray with nonstick spray or grease with butter. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached, whisk the yeast into warm water. Allow to sit for 1 minute.
Whisk in salt, brown sugar, and melted butter.
Slowly add 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix until dough is thick.
Add 3/4 cup more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. If it is still sticky, add 1/4 – 1/2 cup more, as needed. Knead the dough for 2 to 3 minutes and shape into a ball.
Cover lightly with a towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Cut dough into 12 sections. Roll the dough into a rope. Form a circle with the dough by bringing the two ends together at the top of the circle. Twist the ends together. Bring the twisted ends back down towards yourself and press them down to form a pretzel shape.
Drop 1-2 pretzels into the boiling water for 20-30 seconds. Any more than that and the pretzels will have a metallic taste.
Using a slotted spatula, lift the pretzel out of the water and allow as much of the excess water to drip off. Place pretzel onto prepared baking sheet.
Sprinkle each with coarse sea salt. Repeat with remaining pretzels.
If desired, you can cover and refrigerate the boiled/unbaked pretzels for up to 24 hours before baking.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Store leftover pretzels in a covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days. They lose softness over time. To reheat, microwave for a few seconds or bake in a 350° oven for 5 minutes.