Soft, buttery pretzels
Ingredients (serves 12)
Knead in 1/2 to 3/4 cups of flour, on a floured surface until the dough is elastic and smooth. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place, about 80-85C until doubled in size and light, for about 45 minutes.
Spray two large cookie sheets with cooking spray. Punch down the dough and divide into 12 pieces. Roll into ropes about 16 inches long, and form into pretzels. Place onto the prepared cookie sheets, cover and let rise in a warm place, about 20 minutes.
Move oven rack to top position and preheat to 400F. Meanwhile, in a shallow saucepan, combine baking soda and remaining 6 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Drop pretzels into the water, one at a time, and cook for 5 seconds on each side. Remove pretzels using a slotted spoon and return to the cookie sheet. Sprinke with pretzel salt, if desired, and bake for 8 minutes. Brush with the melted butter. Bake for an additional 2 minutes and brush with any remaining butter. Serve pretzels warm. Original recipe makes 12 pretzels.