I really enjoyed making my own homemade pretzels, for a first attempt this was pretty darn fun and a really good base to start on as I progress forward and experiment with it some more – I really hope this attempt inspires you to have a try also! I seasoned mine with salt but you could easily sweeten them up!
First of all make the dough. In a large bowl mix together the butter, milk, salt, yeast, sugar and flour using a spatula. It will all come together pretty quickly into a uniformed dough, just keep giving it a mix for another minute or so, then dust your work surface with extra flour.
Knead the dough on the floured surface for a good ten minutes until nice and smooth. Lightly oil another large bowl that is clean and place the dough inside, place clingfilm on top and let it rise for an hour until doubled in height.
Once done knock back the dough, you will have enough to make 4 good sized pretzels. Working one at a time, using a floured surface again roll out the dough into a nice long snake shape and try to keep it pretty thin. Once you have a long strip, ideally at least 2ft long, make it into a U shape, cross over the two tail ends over eachother and bring back over the bottom to create the pretzel shape, there are lots of diagrams that show this pretty well online for reference.
Mix the water and the bicarbonate soda together in a wide dish until dissolved and as you make each pretzel lift it into the water mix, this helps coat it and give flavour. Place on a lined baking tray and repeat.
Coat in egg wash and sprinkle with salt flakes generously. I found that they changed shape and expanded slightly whilst sat on the baking tray so make any adjustments visually you like before putting in the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until well browned and risen In an oven pre-heated to 230c or equivalent, see temperature conversion charts.
Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving still slightly warmed! Delicious, super simple soft baked pretzels… enjoy!