The original recipe came from an Amish family that attended camp years ago. The camp has used the recipe ever since! So...I'm going to share it with you.
6 Tablespoons Yeast
4 1/2 c. warm water, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 c. brown sugar
12 c. bread flour (I used regular)
Course kosher salt
Dissolve 6 Tablespoons Yeast in 1 1/2 c. warm water. Add 2 c. brown sugar, 1 1/2 t. salt, 3 remaining cups warm water, and 12 c. bread flour. (May need more if too sticky.) Knead for 8-10 minutes. Remove dough from bowl onto floured surface and let rise for 15 minutes.
By the way, this recipe makes about 40 pretzels! Just look at this huge lump of dough! I did have to use my Bosch mixer for this recipe. I don't think my kitchen aid could handle this amount of dough. So I would suggest that if you want to do the whole recipe, use your hands or an industrial mixer, otherwise, half the recipe.
Pinch off a small, "baseball-size" or smaller piece of dough. Roll and form into pretzel, pretzel stick, alphabet letter, sword, braid, baby, wiener dog, or purse shape. What can I say? my kids have creative imaginations...don't know where in the world they got that from :)
Hint: the skinner you roll the pieces the better. When you are rolling you might think, oh that's skinny enough...keep rolling...I'm talking skinny. They puff up a lot during baking. You might just end up with a puffy ball of pretzel if it's not skinny enough, so think skinny.
Fill a rectangle pan with warm water and sprinkle some baking soda in.
Dip your pretzel creation in the pan of warm water mixture then set on a baking sheet. I lined my pan with parchment paper. Otherwise, grease well.
Now, I did this next step BEFORE I baked the pretzels...but...I think you can do this after you bake them too. So, try some both ways and see what you like better.
Brush your creations with melted butter and sprinkle with either salt or cinnamon sugar.
Bake at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
(The original recipe calls for 450-500 degrees - I put my oven at 475 at first, but found 450 for 10 minutes worked better for my oven...experiment with yours)
Here's my kitchen helpers with their wonderful creations!
The salt pretzels are good dipped in cheese sauce, mustard or cream cheese.
I made a homemade, family frosting to dip the cinnamon sugar pretzels sticks in...mmm...yummy!
Family Frosting Recipe
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 c. butter, soft
dash of salt
3 Tablespoons milk or cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Because I wanted to use this frosting as a dip, I added some more milk/cream to make it a little more dippable...is that a word? ...well it is now!