Yields: ~12 pretzels
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup of warm water (you want it hot, but not boiling!)
2 1/4 tsp yeast
[In a small bowl, stir these ingredients together, and then let it rise for about 10 minutes.]
4 1/2 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups of water
1 tsp of salt
1) In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, water and salt.
2) Then add your yeast mixture, and mix.
3) Knead your dough on a floured surface until it feels "right" (about 30-40 times.....once you've made these a few times you'll have a better feel for what "right" feels like!).
4) Now place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a dish towel. (It's best to place your bowl in a warm area, such as a patch of sunlight, or in the oven with the light on. Let it rise for about an hour.)
5) Cut your dough into 12 equal pieces, roll and shape into a pretzel, and let rise for another 45 minutes.
[Optional]: If you want a salted pretzel, brush the tops of your pretzels lightly with an egg white and sprinkle with coarse salt.
6) Cook in the oven for approximately 12-15 minutes at 400 degrees F.