Mix water , yeast, brown sugar and salt in a food processor, or a large mixing bowl. Add flour and mix until dough is smooth. Add more flour if sticky. (If possible let the dough sit overnight in a plastic container in the fridge.)
Place a large pot of water on to boil, if a chewy crust is desired. Otherwise skip this part.
Now divide the dough into 2, 3, 4, 6 or 12 pieces depending on how big you want. You can even divide the dough into 2 pieces and make very large pretzels like you see at the Oktoberfests. Roll each piece into a rope, very thin, a little bigger than a pencil if your making 4 you can roll it about cigar size and 36 inches long .
Shape into an upside down U shape on your table. Bring the right and left ends together and twist them then lay the ends back down to where they were laying, only now the ends are opposite.
Flatten the ends with your fingers and bring to the top of the pretzel and press in the dough to secure.
Shape it with your hands to make sure it looks like a pretzel.
Now let the pretzels raise for 30 minutes or till about double in size. The easy way is to brush with the water-soda solution.
For a chewier crust put 2 Tbl. baking soda mixed with 4 Cups boiling water drop the pretzel in there for about the count of 10 and then lift out with a strainer or pancake turner. To make this easier freeze the raised pretzels for 30 minutes till they are firm. Then you can turn them over and lift them out easier.
Brush with the egg wash, this will give a shiny glaze. to your pretzel.
Sprinkle with toppings like
Pretzel Salt or a Coarse flaky salt
parmesan cheese, cinnamon sugar,
or sesame seeds.
Bake in a hot oven 400 to 450 degrees (225 degrees C) for 12 to 15 minutes or until well browned.
Let cool and use a spatula or pancake turner to remove carefully from the sheet pan onto a plate.
Wrap pretzel individually in Saran wrap twice, place on a sheet pan and freeze. Take frozen wrapped
pretzels and store in a Plastic zippered freezer bag. To reheat place on pan and heat in 350 F oven for 5 minutes.
in Germany it is preferred to slice the pretzel in half
and use butter.
In the States it is common to serve pretzels with mustard and dip them.
I order from the German Deli more frequently than ever.
I try to get in bulk to make the shipping dollars count.
Also there are sales all the time I like to take advantage of.
They are nice folks. If you don't believe me call them.
and tell them Stephen Block sent you from the German Goodies Newsletter. Shop for German Food