1 cup water
1 packet of yeast
4Tablespoon brown sugar,
I bake pretzels regularly; they can be really tasty, especially with the toppings available. For making the dough, take 1 cup of warm water into a bowel and pour a pack-worth of yeast into it (like Fleischmanns), and then drop 4 tablespoons of brown sugar into the mix, and let it sit. I used to just mix it with the flower right away but I find it is best to let it sit until it develops its signature foam (see how amateur I am?), and then mix it with:
3 and 1/2 cups of flower
2 teaspoons of salt (tsp)
Mix this until it becomes a nice dough. Make sure to powder your hands with flour lest the dough clump to your hands problematically. Make sure not to add too much flour to the dough otherwise it will fall apart when you are shaping it.
At this point, divide dough into balls (portions) of either 12, 8 or six (or however you want to make). Prepare a pammed cooking sheet, then take each ball and form it into a pretzel-form. The method it self-explanatory but first, shape it into a long, string-like dough with about the thickness of a pen. You can roll these on your counter. You will find that the dough it harder to shape if there is too much flour; do not saturate it with flour! You may even develop carpal tunnel syndrome from doing this.
Form into the pretzel shape and let rise on the greased cooking sheet for about 30min or longer. If you have the patience, let them sit overnight with plastic wrap over them before you prepare the last steps, but if you're like me, you want to eat as soon as possible. Take the risen pretzels and prepare a baking-soda solution of:
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 cup of warm water
Use a brush to lightly go over the pretzels with this. Then prepare a second solution, with 1 beaten egg and 1 teaspoon of water, and glaze the pretzels gently with this. This will help the toppings stick.
Now comes the creative part; put whatever you want on the pretzels. I usually use a mixture of shredded parmesan, salt, and some cinnamon if I am feeling adventurous. You can put anything on it though.
When done, stick these in the oven at 450 Fahrenheit for 12 minutes or so, and your pretzels will be ready to eat.
You could make the dough in any shape really, I usually make pretzels and sticks like in the picture.