I needed to get this recipe up even though I don't have good pictures to go with it. Maybe I'll remember to take pictures when I make them this week. Keep in mind this is a long/verbose recipe, but that's how I write them up
1.5 C warm water
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2.5 teaspoons yeast
22 ounces flour (about 4.5 cups)
.5 stick butter (melted)
Mix first four ingredients, let bloom.
Add last two, knead in mixer for 5 minutes
Let raise to double
Then fill a big pot (I use my 4 quart pot) with water, add 1/3-1/2 cup baking soda in it.
While it is coming to a boil:
Split dough into 8 pieces
Roll out into snakes (I do this in two waves. Roll all 8 out, go back and roll them a bit more)
In a small cup/bowl mix 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 Tablespoon water
Spray cookie sheet (DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!)
Now you are ready to make the pretzels
Take one snake, make pretzel, boil for 30 seconds
Place on cookie sheet, brush with egg mixture, sprinkle with pretzel or kosher salt
Repeat with 3 more
Bake at 450 for 12-14 min
Repeat with last 4 snakes on another baking sheet that you spray
Note about freezing:
I have tried freezing after boiling, after baking, with and without salt. The most success I have had is when I boil and brush with egg yolk and bake with no salt. Then, let fully cool, wrap each pretzel in plastic wrap and put them in a zip-top bag. Then, when you want a pretzel, pull just the number you want out of the freezer, brush with a bit of water, sprinkle with salt and bake or microwave (we use our toaster oven, it works great).