Out of the Ballpark! Pretzels
1 1/4 C. lukewarm water
1 t. sugar
1 T. active dry yeast
1 1/2 t. salt
4 C. flour
1 T. olive oil
4 t. baking soda
1 quart water
1 egg, beaten with 2 t. water Kosher salt, to taste
1 pinch (hitter)
Combine water, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl; set in a warm spot. After 15
minutes, it should begin to foam and bubble. Add the salt and half the flour;
mix well with a wooden spoon.
Turn dough onto a floured surface; gradually knead in the remaining flour to
form a smooth dough. Knead for 5 minutes; transfer to an oiled bowl and coat
evenly with oil. Cover bowl with a towel; set in a warm, draft-free spot until
doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 450°F. Punch dough down and
roll into a log. Divide evenly into 12 pieces; roll each into a 16- to 18-inch
rope. Shape pretzels into dollar signs or bats, or form a traditional pretzel by
tying dough into a knot and pinching ends across loops.
Combine baking soda and water in a saucepan and boil. Lower each pretzel in
boiling water until it floats, about 30 seconds. Drain; transfer to a greased
baking sheet. Brush with egg mixture; sprinkle generously with kosher salt.
Cover pretzels with a cloth and let rise again for 5 minutes. Bake for 15
minutes. Serve hot with cold beer and mustard.