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STS Cookin': Soft Pretzels

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Good news friends! With the offseason in full swing it is time for the return of your favorite series, STS Cookin'. I know you all missed the recipes over the season and I am pleased to say they are back. Thanks to my ladyfriend's inability to cook I will have plenty of opportunities to try out some fun new recipes for your enjoyment.

But for today we have a little something that will be perfect for your Super Bowl party, soft pretzels. It is rather simple to go buy that bag of pretzels or buy the frozen soft pretzels and reheat them in the microwave. This recipe is a better option and it is rather simple. It comes from Food Network nerd chef Alton Brown and is frankly delicious.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups Warm Water (110 - 115 degrees Fahrenheit)

1 tbsp. Sugar

2 tsp. Kosher Salt

1 package Active Dry Yeast

22 ounces (about 4.5 cups)  All-Purpose Flour

2 ounces Unsalted Butter, melted

Vegetable oil for pan

10 cups Water

2/3 cup Baking Soda

1 large Egg Yolk beaten with 1 tbsp of water

Pretzel Salt

Instructions:

1. Combine warm water, sugar, and salt in mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top and let sit for 5 minutes or until foam begins to form on the top of the mixture.

2. Add the flour and butter to the mixture. Use the bread hook attachment to mix on low until well combined.

3. Turn the mixer up to medium and mix until the dough pulls away from the sides and is smooth.

4. Remove the dough from the bowl and either clean the current bowl or use a new bowl. Lightly oil the selected bowl and then place the dough in it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in a warm location for 50-55 minutes. The dough should double in size.

5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and combine all of the baking soda and the 10 cups of water in a large pot. Bring the pot to a rolling boil.

6. While waiting for the water to boil, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into a string approximately 24 inches long. DO NOT FLOUR YOUR SURFACE. If anything slightly oil it.

7. Make a U shape with each string. cross the sides over one another, and then press each rope end into the bottom of the U to form the classic pretzel shape.

8. Place each pretzel into the boiling water and baking soda.Remove it after 30 seconds and place it onto a parchment lined baking sheet. You should only place one pretzel in the boiling water mixture at a time. The pretzels should poof up a bit and begin to take on that classic pretzel smell.

9. Wash the top of each pretzel with the egg yolk/water mixture and top with pretzel salt.

10. Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden brown.Let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.