Buttery Pretzels

Buttery Pretzels- Makes 12 pretzels.

2 packages active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water
5 cups flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two more tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, turn to coat with oil. Cover with let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450°. Grease 2 baking sheets. In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in 4 cups hot water. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, divide into 12 pieces. Roll each into a rope, twist into pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda-hot water solution and place pretzels on baking sheets. Sprinkle with kosher salt, if desired. Bake in preheated oven until browned, about 8 minutes.

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