WHAT YOU NEED:
1 cup milk
1 sachet dried yeast
2 1/4 cups white flour (plus extra for dusting counter top)
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter (plus extra for greasing)
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons baking soda
2 cups warm water
Seasonings/toppings of your choice, e.g. cinnamon and sugar, coarse sea salt, poppy seeds, chilli flakes etc.
WHAT YOU DO:
1. Heat the milk in until it is warm but not hot, pour it into a mixing bowl and sprinkle on the yeast. Leave for 2 minutes.
2. Add the brown sugar and 1 cup of the flour and mix well with a wooden spoon. Leave for 2 minutes, then stir in the brown sugar and 1 cup flour with a wooden spoon.
3. Cut the butter into small pieces of mix in along with the remaining flour and salt. You will end up with a sticky dough.
4. Tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes. It should be smooth but still slightly tacky, you may need to add a little more flour if it is too sticky to work with.
5. Shape into a ball, place it into a greased bowl and cover with cling film. Leave it to rise for about an hour until it has doubled in size.
6. Preheat oven to 200C/400F.
7. Punch the dough a few times to deflate it, and tip it onto a lightly floured surface.
8. Divide it into 6 pieces (for accuracy, do this by weight). Roll each piece until it is about 50cm long – I did this through a mixture of rolling it on the surface, and holding the two ends and bashing it on the counter while gently stretching (this is where you find out if your dough is elastic enough!).
9. Twist each one into a pretzel shape.
10. Grease a large baking tray.
11. In a shallow dish, stir the baking soda into the warm water. Individually dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution ensuring it gets wet all over, and place on the baking sheet. Allow a little expansion gap in between each one. Sprinkle your choice of seasoning/toppings on each one, I used cinnamon and sugar on these, or leave them plain.
12. Bake for 10-12 mins until brown, transfer to a cooling rack.
These are best eaten the same day if you like the crispness on the outside.