4 tsp. active dry yeast * 1 tsp. sugar * 5 cups flour
1 ¼ cups warm water (110 degrees)
½ cup sugar * 1 ½ tsp. salt * 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil * ½ cup sugar
4 cups hot water * ¼ sup kosher salt, for topping
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, ½ cup sugar and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.
When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
Bake for 8 minutes, until golden brown.
Also good topped with cinnamon and sugar for a sweet treat.