- 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 cup lukewarm water plus 3 tablespoons
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter, softened
- 2 quarts water, for bath
- 1/2 cup baking soda, for bath
- Coarse salt (optional if you don’t like salty pretzels)
- Melted vegan butter, for brushing
- Mustard, for serving
Dissolve yeast in the lukewarm water. Mix flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Form a well in the flour mixture then add the sugar to the center of the well. Pour the yeast/water mixture into the well. Let it rest for 15 minutes before mixing. Add the softened butter to the mixing bowl and knead everything to a smooth dough and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. Cut the dough into twelve equal parts, then roll each piece on a flat, dry surface, to about 20 inches (shorter ropes will yield fatter pretzels, plus they are harder to “tie”), tapered toward the ends. Place the pretzels, uncovered, in the fridge for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. To make the soda bath, fill a large stew or pasta pot 3/4 full and bring the water to a boil. Carefully and slowly add the baking soda to the boiling water. When the baking soda hits the water, it will bubble like crazy for a moment and then go down. Be very cautious not to get burned so stand back until the bath has simmered down. Using a slotted spoon, gently drop each pretzel into the bath for 10 seconds, then turn over for another 10. Then place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake the pretzels for about 12 minutes, until golden brown. Serve with mustard or brush with melted vegan butter.