Here's the recipe for the soft pretzels made by Peanut Butter and Calimocho for the German Gastronati. These were deliciously crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. They made two varieties — coarse salt, and garlic and parmesan.
makes six large or 12 small pretzels
3 ½ cups flour
4 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp sea salt
1 cup water, fairly warm but not hot
1 Tbsp yeast, dissolved in the water
1 Tbsp baking soda, mixed with 1 cup of boiling water in a small bowl
1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon of water in a small bowl like for cereal
Mix the water, yeast, brown sugar and salt in a food processor or a large mixing bowl. Add the flour and mix until the dough is smooth. Add more flour if sticky. (If possible, let the dough sit overnight in a plastic container in the fridge.)
Now divide the dough into four, six or 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a very thin rope, a little bigger than a pencil. If you are only making four pretzels you can roll it to the thickness of a cigar and 36 inches long.
Shape into an upside down U shape on your table. Bring the ends together and twist them.
Flatten the ends with your fingers and bring to the top of the pretzel and press in the dough to secure, making it look like a
pretzel. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Now let the pretzels rise for 30 minutes or until about double in size.
Brush with the water-soda solution. For a chewier crust, mix two Tbsp of baking soda with 4 cups boiling water. Drop the pretzels in there for about 10 seconds and then lift out with a strainer or pancake turner.
Brush the pretzels with the egg and water whipped together in a small bowl. This gives the pretzel a nice, shiny glaze.
Sprinkle with toppings like coarse salt, garlic and parmesan cheese, cinnamon sugar and sesame seeds.
Bake in a hot oven, about 400 to 450 F (225 C) for 12 to 15 minutes or until well browned.