These soft buttery pretzels have a great texture and they are delicious salty as they are sweet. It's the perfect treat or snack. Make them for your next Oktoberfest, game day or snack for the family.
Warm the water to 110°F. Use a candy thermometer if necessary to check the temperature.
In a Pyrex measuring cup, combine the warm water, yeast and sugar. Mix well to combine and let it sit for 10 minutes to bloom.
Combine 4 cups of all purpose flour, ½ cup white granulated sugar and 1 ½ teaspoons of Kosher salt in the stand alone electric mixer.
Make a well in the center and add the bloomed yeast mixture and oil. Mix until the dough is formed into a ball and it pulls away from the bowl.
Transfer to a flat surface and knead until smooth and round, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl, flipping to coat the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest and double in size in a warm spot. About 1 - 1½ hours.
Divide the dough into 14-16 even pieces - a pizza cutter works perfectly. Using your hands, roll out each piece into an 18-20 inch rope. Twist the rope and shape into a pretzel.
Before you start the water bath, place the rack in the middle and preheat the oven to 415°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and light spray with oil. Set aside.
In a wide pot, dissolve the baking soda in the water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Drop 2-3 pretzels at a time and cook for about 20 seconds, turning half way to cook each side evenly. Remove with a kitchen spider or slotted spoon draining excess water and transfer to the prepared baking sheets.
Prepare the egg wash: beat 1 egg with a little water.
Lightly brush each pretzel with the egg wash. For savory pretzels, sprinkle a little kosher salt before baking.
Bake until golden brown, about 8 minutes.
For sweet pretzels, brush the pretzels with butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture; or, dip the pretzels in butter and drop the pretzel in a prepared paper bag with cinnamon sugar mixture. Shake to coat the pretzel, remove and repeat until all the pretzels are coated.