Adapted from a recipe found (Sep 2001) on bread.allrecipes.com submitted by Christa Rose.
Photos illustrating each step can be found elsewhere on this website.
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, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a 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 F (230 C). 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 balls of dough. Divide each ball into four equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope. Roll each rope into longer, thinner, ropes. Repeat rolling each piece, until your pieces are at least 8 inches long. Twist into pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt, if desired (see below). Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, until browned.
Optional: Dip hot pretzel in melted butter and coat with a garlic/parmesan mixture, or (using unsalted pretzel) dip in melted butter and coat with cinnamon sugar.
Makes 48 little pretzels.
Mar. 2002. These pretzels were a hit at a potluck party. We could fit about 21 pretzels onto our cookie sheets. We saved out a few and refrigerated them, and it didn't seem to take any longer to cook them when they come from the fridge.
Sep. 2015. Remember to grease the foil if you're using aluminum foil in a portable roaster oven, as this will help make them crisp on the bottom.