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Preheat oven to 450 F (230 C). In a large bowl or glass measure, dissolve 1/4 cup baking soda in 2 cups hot water. When all of the dough is shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution (for about 5-10 seconds or so) and place on a greased baking sheet (or a cookie sheet with a piece of baking parchment). In the second photo, I've used double the water and baking soda, and I'm using the orange-handled scoop to fish the pretzels out of the water. You can see the scout handbook is open to the page on knots; I've tied them according to the second knot shown.
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Last ingredient from the list: 1/4 cup kosher salt, for topping. Sprinkle the pretzels with kosher salt, if desired. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, until browned. Be careful not to cook them too long. Optional: Dip hot pretzel in melted butter and coat with a garlic/parmesan mixture, or (using unsalted prezel) dip in melted butter and coat with cinnamon sugar. Makes 48 little pretzels.
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Or instead of baking them right away, you can freeze them. (Dunk them in the water but don't salt them.) Cut pieces of baking parchment paper about the same size as the container's lid or larger. Lay down two pieces, put a layer of pretzels in, put another two pieces of parchment down, and so forth. In the third photo, I've taken the container out of the freezer an hour or two after the first batch were put down, and I'm filling it the rest of the way up with another batch of pretzels.
When you want to enjoy some, take half a layer out of the freezer, use the piece of parchment that comes with it, spread them out on a small baking sheet and sprinkle with the kosher salt or the cinnamon sugar. Bake at 450 F for 8 minutes. You can even do this with a toaster oven if you have one...
I take one pretzel out of each batch (two or three if Maria and Lynn are up and around) as I go along, and salt it (or sprinkle cinnamon sugar on it), pop it in the oven on a piece of baking parchment and bake it. They're excellent hot out of the oven with a little butter.