Philadelphia Soft Pretzels to add to "My Favorite Things" post

by thesoontobemurrys

My favorite recipe (courtesy of Country Home – Jan/Feb 1998):

4 – 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. cooking oil
1 slightly beaten egg white

In mixer bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour and the yeast.
In a saucepan, heat and stir milk, sugar, oil, and 1 teaspoon salt just until warm.
Add to flour mixture.
Beat on low to medium speed 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl.
Beat on high speed 3 minutes.
Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much remaining flour as you can.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface.
Knead in enough remaining flour to make moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6-8 minutes).
Shape into a ball, place in greased bowl, turning once to grease surface.
Cover, let rise in a warm place until double (about 1 1/4 hours).
Punch dough down.
Turn out onto lightly floured surface.
Cover, let rest 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, grease 2 baking sheets.
Roll dough into 12×10 inch rectangle.
Cut into 20 12×1/2 inch strips.
Pull each strip into a rope about 16 inches long.
Shape into pretzels.
Place pretzels 1/2 inch apart on prepared baking sheets.
Bake in a 475* oven for 4 minutes.
Remove from oven; reduce temperature to 350*.
Regrease baking sheets.
Disolve 2 tablespoons salt in 3 quarts boiling water; reduce heat.
Lower 4 or 5 pretzels at a time into simmering water.
Simmer 2 minutes, turning once.
Remove with slotted spoon, drain on paper towels for a few seconds.
Place pretzels 1/2 inch apart on baking sheets.
Brush pretzels with mixture of egg white and 1 tablespoon water.
Sprinkle with coarse salt.
Bake in 350* oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from sheet, cool on wire rack.

Makes 20 pretzels