2 t instant yeast
1 c milk, scalded and cooled
1 T barley malt syrup or honey
2 1/2-3 c flour
1 t salt
2 T butter, softenened
1/4 c baking soda
egg yolk + 2 T milk
Stir the yeast into milk till dissolved (helps if milk is still slightly warm). Add syrup or honey, then 1 cup of flour. Stir. Add salt, then butter, stir. Add 1 1/2 c four or enough to get a nice dough. Knead 5 minutes. Cover and let rise 90 minutes.
Divide dough into 8 pieces. Form pretzels.
Boil 3 cups of water in a pot. Add baking soda and stir to dissolve. Turn heat down until the water is just at a simmer. Dip pretzels into water for 30 seconds. Remove with slotted spatula (or whatever you have-just not your fingers).
Place on parchment lined baking sheet.* Brush tops with egg yolk and milk mixture. Sprinkle with salt or other toppings.
Bake at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.*
*The parts about the parchment paper and baking sheet, as well as the oven temperature and timing were added for using a conventional oven. I cannot vouch for these steps. When using the earth oven, I simply stick my arm in and if I can leave it there for about 6 seconds without the hair singing off, then it is ready for pretzels. My nose tells me when they are done.
On a side note......I felt two earthquakes today. That was a first. Sort of felt like thunder was shaking the house. But it was definitely not thunder. Maybe his cousin.