• 1 1/2 c warm (about 100 degrees F) water
• 1 T sugar
• 2 t kosher salt
• 1 package active dry yeast
• 4.5 c all-purpose flour
• 4 T olive oil
• Vegetable oil, for pan
• 10 c water
• 2/3 c baking soda
• Kosher salt
Combine the water and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour, salt, butter and, using the dough hook, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan.
At this point, you can form proper pretzels, however, since I was hosting a party, I made pretzel bites. Roll into a rope and cut dough into 2 inch pieces.
Here, I put the pretzels in the lye water for 30 seconds using a mesh strainer. Return to the half sheet pan. While still moist, sprinkle with kosher salt to tqste. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.