Soft pretzels


2 pkg active dry yeast
2 cups warm water, 110-115 degrees
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg

7 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp water
coarse salt, optional

How to prepare

In a lg bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar, salt, butter and egg. Stir in 3 cups of flour; mix until smooth. Add enough additional flour to make a stiff dough. Cover bowl tightly with foil; refrigerate 2-24 hours. Punch dough down and divide in half. On a lightly floured surface, cut each half into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 20-in. Rope. Shape into the traditional pretzel shape and place on a greased baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine egg yolk and water; brush over the pretzels. Sprinkle with salt if desired. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 25 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until brown.

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