Bavarian or Roman?

Pretzels are commonly thought to have originated in Bavaria, but believe it or not—they can be traced back to the days in Roman times. A legend says that the crossed ends represent arms folded in prayer.
Have you ever made pretzels? This is one treat that is so easy to make; just allow one hour for the dough to rise. Pretzels are the must have snack at your Oktoberfest party or you can stack them up on dowels and take-along to a weekend tailgate. Mustard. Optional.

Hot Baked Pretzels Recipe
Recipe by George Hirsch | Makes 12 large pretzels |
1 teaspoon brown sugar
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water, 120 degrees F
4 1/2 - 5 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon Olive oil
For Pretzel Wash:
1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water
For The Topping:
1/4 cup kosher salt
Optional Additional Toppings: caraway seeds, sesame seeds, Parmesan cheese
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and brown sugar in warm water. Let yeast bloom for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the dough is too wet add the remaining 1/2 cup a flour a little at a time. Knead the dough until smooth and it comes off the sides of the bowl cleanly about two minutes; then remove to a floured board and knead for a total of about 4-5 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place (about 80 degrees) until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.
When risen, turn dough out onto a large lightly floured cutting board and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about eight inches in length, and twist into a pretzel shape. With a large skimmer, dip each pretzel dough into the baking soda solution and back on cutting board, top each pretzel with salt and any other optional topping.
Place pretzels on a greased baking sheet, bake for 8 minutes, or until browned. | From Adventures in Grilling Cookbook, by George Hirsch with Marie Bianco.