4.5teaspoonsactive dry yeast, same as two 1/4 oz packages
3 1/2cupsall-purpose flour
1/2stick butter, melted
1egg yolk and 1 tbsp water, beaten together
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Prepare warm water and add yeast packets. Whisk and then let sit while you gather next ingredients.
Whisk in salt, sugar, and butter. Slowly add 3 cups of flour and mix with a wooden spoon until thickened. Add 1/2 cup more flour (or a little more if needeuntil the dough is no longer sticky. You want to be able to press the dough and have it come back up.
Flour a surface, add the dough, and knead for 3 minutes. Coat another bowl with vegetable oil. Add dough, cover lightly, and let rest for 10 minutes.
Start boiling 9 cups of water with the baking soda in a large pot.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Cut dough into 8 equal sections.
Roll the dough into at least a 16-inch rope but longer if you can. Bring up the ends and then curve down into the middle to create a pretzel shape. Twist a couple of times and lightly press the ends down to stick to the other dough to hold it all in place.
Add pretzels one by one to boiling water for 25 seconds. Carefully lift pretzels out with a metal spoon, shake the water off gently and place on the parchment-lined baking sheets.
Brush each pretzel with egg wash and top generously with kosher salt.