Here's the modified recipe:
- 1/2 cup of hot water
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Kosher salt or sugar
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the yeast mixture, egg yolk and milk. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of milk. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth. Then knead the butter into the dough.
- Knead the dough for about 20 minutes until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
- Let the dough proof in room temperature in a mixing bowl, covered with cling wrap. Let proof for 1 to 2 hours.
- Remove dough and punch out the gas. Divide dough into 10 equal portion. Roll and shape into balls. Let the doughs rest and relax for 15 mins. (this 'relaxing' time is needed so that the dough will be easier to roll out and shaped).
- In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.
- On a lightly floured surface, flatten one dough and roll out into a longish shape. Roll up the dough swiss-roll style. Do the same for the remaining doughs.
- Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt or sugar. Let the doughs proof for the second time, until it about double the size.
- Bake in preheated oven of 450 degrees F or 230 degrees C for 8 minutes, until browned.
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