Giant Soft Pretzel
4 cups all purpose flour (divided)
1 package dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup milk
½ cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg beaten with 2 teaspoons water
In a large bowl, mix 1 ½ cups flour, the package of dry yeast, sugar and salt.
Heat milk, water and oil to 120 to 130 degrees (use candy thermometer for accuracy). Add heated liquid to dry ingredients and beat for two minutes on low speed with electric mixer. Beat an additional two minutes on high speed.
Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead dough on floured surface until smooth and elastic, adding flour as needed, for five minutes. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease all sides. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 40 to 50 minutes.
NOTE: I usually reserve about 1/2 cup of flour for kneading the dough.
Punch dough down. Roll dough into a 1-inch diameter rope about 5 to 6 feet long. On greased baking sheet, shape into pretzel: Cross ends at top; twist ends once and lay down over bottom of circle.
Cover; let stand for 15 minutes until risen slightly. Brush with egg mixture and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.