I adapted this recipe from a recipe online found HERE.
Auntie Anne's Pretzels Copy Cat Recipe:
1 1/2 c. water
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (1 pkg.)
2 T. brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp. salt
3 1/2 c. flour (if you use bread flour it makes your pretzels much fluffier!)
1 c. water
1 T. baking soda
2 T. melted butter
1. Sprinkle yeast on lukewarm water in mixing bowl; stir to dissolve.
2. Add sugar, salt and stir to dissolve; add flour and knead dough until smooth and elastic.
3. Let rise at least 1/2 hour.
4. Prepare the baking soda bath by dissolving 1 T. baking soda in 1 c. of water in shallow/wide bowl, stirring often.
5. After dough has risen; pinch off bits of dough and roll into long rope to desired thickness. (The recipe says the thinner the pretzel the more it tastes like Auntie Anne's, but I've done both, and I really like them thick too.) Another way I like to do it is to roll out the dough, and use a pizza slicer to get my strips and then it's easier to roll into ropes, or make pretzel sticks.
6. Dip pretzel in soda solution and place on greased baking sheet. (MY TIP: Line your cookie sheets (you'll need two large cookie sheets) with aluminum foil wrapped over the edges. The baking soda on the pretzels stains our cookie sheets. It eventually comes off, but stays stained for a while. Still grease the aluminum foil.)
7. Allow pretzels to rise again. (I actually haven't ever done this step, but my pretzels are rising while I am rolling them out, etc. The only one's that don't get to rise as much are the last pretzels I make.)
8. Bake in oven at 450 degrees for about 6-8 minutes until golden colored, depending on how thick your dough is.
9. Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with coarse salt if desired.
For the Cinnamon Sugar pretzels:
Mix together 1/2 c. sugar and 1 1/2 T. cinnamon in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Melt about 4 T. butter. Dip pretzels in butter and roll in cinnamon and sugar. We dipped ours in the same icing I use to put on our turnovers. For the icing: Whisk together 1 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, 1 1/2 T. milk, and 1/4 tsp. vanilla.
(TIP: This is also a great activity for your kids! I let mine shape their own dough. It keeps them busy while I shape the rest of the pretzels!)