This is my first time actually making homemade soft pretzels. Final results: Critical success! Recipe - Use your flour of choice. I went with about 2 1/2 cups. Next, get out your sourdough starter and add about 2/3rd cup. A few teaspoons of baking powder, 1/2 tsp of salt, a splash of milk, about 1 or 2 Tbsp sugar, roughly a squirt or two of your favorite wild honey, and 1/2 packet of yeast with warm water. Don't prepare this next part until your pretzels are made and setting up (rising) for about 30 minutes: You will also need a few cups of water inside a saucepan, brought to a light boil, add about 1 Tbsp of molasses and boil for a few minutes. Then add 1/4 cup of baking soda (Arm & Hammer) SLOWLY, and make sure you keep room in the pan because it will expand for a few seconds. Salt: I used coarse sea salt, but you can use actual pretzel salt, too. This is my sourdough starter. There are many like it, but this one is MINE! Prepare your ingredients You guys know how to mix dough and add some flour to get a nice, slightly tacky ball of goodness. Lightly oil a bowl and add your dough ball, set on the stove to rise for one hour or so. (Stove should be preheating about now at 400 degrees. Turn up to 450 just before baking) My dough is rising, slowly... After it has risen, take it out and pat the oil from the bottom of the dough with a paper towel, place onto a board and cut it up into parts. How many and size are up to you, but I like bigger. Dough cut into sections... Next, (gently) roll out each part of dough into 20" rope, lay onto board and give the end two twists. Then, fold down onto the bottom just like a pretzel. Viola! Do not use a rolling pin. Use your hands, caress the dough gently and shape it into a rope. My pretzel doesn't even tough the board, it's all in my hands until it has been shaped into a rope. Prepare your egg (1 egg) and water (about 1/8 cup) solution if you haven't yet. Set it aside. I will use this egg and water solution to brush onto the pretzels after they come out of the baking soda/molasses bath. Here are all the pretzels sitting on the cooking sheet awaiting to be placed into the bath (which, by the way gives pretzels their unique flavor and texture) Just chillin' waiting to get a little bigger. Once all grown up, they get to go for a swim. This is the cauldron of doom. It's full of molasses and baking soda. By the way, I actually baked my baking soda in the 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes while my dough was rising. This allows the baking soda to be more like lye, which is what was traditionally used. But we don't need no stinking lye! The truth is in the baking soda... So...she's just swimming there all sexy like. I place them in face-up and lightly swish and flip some of the bath liquid onto the pretzel as she just swims there. Notice, it will blister slightly -this is a really cool effect. By the way, the burner is on medium, just hot enough for pretzel soaking. Try to leave the pretzel in there, continually bathing her face with your spoon for a total of 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Then, remove with a flat holey device --gently. She's tender and fragile. If you do make her split, it's okay. This is kinda like a Bob Ross painting, there are no such things as mistakes, only "happy little accidents." This is what she looks like after you took her out of the bath and patted her dry, then lightly caressed her face with some egg and sprinkled salt for good measure. Don't worry...she's gonna plump right up as soon as she hits the oven! Set that oven up to 450 degrees (Fahrenheit) if you haven't yet. Bake for approximately 12 minutes. Give or take a minute if you choose. I have many kinds of mustard in my home. I simply love mustard. And just LOOK at these beautiful pretzels! OH, BABY!