4 ½ tsp. active dry yeast
2 ¼ cup warm water
4 ½ tsp. sugar
2 ¼ tsp. salt
5 cups all purpose flour
2 TBSP olive oil or butter
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar and salt. Stir in flour, ½ cup at a time, to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes (dough will still be slightly sticky). Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down and divide into 18 portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a 14 inch rope; twist into a pretzel shape. Place on greased baking sheets. Brush with olive oil or butter; sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks. Serve warm.
Thanks to Heidi Vawdrey for this great recipe. These have become a staple in our home- I make them every week.