1 cup plus 2 Tbls very warm water
1 Tbls vegetable oil
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbls sugar
2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
3 Tbls salt
1 Tbls water
1 egg white
coarse salt or sesame seeds
Measure your water. Make sure it is right around 115 F. Add sugar, and stir to dissolve. Add yeast and let it sit while you measure the rest of your ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the 3 cups of flour and salt. Add the oil to the water mixture. Pour slowly into the flour mixture, and stir well to combine. Knead dough by hand for several minutes, until all of the flour is incorporated well.
Cut dough into 15 pieces; cover with a towel to prevent drying. Roll each piece into a fifteen inch rope. Twist each rope into a pretzel shape. To do this: Pick up the two ends of the rope, so that the dough looks like a smile, with the curve on the table.
It takes a little practice, but once you get the hang of it, it's easy.
Heat oven to 375 F. generously grease another cookie sheet. Dissolve 3 Tbls salt into 2 quarts of boiling water. Lower three or four pretzels at a time into the boiling water, top sides down. Do not crowd. Boil for 2 minutes, turning once. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels. Let stand a few seconds, then place 1.2 inch apart on the greased cookie sheet.
Beat 1 Tbls water and the egg white. Brush over pretzels. Sprinkle lightly with coarse salt or sesame seeds. bake 20-24 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove from the cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack. Makes 15 pretzels.